POCATELLO, Idaho — The Idaho Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Institution have announced a cooperative agreement that will utilize the museum's expertise at making 3-D digital images.

In return the Smithsonian will help organize and bring exhibitions to the museum located at Idaho State University.

The Idaho State Journal reports that Idaho Museum of Natural History Director Herbert Maschner announced the signing in mid-June of the two-year memorandum of understanding.

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"The Smithsonian has its own 3-D virtualization efforts, but they are very different from ours," Maschner said. "Our goal, and the goal of democratization of science model, is to put entire collections online so people can do research from anywhere in the world. We're going to contribute to their efforts by going to the Smithsonian and working on, for instance, some of their whale skeletons."

He said Robert Schlader and Nicholas Clement from the museum's Visual Laboratory will travel to the Smithsonian to help with the effort.

One of the first exhibitions at the museum will be on Native American warriors and code talkers, which will also be used to explore the history of Native Americans who served in the military.

"We're hoping to work closely with Fort Hall to make that happen," Maschner said.

— Associated Press