Montshire Profile

Diane Church & Tammy Pratson, July 2013

How are you connected to the Montshire?

We welcome visitors at the front desk and assist them with purchases in the gift shop.

Why do you choose to be involved?
DC—The Montshire is all about engaging people in science, for which I have a lifelong passion.  I have a doctorate in biology, have taught several college-level biology courses, and have decades of research experience in biochemistry, genetics, and molecular and developmental biology. Science was also part of my childhood thanks to my chemist mom.
The Montshire also provides a break from the pressures of my rewarding but challenging full-time work at DHMC:  I coordinate the Parkinson’s disease Information & Referral Center and neurology clinical research studies.
TP—I was looking for a fun job and was lucky enough to find one at the Montshire. My other job is being a mom of 16- and 13-year-old-boys.

When was the first time you came to the Montshire?
DC—I first waddled into the Montshire nearly 20 years ago; I was very pregnant with my son, had just moved to the Upper Valley for a position at Dartmouth College’s Dept of Biological Sciences, and spent any free time exploring the region.  
TP—In my early 20's (I'm not telling you how long ago that was) my parents gave us a membership.

What is your favorite Montshire experience?
DC—Watching as children try to tug a parent away from an exhibit that the adult is trying to digest…
TP—As a visitor, I love playing with my children in the water in Science Park.

What do you wish everyone knew about the Museum?
DC—That it has so much to offer people of all ages. 
TP—And, how much fun it can be for all ages!

Is there one word you would use to describe the Museum?

What do you think the Montshire will be like in ten years?
DC—I suspect that the Montshire will take greater advantage of its frontage on the Connecticut River for watershed and riparian habitat education.

What do you find most rewarding about working at the Montshire?
TP—The interactions with the staff and visitors. Diane and I both like to bring a lot of humor to our work. It keeps things interesting and makes these interactions so enjoyable.
DC—My co-workers! They are all so creative, intelligent and fun. The staff pays a lot of attention to how people of all ages interact with the exhibits, and they continuously tinker with the exhibits to fine-tune and upgrade them. The educational programming is ever-evolving, and the ideas and talents of seasonal employees are readily incorporated to keep everything fresh. And it all hinges on the creative and successful grant-writing and fundraising efforts that allow the Montshire to show traveling exhibits, build new in-house exhibits, and develop educational opportunities for the community.

What is the best kept secret at the Montshire?
DC—Most science museums I’ve visited are contained within a building, but the Montshire takes advantage of its 100 acres of mixed habitat with fun and educational exhibits on beautifully maintained trails.
TP—How interactive everything is—both inside and outside.

Which other museums do you enjoy visiting?
Boston Museum of Science, Fairbanks Museum, Ontario Science Centre, and arboretums and botanical gardens everywhere.



Montshire Museum of Science Engage the Senses