Brownie, Junior Girl Scout archaeology program set for May 6

April 26th, 2016
Brownie Girl Scouts enjoy an exploration event at the Florida Museum. Florida Museum photo by Jeff Gage

Brownie Girl Scouts enjoy an exploration event.
Florida Museum photo by Jeff Gage

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Girl Scouts can join the Florida Museum of Natural History for an evening of exploration during its May 6 “Girl Scouts Explore: Archaeology” program.

Brownie and Junior Girl Scouts can discover the world of archaeology and Florida’s past during the event from 6 to 9 p.m. with activities to engage girls in excavation, pottery and lessons with archaeologists’ tools. Nigel Rudolph, a Florida Public Archaeology Network representative, will lead a discussion on pottery in the archaeological world as well as a hands-on pottery activity. Participating Scouts may create their own pot or pendant to take home. (more…)

Earth Day event April 16 to feature theater workshop

April 6th, 2016

Earth-Day-LogoPollinator plant sale April 15-17 includes early opening Sunday

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History and Harn Museum of Art will celebrate Earth Day on Saturday, April 16, with various activities for University of Florida Cultural Plaza visitors.

The Florida Museum will start the weekend with a three-day plant sale beginning Friday, April 15, and running from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Featuring more than 150 species, the sale is one of the museum’s largest of the year. Saturday’s celebration from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. features many activities, including an environment-themed theater workshop by the Hippodrome Teen Ensemble. (more…)

Celebrate geology during 10th ‘Can You Dig It?’ March 12

February 29th, 2016

Editors note: A complete list of activities follows this release

Florida Museum of Natural History visitors observe a simulated volcanic eruption. Florida Museum of Natural History photo by Kristen Grace

Florida Museum visitors observe a simulated volcanic eruption.
Florida Museum of Natural History photo by Kristen Grace

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History is celebrating its 10th year of volcanic eruptions and geological discoveries at “Can You Dig It?” March 12 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

This free, fun-for-all-ages event provides visitors an opportunity to uncover Earth’s geological wonders through hands-on activities and educational demonstrations.

Those who haven’t attended in recent years can look forward to new additions and changes. University of Florida geology professor Thomas Bianchi, who worked on the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, will lead an activity allowing participants to discover how chemistry is used to clean up these environmental accidents.

“As we continue to drill in deeper waters, it is important for people to look at some of the problems with deep sea drilling and challenges with cleanup,” Bianchi said.

Other returning favorites include the augmented reality sandbox, make your own earthquake and deep ocean drilling, where participants can sample their own “drill core.” (more…)

Summer, field camp registration begins March 15

February 29th, 2016
Catherine Carey, museum public programs coordinator, right, observes campers learning to distinguish a species belonging to the spiny lobster family during a 2013 summer camp. Florida Museum of Natural History photo by Kristen Grace

Students handle a species belonging to the spiny lobster family during a 2013 summer camp.
Florida Museum of Natural History photo by Kristen Grace

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Registration for Florida Museum of Natural History summer and field camps opens March 15, and includes a new “Lep Camp” this year for students in grades 5-8 to experience field collection, specimen preparation and the conservation of butterfly and moth specimens with museum scientists Aug. 1-5.

Pre-registration is required for all camps and is available online at www.flmnh.ufl.edu/summer-camps. Florida Museum members may register early beginning March 1.

With “Wicked Plants: The Exhibit” opening this summer, students enrolled in grades 1-4 for the 2016-2017 school year will have the opportunity to learn about some of Mother Nature’s most appalling creations during a “Botany Gone Bad” camp. Participants also can examine fossils, discover ancient cultures, learn about past and (more…)

Celebrate 37th Collectors Day Jan. 9

December 17th, 2015

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Collectors can share their personal treasures with Florida Museum of Natural History visitors during the 37th Collectors Day Jan. 9, 2016, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Collectors Day is the museum’s longest-running and one of its most popular public programs.
Photo by Jeff Gage

This free event is the museum’s longest-running public program, allowing visitors to interact with collectors from across the region and learn about the context and historical significance of their collections.

Collectors Day was originally created to recognize collectors’ contributions and donations to the museum’s vast collections. The museum holds one of the nation’s largest collections with more than 40 million specimens, and was visited last year by more than 1,000 scientists and others from around the world last year researching various topics.

