By James Tyree Modified: July 1, 2008 at 12:58 pm •  Published: July 1, 2008

NORMAN — Ellen Censky, director of the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, announced today she will resign next month from the University of Oklahoma museum.

Censky's last day at the museum will be Aug. 31. She will then move on to her new position as senior vice president of museum programs at the Milwaukee Public Museum — a move that will allow her to be closer to her elderly mother.

During her five years as director, the museum expanded its permanent galleries, established a cycle of major traveling exhibits and launched new educational programs.

"The entire OU family will greatly miss Ellen Censky," said OU President David Boren. "She has worked effectively to bring the outstanding collection of the museum to the broadest possible audience during her tenure as director."

Censky - an expert on amphibians and reptiles - previously served as an adjunct associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Connecticut and as director of the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History.

She also has worked at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, serving as chairman of the division of life sciences and head of the amphibians and reptiles section.