Penn State Schuylkill Hosts New Smithsonian Exhibit

Outbreak: DIY

Penn State Schuylkill will host the new Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Exhibit, “Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World,” for a three-month period running from October 1 through December 21. The exhibit, exploring the origins of zoonotic disease and humans’ role in spreading animal-borne viruses, will be touring nationwide for a three-year period.

This year, the Smithsonian marks the 100th anniversary of the Great Influenza pandemic, that eradicated between 3 and 5 percent of the world’s population, with this informative exhibition that examines the human ecology of epidemics.

The exhibit will illustrate how viruses can spread from animals to people, why some outbreaks become epidemics, and how people in different disciplines and countries are working together to eradicate diseases from the Nipah virus to SARS and HIV.

The Outbreak exhibit is located in the Ciletti Memorial Library on the Penn State Schuylkill campus and is open to the general public during library hours. Drop-in guided tours will be available on Saturdays from noon to 2 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Upcoming Outbreak Events

October 17 | 7 p.m.
Novel Control Measures to Combat Infectious Disease
Guest Speaker Nancy Tryano, Ph.D., BCE
Entomologist and Director of Technical Education and Training 
Rentokil North America

November 16 | 12:20 p.m.
Ebola Surveillance
Guest Speaker Mike Wiley
Civilian Government Contractor
U.s. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID)

December 4 | 6:30 p.m.
Historical Implications of the Influenza Pandemic in Schuylkill County;
John O'Hara's The Doctor's Son Performance and Panel Discussion
Featuring performances by the Penn State Schuylkill Nittany Players

Guest Speaker Harold Aurand, Ph.D.
Associate Teaching Professor of History, Penn State Schuylkill

Guest Speaker Michelle Jacobs
Schuylkill County Historical Society


A microscopic image of MERS virus

Guided Classroom Tours Available

The exhibit will be open to student field trips on Tuesdays and Thursdays from October 9 to December 6 from 9 am to 11 am in one-hour time increments, pending availability. Trips should be scheduled two weeks in advance with a maximum of 25 students per visit. Please note this exhibit is recommended for grades seven and above. To schedule a group visit to the Outbreak exhibition, contact Mariann Young at 570-385-6209.