Dig into geology at 11th annual ‘Can You Dig It?’ March 18

March 3rd, 2017

Editors note: A complete list of activities follows this release

Visitors enjoy activities during the 2015 "Can You Dig It?" program. Florida Museum photo by Kristen Grace

Visitors enjoy activities during the 2015 “Can You Dig It?” program.
Florida Museum photo by Kristen Grace

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida Museum of Natural History visitors will have the opportunity to discover Earth’s ever-changing landscape through immersive activities including a virtual reality headset, erupting volcanoes and more during the 11th annual “Can You Dig It?” event March 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

This free, fun-for-all-ages geology program includes hands-on activities and demonstrations to provide visitors with a better understanding of the Earth’s environment and the role its processes plays in our lives.

“There are many interactive activities that are geared for a wide range of ages,” said program coordinator Matt Smith, a senior lecturer and undergraduate adviser in the University of Florida department of (more…)

Florida Museum to host 40th annual herpetological conference

February 20th, 2017

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Snake, frog, turtle and lizard enthusiasts from around the world will gather at the Florida Museum of Natural History’s 40th annual herpetological conference in March.

The symposium will bring together amateurs and professionals for talks, workshops and exhibits on the latest herpetology research March 25-26 at the Wyndham Garden Gainesville, 2900 SW 13th St.

Turtle head looking up at reflection

Conference session topics include threatened species, such as the alligator snapping turtle, pictured here.
Florida Museum of Natural History photo by Eric Zamora

“This will be a chance to learn about new species from all over the world, from here in Florida all the way to Africa,” said Max Nickerson, a herpetology curator at the Florida Museum. “It’s also an opportunity to meet with colleagues of diverse age groups who share common interests.”

Students with valid identification and adults can register to attend and present at the conference online or mail their registration to Max Nickerson, University of Florida, P.O. Box 117800, Gainesville, FL 32611-7800. Registration is $55 for students and $119 for adults. The cost for an adult one-day pass is $89, and a ticket to the social, dinner and live auction is $35.

Conference organizers are (more…)

Check out new adults-only events this spring

February 9th, 2017

Florida Museum photo by Kristen Grace

For adults who’ve always wished they could attend science camps and programs normally offered to students—now’s your chance.

The Florida Museum of Natural History will hold special, brand-new events for the 18-and-older crowd this spring.

During the first “Kid-Free Camp for Grown-ups” March 10 from 7 to 9 p.m., participants will have access to the indoor permanent exhibits and “Frogs! A Chorus of Colors,” and enjoy arts and crafts as well as a nature night walk in the adjacent University of Florida Natural Area Teaching Laboratory. The camp fee is $25, or $20 for museum members.

Another new adults-only program, “Speed Science: A Night at a Museum,” allows guests to speed date science subjects and (more…)

Celebrate new exhibit with ‘Froggy 5K’ race Feb. 11

January 19th, 2017

The Florida Museum of Natural History will hold its first 5K race on Feb. 11 to help celebrate the opening of the new featured exhibit “Frogs! A Chorus of Colors.”

The “Froggy 5K” begins at 8:30 a.m. in the University of Florida Cultural Plaza commuter lot. The race route includes a combination of trails in the UF Natural Area Teaching Laboratory and campus roads.

“Race participants have an opportunity to see trails in their own backyard that they might not have discovered yet,” said Florida Museum volunteer coordinator and race organizer Amy Hester. “We hope they discover their love of nature during the run.”

Early registration is $25, or $15 for UF students with a valid Gator 1 card. Participants will receive a long-sleeved T-shirt and free entry into the “Frogs!” exhibit on race day. The race is open to all ages.

The deadline to register early is Jan. 24 and (more…)

See vast personal collections at 38th Collectors Day Jan. 21

December 28th, 2016

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

Collectors from across the region will share their personal treasures with Florida Museum of Natural History visitors during the 38th Collectors Day Jan. 21, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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

“Collections are a way to preserve art, nature and knowledge,” said museum educator Tiffany Ireland. “Come to Collectors Day and you will leave with insight you didn’t know you were missing.”

