Faculty conversations: Gary Morgan
Gary Morgan doesn't spend much time diving on coral reefs anymore, but since he manages a place as diverse as the Michigan State University Museum, he doesn't mind trading his scuba gear for a desk.
"I was a practicing invertebrate biologist for seven or eight years and then moved progressively more into management," Morgan said. "The price you pay for moving into management is you get to do less of the fun things that were part of being a biologist, but what it does do is allow me, even on a daily basis, to be involved - in some way - in a lot of the different aspects of the museum."
Morgan and his wife moved to the United States from Australia in September 2009 when he accepted the offer to become director of the MSU Museum.
"The museum was recruiting for a new director and the opportunities here seemed very exciting," Morgan said. "I had been working internationally for some time in the Middle East and then in Africa, and having just returned to Australia with my wife, we were casting around as to what might be the next opportunity and somewhat fortuitously this position was advertised."
The museum has a vast collection that includes countless items beyond what can be displayed in the museum at a given time. It's this diversity of items and collections that make the job so much fun, Morgan said.
"On any one day I can be talking to someone about natural history specimens, I can be looking at the skulls of hyenas, and later that afternoon, I could be looking at a new collection of quilts," Morgan said. "It really makes the job a lot of fun."