“Museum collections are the library of life,” said Florida Museum educator Tiffany Ireland. “They provide (more…)

Museum to host 17th ‘Trashformations’ student recycled art competition

November 3rd, 2015
Museum visitor views an entry constructed from recycled materials for the 2014 "Trashformations" student art competition.  Florida Museum of Natural History photo by Kristen Grace

Museum visitor views an entry constructed from recycled materials for the 2014 “Trashformations” student art competition.
Florida Museum of Natural History photo by Kristen Grace

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Alachua County students will learn the value of repurposed waste during the 17th annual “Trashformations” student recycled art competition awards ceremony Nov. 20 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

Participants will transform “waste” into creative works of art to compete for cash and other awards. Middle school, high school and college students are eligible to apply through Nov. 13.

“The museum is committed to providing resources and setting an example for a sustainable society,” said Florida Museum educator Tiffany Ireland. “ ‘Trashformations’ is a unique way to feature area student artists’ interpretation of what ‘trash’ can become.”

To participate in the eco-friendly contest, at least 70 percent of the entry must be constructed from recycled materials. Judges select winners based on creative expression and (more…)

Explore the universe during free ‘Starry Night’ event Nov. 13

October 29th, 2015
A visitor observes the night sky using a professional-quality telescope during the 2014 "Starry Night" event. Florida Museum of Natural History photo by Kristen Grace

A visitor observes the night sky during the 2014 “Starry Night” event.
Florida Museum of Natural History photo by Kristen Grace

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Area astronomy experts will provide Florida Museum of Natural History visitors an opportunity to explore the wonders of the universe Nov. 13 from 6 to 10 p.m. during the ninth annual “Starry Night” event.

Outside, weather permitting, visitors may gaze at binary stars and nebulas through professional-quality telescopes and learn about the universe with members of the Alachua Astronomy Club and University of Florida astronomy department.

Other free activities include a portable planetarium show and the opportunity to view the universe in 3-D as well as a 70-pound meteorite. Attendees also (more…)

Public invited to free biodiversity digitization event Oct. 24 as part of four-day global effort

October 16th, 2015

wedigbio_finalGAINESVILLE, Fla. — Area residents will have the opportunity to help make biological collections accessible online during a free event Oct. 24 at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

The event from 10 a.m. to noon at Powell Hall on the University of Florida campus is part of the Worldwide Engagement for Digitizing Biocollections project, known as WeDigBio. Participants will take part in a citizen science project to help convert some of the billions of records in analog form into digital format to advance scientific research.

Florida Museum associate curator and project coordinator Robert Guralnick said the event is an opportunity to (more…)

‘First Colony’ exhibit celebration features free opening day activities

October 12th, 2015
The “First Colony: Our Spanish Origins” exhibition features an interactive, hands-on table that gives visitors the opportunity to work as an archaeologist, including uncovering artifacts. The Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville will display “First Colony”  Florida Museum of Natural History photo by Kristen Grace

The “First Colony: Our Spanish Origins” exhibition features an interactive, hands-on table that gives visitors the opportunity to work as an archaeologist, including uncovering artifacts.
Florida Museum of Natural History photo by Kristen Grace

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida Museum of Natural History visitors will have the opportunity Saturday to participate in free opening day activities celebrating the museum’s new featured exhibit, “First Colony: Our Spanish Origins.”

The celebration scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. features hands-on activities, interactive displays, information from outside groups and a special presentation by Kathleen Deagan, Florida Museum distinguished research curator emerita.

Deagan, who has conducted fieldwork in St. Augustine, Florida, since 1972, will discuss what she and other scientists have learned about American history from the first Spanish sites.

“Archaeology in the Spanish settlement has helped change our understanding of America’s colonial origins,” said Deagan, who also is a University of Florida adjunct professor emerita of anthropology, history and Latin American studies. “Our first permanent colony was established 42 years before Jamestown. The artifacts and (more…)

Alachua County fourth-graders to receive free ‘First Colony’ exhibit tours

September 29th, 2015
Students observe artifacts explaining how Native Americans made jewelry and other items out of silver and gold from shipwrecks off Florida’s coasts in the "First Colony: Our Spanish Origins" exhibit.  Florida Museum of Natural History photo by Kristen Grace

Students observe artifacts explaining how Native Americans made jewelry and other items out of silver and gold from shipwrecks off Florida’s coasts in the “First Colony: Our Spanish Origins” exhibit.
Florida Museum of Natural History photo by Kristen Grace

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Alachua County fourth-grade students have the opportunity to visit the Florida Museum of Natural History’s new featured exhibit, “First Colony: Our Spanish Origins,” during a two-hour free program beginning Oct. 27.

Designed to support classroom studies, the “First Colony Days” program engages students in learning about the nation’s first colony in St. Augustine through archaeology, history and the stories of people who lived there. Scheduled for 19 dates through January 2016, the program includes hands-on (more…)