2301 W. River Road
Dayton, OH 45417
(937) 268-8199


9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Sunday: noon-5:00 p.m.
Closed on Mondays

9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Sunday: noon-5:00 p.m.
*Closed Monday-Friday, except by appointment

Closed: New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Easter

General Admission

Adults $7.00
Seniors (60+) 6.00
Students (6-17) $6.00
Members are always Free!




Direction for the Future

Dayton Society of Natural History

The Dayton Society of Natural History has an exemplary group of volunteers that serve on multiple teams, focusing on strategic matters, providing guidance, and overseeing the purpose, plans and policies of the overall organization. With diverse professional backgrounds, fields and levels of experience, our leadership groups of dedicated and highly committed volunteers are able to bring valuable knowledge and interaction skills to the Board and committee positions they serve.

Board of Trustees

Dayton Society of Natural History

The Dayton Society of Natural History’s Board of Trustees is led by a distinct and dynamic group of volunteers that promote and support the ongoing programs and overarching educational initiatives of its two entities— SunWatch Indian Village/Archaeological Park and the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery.

In conjunction with their volunteer leadership, the Board of Trustees is a non-salaried governing group responsible for long-term strategic planning activities of the Society, physical and human assets, its programs and policies, legal operations accountability and ensuring a continuity of leadership and direction over time.


SunWatch Associates Board

Celebration of SolsticeThe Associates Board Members of the SunWatch Indian Village/Archaeological Park are a committed group of volunteers that organize and successfully implement fundraising events, as well as foster good community relations in order to promote the general welfare of SunWatch Indian Village/Archaeological Park within the policies and guidelines established by the Board of Trustees of the Dayton Society of Natural History. This dedicated committee focuses on fundraising and awareness programs that maintain the newly-renovated Interpretive Center, SunWatch’s In Celebration of Summer Solstice and numerous educational programs offered throughout the year.

Boonshoft Associate Board

Dancing at the GalaThe Boonshoft Museum of Discovery’s Associate Board, is a dedicated and extremely talented group of community volunteers who serve as advocates and ambassadors to further the Museum’s overall mission while enhancing public awareness for the Museum’s programs and assets. The Associate Board assists with the coordination of the Museum’s special events and fundraisers, including the annual Boonshoft Gala and The Science of Wine.

Mark J. Meister, President and CEO

Mark MeisterMark J. Meister is the President and CEO of the Dayton Society of Natural History, a position he has held since January of 2000.

From 1989 through 1999 Meister was the Executive Director of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) in Boston, the largest archaeological organization in North America. Prior to coming to the AIA, Meister served as the executive director of four museums over a period of 12 years, the most recent being the Museum of Art, Science and Industry (1986-1989) in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Before Bridgeport, Meister was the founding director (1981-1986) of the Minnesota Children’s Museum, serving Minneapolis and St. Paul. He was also the founding director of the Midwest Museum of American Art (1979-1981) in Elkhart, Indiana, and the first director of the Museum of Art and History (1978-1979) in Port Huron, Michigan. Meister also worked at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (1975-1977), where he was a National Endowment for the Humanities Museology Fellow, and the St. Louis Art Museum (1974).

Meister has a Bachelor’s degree in Ancient Art and Archaeology from Washington University in St. Louis and a Master’s degree in Museology from the University of Minnesota. He also holds a certificate from the Museum Management Institute at the University of California, Berkeley.


The Friends of the Dayton Society of Natural History

FriendsThe Friends are a dedicated group of volunteers and "Friends" of the Dayton Society of Natural History and its two principal institutions - the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery and SunWatch Indian Village/Archaeological Park. A casual group of diverse volunteers, they come together to organize various events, including the annual Book Sale and Flea Market and the annual Friends Auction. The Friends respond to requests made by any Department or staff member, either through volunteer hours, or through the designation of funds, which have been generated by the initiatives mentioned above. Meetings take place 10 times per year on the third Thursday of the month for camaraderie, featured presentations and for the purpose of evaluating requests. Annual membership is $5, payable each September. While any interested person is welcome to participate, only members of the Dayton Society of Natural History have voting rights. Contact Mary Wolf at 937-275-1617 for additional information or to join the Friends.