Attendees will have the opportunity to view classic cars, (more…)

NASA scientist, PBS ‘Star Gazers’ to give presentation during free ‘Starry Night’ event Nov. 4

October 26th, 2016

17598-starry-night-digital-materials_fbgraphic3GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida Museum of Natural History visitors will have the opportunity to view the moon and planets with astronomy experts Nov. 4 from 6 to 10 p.m. during the museum’s annual “Starry Night” event.

The guest speaker for this year’s program is Cathy Olkin, the deputy project scientist for NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto, who will present “Our New View of Pluto,” featuring images of Pluto’s large glacier and mountains. Olkin will answer audience questions following the presentation.

“Astronomy is a science that everyone can engage with,” Olkin said. “You look in the sky and see planets, stars and the Milky Way. For many, this can spur curiosity about other fields of science.”

This year’s event also features James Albury and (more…)

UF Cultural Plaza festival features hands-on science, art activities

October 18th, 2016
Florida Museum of Natural History photo by Kristen Grace

Florida Museum of Natural History photo by Kristen Grace

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History, Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida Performing Arts and Southwest Recreation Center will host the first UF Cultural Plaza Festival from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday featuring free exhibit tours, dance performances and other indoor and outside activities for visitors of all ages.

The Florida Museum will host a pop-up museum where guests may bring fossils from home to identify them with scientists and touch real shark and ray fossils. Visitors may also help transcribe data, including information from 180 images of Alachua County fall flowers, as part of WeDigBio, (more…)

Celebrate wildlife during 11th annual ButterflyFest Oct. 1

September 9th, 2016

17531-bfest-fb_4_fnlGAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida Museum of Natural History visitors will have the opportunity to learn about the significant role butterflies have in nature during ButterflyFest on Saturday, Oct. 1.

The free event from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. features live butterfly releases, workshops and activities for all ages. This year’s theme, “Why Butterflies Matter,” highlights the ecological importance of butterflies, including serving as environmental indicators and the flagship species for conservation. The insects also are model organisms for many areas of biology research.

“Butterflies are important biological indicators of a healthy environment and ecosystem,” said Jaret Daniels, associate curator and director of the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity. “These charismatic ‘gateway bugs’ also help stimulate interest in nature, (more…)

First ‘Murder Mystery at the Museum’ program set for Aug. 3

July 22nd, 2016

17542 Murder Mystery_fb1_FNLGAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History will host its first murder mystery event Aug. 3 as part of the University of Florida Creative B program.

The “Murder Mystery at the Museum” event features an interactive theatrical show presented by a company from Orlando, and guests are encouraged to come help crack the case dressed in 1920s attire.

“This is a great opportunity to get the best of both worlds,” said Paul Van Duyn, The Murder Mystery Company assistant private sales manager. “You get to enjoy ‘Wicked Plants: The Exhibit’ and participate in a fully immersive murder mystery event that has connections to the exhibit.”

The opening reception begins at 6 p.m. with heavy hors d’oeuvres and (more…)

Free ‘Creative B’ movie series kicks off with ‘Mothra’ July 8

June 17th, 2016

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History will offer extended hours and free film screenings with panel discussions during July as part of the University of Florida Creative B program.

CreativeB_wordmark_sub_lrThe museum is also hosting an opening reception at 6 p.m. July 8 where attendees can meet and greet Creative B featured artist Nobuho Nagasawa prior to the discussion and viewing of “Mothra” (1961) at 7 p.m.

“Creative B is a unique opportunity to speak to experts in the fields of special effects, science and science fiction,” said Tiffany Ireland, Florida Museum educator. “It’s the main event of the summer.”

The museum also will show “Little Shop of Horrors” (1960) on July 15, “The (more…)