GAINESVILLE, Fla. — University of Florida students visiting the Florida Museum of Natural History can now save money with free admission and a scooter giveaway.
Sponsored by UF Student Government, students with a valid Gator 1 card receive free admission to the Butterfly Rainforest and other fee-based exhibits year-round.
“Granting students free access to paid exhibits supports the fact that we’re an educational facility,” said Jeff Hansen, Florida Museum coordinator of operations and visitor services “It is our hope that more UF students will learn of our facility and utilize it.”
Additionally, Party 99.5 FM and the Florida Museum are hosting a drawing for a new, fully equipped scooter between Nov. 15 and Dec. 5 courtesy of Southern Scooters and (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History recently shipped the jaws of a Megalodon shark to Panama for display in the Biomuseo, a new science museum scheduled to open next year.
The specimen arrived in Panama in October as part of a long-term loan to the new natural history museum, expected to open during the first quarter of 2014. Florida Museum vertebrate paleontology curator Bruce MacFadden said the facility, located along the Panama Canal and designed by architect Frank Gehry, will be a world-class public exhibit space showcasing the country’s biodiversity and natural history. (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — For some Alachua County students, trash doesn’t equate to garbage, but instead may be morphed into creative works of art. The Florida Museum of Natural History will display these artistic creations during the 15 annual Trashformations showcase Nov. 22 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The Trashformations recycled art show and competition is open to middle school, high school and college students. All entries are constructed from 70 percent or more recycled material and judged on the criteria of “most creative expression” and “most innovative use of recycled materials.”
“This event helps you look at recyclables in a new way,” said Florida Museum educator Tiffany Ireland. “It’s always interesting how someone turns milk jugs into an ibis or cans into an owl. This is an opportunity for us to showcase our local, young talent. Every year you always get wowed by something.”
Students in each division compete for cash and other prizes and (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida’s Butterfly Rainforest exhibit may now be viewed worldwide via three streaming content cameras available on the Florida Museum of Natural History website.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida Museum of Natural History researchers have co-authored the first comprehensive study on the evolution of two agricultural pests commonly used as model organisms.
Tobacco and tomato hornworms are among the largest caterpillars, able to individually devastate an entire plant if left unchecked. Despite their use in many fields of biology, the relationships of these hawkmoths have been confused for more than 50 years. The study published online May 3 and scheduled for the September 2013 print edition of Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution shows they are not as closely related as previously believed, providing a new baseline for determining correct classifications within the group, said lead author Akito Kawahara, assistant curator of Lepidoptera at the Florida Museum of Natural History on the University of Florida campus.
“When people make decisions about these species, they can’t assume that they are most closely related – there are other species in between that we (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — As part of the Blue Star Museum program, the Florida Museum of Natural History will offer free admission to all fee-based exhibits for active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2013.
“This is a great opportunity to visit the museum and enjoy the exhibits, while being recognized for serving in the military,” said Michael Blahnik, Florida Museum security guard and former U.S. Navy seaman.
Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and more than 1,800 museums across America. The program runs from May 27 through Sept. 2. (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History marks Earth Day with a special program on April 20.
The artists represented in two current exhibits that celebrate Florida’s natural springs will participate in a panel discussion at 11 a.m. moderated by journalist and author Cynthia Barnett.
John Moran, Lesley Gamble and Rick Kilby will explore past history, document current threats and discuss Floridians’ role in the springs’ preservation.
Families are welcome. Children and adults alike will have the opportunity to question the artists and find out what they can do to help protect Florida’s springs. (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — With ocean life facing unprecedented threat from climate change, overfishing, pollution, invasive species and habitat destruction, a University of Florida researcher is helping coordinate national efforts to monitor marine biodiversity.
Humans depend on the ocean for food, medicine, transportation and recreation, yet little is known about how these vast ecosystems spanning 70 percent of the Earth’s surface are functioning and changing. Following a workshop sponsored by U.S. federal agencies in 2010, researchers at eight institutions have proposed a blueprint for establishing a cooperative marine biodiversity observation network to monitor trends in marine ecosystem health and the distribution and abundance of oceanic life. The research will appear online in BioScience Thursday and in the journal’s May print issue.
Biodiversity observation networks are indispensible tools, allowing scientists to follow and predict ecosystem changes to facilitate proactive responses to environmental pressures, said study co-author Gustav Paulay, invertebrate zoology curator at the Florida Museum of Natural History on the UF campus. (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A new free brochure published by the Florida Museum of Natural History provides tips for enhancing landscapes with native plants specifically for butterflies.
The brochure, “Monarchs & Milkweeds,” features photos of common butterfly larvae and their host plants as well as five species of milkweeds native to the southeast United States.
“Any nature enthusiast can use the brochure to identify caterpillars, which gardeners sometimes kill simply because they munch on leaves,” said Jaret Daniels, lepidopterist and assistant professor in the Florida Museum’s McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity.
Daniels said the brochure should be useful to a variety of people, from school groups to garden clubs to professional landscapers at zoos and botanical gardens. The brochures are available at the museum, but interested parties may also contact Daniels at email@example.com. (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Turn your time circuits on and travel “Back to the Future” at the Florida Museum of Natural History’s annual “Passport” gala Feb. 22 Gala. Proceeds will help construct a permanent Discovery Room at the museum.
Admission is $100 for the event, part of a three-year campaign to raise $1 million to create a 2,000-square-foot innovative, permanent Discovery Room where families can engage in hands-on science activities. The museum raised more than $400,000 during the first year of the campaign.
“It is very important to the Florida Museum to create a place for children that fosters critical thinking, collaboration and creativity, and the Discovery Room does that,” said Leslie Ladendorf, museum assistant director of development and membership. “We want to develop a space for families to interact and learn together.”
“The Discovery Room provides a safe, fun and engaging place for families to explore and learn together about the natural world and more intimately connect to the museum’s collections,” said Jaret Daniels, Florida Museum assistant director for exhibits and public programs. (more…)