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About the Cook Museum

FUN. EDUCATIONAL. MEMORABLE.

The Cook Museum of Natural Science is a state-of-the-art natural science museum in downtown Decatur, AL. It provides a hands-on, immersive experience where kids can explore, interact with, and learn about nature. Families leave the Cook Museum feeling fulfilled by their time together and inspired by the things they saw and learned. It truly is an amazing experience for families and children of all ages!

OUR HISTORY

The Cook Museum’s humble roots can be traced back to 1968 when John Cook, Sr. opened his professional insect collection to the public by appointment, which at the time had been used primarily for employee training at Cook’s Pest Control. It later grew to include a wide array of mounted wildlife, touring malls throughout Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia.

In 1980, additional collections of rocks, minerals, fossils, coral, sea shells, mounted wildlife, and federally protected migratory birds were acquired, and a 5,000 square foot building was constructed to house Cook’s Natural Science Museum. From its opening in 1980 until its closing in 2016, the museum welcomed more than 750,000 visitors . As meaningful as the museum had been for decades, the Cook family decided it was time to reinvent the museum as an even more engaging, exciting, and educational experience for the next generation. The new Cook Museum of Natural Science, now a non-profit 501(c)(3), held its grand opening on June 7, 2019.

LEADERSHIP TEAM

Brian Cook
President & Board Chairman
Scott Mayo
Executive Director
Mark Wallace
Senior Director of Administration
Jeanne Payne, Ph.D
Director of Development
Heather Sellers
Director of Visitor Experience
Kara Long
Director of Collections and Gallery Experience

EXECUTIVE BOARD

JOHN COOK, JR.

BRIAN COOK

ERIC MILLER

LYN COOK

LESLIE COOK

ADVISORY BOARD

WALLY TERRY

President – CWT LLC and former Director of Development City of Decatur

DR. MARC BENDICKSON

Former Chairman of the Board and CEO – Dynetics, Inc.

DOUG BACHUSS

Partner – Nowlin, Bachuss & Gray Law Firm

NATE ALLEN

Retired Chief of Police – Decatur Police Department

GREG BARNES

Certified Public Accountant – BMSS Advisors & CPAs

ANGELA CASCIANO

City President, Morgan County – Senior Vice President – Regions Bank

JIM AYCOCK

Vice Chairman of the Board – Cook’s Pest Control

SKIP THOMPSON

Partner – Corporate Billing, LLC

TAMI REIST

President & CEO – Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association

DESTIN SANDLIN

Owner – Smarter Every Day

TARA SANDLIN

Operational Manager – ThinkerCon