Director's Welcome

David K. Skelly
Director, Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History

Professor of Ecology, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies


From the Director: Fall 2014

As a child, I spent several years fully expecting that I would grow up to be a dinosaur biologist.  A the time, I had no idea that the global ‘dinosaur mania’ of the 1970’s had emerged from the research of John Ostrom and others at the Peabody.  But I knew the Peabody.  From a very young age I would badger my parents or my aunt and uncle to take me to the Museum at every possible opportunity.  The Peabody was an avenue for a growing fascination with the natural world that still holds my attention decades later. While I switched from dinosaurs to frogs at some point, my love for the Peabody remains.  My work as a Curator has been one of the most rewarding parts of my experience at Yale and I could not be any more excited by the prospect of working with our fantastic staff as Director.  The last few months spent preparing for this new role has given me a chance to deepen my appreciation for everything Derek Briggs has accomplished during his directorship.  He leave us with a slate of exciting upcoming events.  I hope you will join us!


The Peabody at Yale

The Peabody Museum of Natural History is an administrative unit of Yale University, reporting through the Provost to the University, President and the Yale Corporation. The Yale Peabody Museum operates under the authority of the Yale Corporation, which appoints the Museum Director on the nomination of the President. The Museum’s Board of Curators is comprised of 19 full-time Yale faculty members, including the Director, who are appointed by the Corporation on nomination by the President. The current governance structure at the Museum integrates the academic expertise of its faculty curators with the professional skills of a full-time staff. The Director, aided by senior administrative staff, bears responsibility for management. In 1995, a formal collaboration was established among the Yale Peabody Museum, the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies, and the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. This environmental partnership recognizes the Peabody Museum as a resource and catalyst for interdisciplinary research on the earth’s history and environment, and seeks to strengthen the intellectual ties between the Museum and other groups with a shared interest in environmental research at Yale. The Museum’s collections are a major component of the research and teaching activities of the Peabody and Yale. The Curators and staff are engaged in contributing new knowledge based on the Museum’s research materials and making this knowledge available to the general public and to specialized audiences. All collections are used in undergraduate and graduate teaching and research, as well as in public programs and exhibitions. The Yale Peabody Museum fills many important roles on the Yale University campus, particularly as it has expanded its role in the community and the region, thereby offering a “front door” to the University for the general public.


Engaging Our Communities | Download the report here [PDF 2.1 MB]


Officers of Yale University | Yale Peabody Museum Board of Curators