Front of Main Museum building

Who We Are

Moments of wonder for a lifetime of learning

The Museum of Life and Science strives to create a place of lifelong learning where people of all ages embrace science as a way of knowing about themselves, their community, and their world.

Located less than five miles from downtown Durham, the Museum of Life and Science is one of North Carolina’s top family destinations. Our 84-acre campus includes a two-story science center, one of the largest butterfly conservatories on the East Coast, and beautifully landscaped outdoor exhibits. Our interactive experiences include Dinosaur Trail, Ellerbe Creek Railway, Hideaway Woods, Into the Mist, Earth Moves, and Aerospace, which features one of the largest collections of Apollo-era NASA artifacts in the state. The Museum is also an AZA-accredited zoo, home to rescued black bears, lemurs, endangered red wolves, and more than 60 species of live animals.

Learn more about our vision and mission and our approach to learning and education.

Thank you for your support

The Museum of Life and Science is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The Museum earns over 83% of our annual operating budget through membership, admission, fees, and contributions. Thank you for your patronage and support!

We are also grateful for ongoing public support from Durham County. Through this public/private partnership, the Museum will continue to serve our region and our State with distinctive and dynamic learning experiences.

Our history

The Museum of Life and Science began in 1946 and has blossomed into a community hub for science exploration, conservation, and nature play.

Read our history

Museum Executive Team

Carrie Heinonen | President and CEO

Carly Apple | Vice President of Education and Engagement
Disha Dewan | Vice President of Advancement
Caroline Durham | Vice President for Finance
Roy Griffiths | Vice President for Exhibits and Planning
Simone Guthrie | Vice President of Marketing and Communications
Betsy Hall | Vice President for Guest Experiences
Lisa Ruth | Vice President for People and Culture

Board of Directors

James Erlinger | Chair | Retired – Former EVP – Quintiles, Inc., and NC Chamber Board Member
Bernice Bond | Vice-Chair | Vice President of Information Security & Chief Information Security Officer – RTI International
Melissa Rhodes | Immediate Past Chair | Chief Development Officer– Kriya Therapeutics
Brian Tajlili | Secretary | Vice President and Chief Actuary – Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC
Nick DiColandrea | Treasurer | Climate Strategies Officer – Conservation Trust

Luis Alvarez, Vice President of Operations – Mante Masonry
Lilith Anderson, Senior Manager – Strategy& – a PwC company
Rashid Beyah, Director, Gardasil Drug Substance Operations – Merck
Jennings Brody, Owner, Parker and Otis
Nimasheena Burns, Commissioner – Durham County
Chelsea Cook, Commissioner – Durham County
Nevin Daryani, Director of Operations – Armstrong McGuire & Associates
Jenny Denney, Senior Vice President, Clinical Operations – Parexel International
John Hardin, Executive Director, NC Board of Science, Technology and Innovation
Beverly Harris, Senior Director for Strategic Business Analytics – Duke Alumni Engagement & Development
Geoff Keegan, Vice President of Finance – Murphy’s Naturals
Dr. Nicholas King, Deputy Superintendent for Durham Public Schools
Ann Leininger, Project Manager, AECOM
Heidi Marks, Owner, Marks Consulting, LLC
Kaveh Naficy, Founding Parter at Lakida LLC
Evian Patterson, Assistant Transportation Director , Durham Department of Transportation
Laura Robinette, Partner – PricewaterhouseCoopers
Neely Shah, Principal Legal Counsel – SAS Institute
Shannon Trapp, Chief of Staff – Durham County
Leonardo Williams, Ward 3 Councilman – City of Durham
Maggie Woods, Policy and Program Manager – The Institute for Emerging Issues at NC State University