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Baltimore exec picked to lead Buffalo science museum

A woman who helped lead the National Aquarium in Baltimore has been named the new head of the Buffalo Museum of Science. Marisa Wigglesworth has been hired as president and CEO of the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences. Along with the science museum, she will oversee the Tifft Nature Preserve along Fuhrmann Boulevard near the Outer Harbor. 

Wigglesworth started her new job on Monday. She takes over from Mark Mortensen, who vacated the post last September. In Baltimore, she served as senior vice president and chief philanthropy officer at the aquarium. Prior to that, she spent ten years at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. 

Wigglesworth says helping young people learn about science is one of her personal missions. 

"I think it's crucial that all young people have the opportunity to learn about science. It's the power of museums to help positively impact communities. With Buffalo's revitalization, I think the Buffalo Museum of Science and Tifft Nature Preserve both play leadership roles in serving as a catalyst as part of that renaissance and fundamentally promoting science and STEM learning, critical fields for our increasingly complex modern society," she told WBFO.

Wigglesworth says some of her top priorities in her new role are to complete the museum's "See It Through" campaign to complete the restoration of the museum's rooftop observatory and a project to create a grand front entryway at the Humboldt Parkway site. 

In her new role, Wigglesworth says she is eager to hear from the community about how the museum and the preserve can best meet the needs of area residents.

"We've got wonderful visitors, more and more all the time, coming to the venues, but how can we also be sure that we're reaching out to those folks who aren't coming and how can we become a hub for regional science and STEM learning for all in the greater Buffalo area?," she mused.

Wigglesworth and her husband will be living in Buffalo's Elmwood Village neighborhood. She says her initial impression of the city has been overwhelmingly positive.

"So far, I am loving it. Everyone I have come across is friendly and welcoming and enthusiastic and seems to very much be enjoying this resurgence that Buffalo is in the midst of."


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