Florida Museum undergraduate receives ‘Science for Life’ research award

June 11th, 2012

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Most first-year University of Florida students won’t be working in a molecular biology lab studying hawkmoth DNA during their summer break. But that is exactly what Francesca Ponce, an undergraduate from Ecuador, is doing.

Ponce just completed her first year at UF and recently received a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Science for Life Undergraduate Research Award.

“I’m very excited to begin my research,” Ponce said. “I never thought I would have an interest in hawkmoths before starting in Dr. Akito Kawahara’s lab. Then as I settled in and got more involved, I realized how important the work was to understanding biodiversity and species evolution and I became very interested in contributing to the research.” (more…)

Dig into geology at the Florida Museum during ‘Can You Dig It?’ March 17

March 1st, 2012

Editors Note: A complete list activities follows this release

Photos available

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Dig into geology and discover the ground beneath your feet at the sixth annual “Can You Dig It?” at the Florida Museum of Natural History from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 17.

This free, family-friendly event is sponsored by the University of Florida department of geological sciences and features hands-on activities and engaging demonstrations from the Gainesville Gem and Mineral Society, Jackson Stoneworks and Santa Fe College.

“We’ve added some new displays and tables this year,” said Matt Smith, lecturer for the UF department of geological sciences. “We really want to get the people and kids out to see what geology is all about. Lots of kids don’t know what geologists actually do, so every year we try to mix it up and make the event better.”

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Become a Florida Museum junior volunteer: Applications available March 9

February 27th, 2012

Photos available

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Applications for the Florida Museum of Natural History summer 2012 junior volunteer program for students ages 12-17 are available beginning March 9 and due April 11.

Applications will be posted online at www.flmnh.ufl.edu/volunteers/vol_juniors.htm and available at Powell Hall, 3215 Hull Road, Gainesville FL, 32611. Applications must be delivered to the museum or postmarked by 5 p.m. April 11.

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Monthly presentation series discusses fossils, paleontology at Florida Museum

February 9th, 2012

Photos available

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Learn more about fossil nuts, primates and horses from Florida Museum of Natural History researchers during the “Cruisin’ for Fossils” spring presentation series.

The three free presentations are scheduled for 2 p.m. on Feb. 19, March 11 and April 29 in the museum classroom.

Topics include “Cruisin’ for Fossil Nuts” by curator of paleobotany Steve Manchester, “Cruisin’ for Fossil Primates” by associate curator of vertebrate paleontology Jonathan Bloch and “Cruisin’ for Florida’s Fossil Horses” by vertebrate paleontology collections manager Richard Hulbert, respectively.

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Bring fossils, questions to museum ‘Ask a Paleontologist’ events February through May

February 8th, 2012

Photos available

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Area residents who have discovered a mysterious fossil while gardening or hiking and would like to learn more about it now have the perfect opportunity.

The Florida Museum of Natural History is hosting “Ask a Paleontologist” events from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday (Feb. 12), March 4, April 15 and May 6.

Florida Museum vertebrate paleontology collections manager Richard Hulbert and Florida Museum invertebrate paleontology collections manager Roger Portell will identify fossils for visitors and share information about paleontology March 4 and May 6. Hulbert is also scheduled for Feb. 12 and Portell for April 15. (more…)

Florida Museum continues free student admission ‘A for Science’ program

January 27th, 2012

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History is continuing its popular ‘A for Science’ free admission program for students throughout the state.

Elementary, middle and high school students in Florida who receive an ‘A’ or ‘E’ grade in science can present their latest report card at the front desk and receive a free value admission to the “Cruisin’ the Fossil Freeway” and “Butterfly Rainforest” exhibits with a paid regular price adult value admission. Alachua County students receive report cards Feb. 1 and the museum will open the “Cruisin’ the Fossil Freeway” exhibit Feb. 4.

The offer is valid until the next report cards are issued. Students receiving another ‘A’ or ‘E’ grade on their next report card would again qualify for the offer through the end of the following grading period. (more…)

Ye’kwana artisans to showcase traditional artwork at Florida Museum

January 18th, 2012

Photos available

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Join the Florida Museum of Natural History and artisans from the Ye’kwana indigenous culture in Venezuela from 1 to 4 p.m. Jan. 22 and 25 for traditional basket weaving and carving demonstrations.

During the free events, Ye’kwana Simon Caura will create a stool reminiscent of one used by a shaman, or spiritual ruler, and Aurora Rodriguez Caura, one of the founders of Kanwasumi, a women’s basket weaving cooperative in Venezuela, will demonstrate basket weaving. The two also plan to speak with visitors about Ye’kwana culture and answer questions about their traditions and history. (more…)

Florida Museum releases iPhone app for bird, butterfly and plant identification

January 17th, 2012

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — With the touch of a finger, iPhone users can access information to help identify birds, butterflies and flowering plants seen along the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail and throughout the state.

The Florida Museum of Natural History’s new app, currently available through the iTunes store, “Nature Viewing Along the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Viewing Trail,” allows users to search for 200 birds, 106 butterflies and 247 flowering plants through a variety of options including name, color, shape and size. The app provides photographs and information about each species.

The app also includes a list of 491 sites along the 2,000-mile trail which extends from the Florida Panhandle through the Keys, as well as information about habit conservation and animals and plants unique to the state. (more…)

Register now for summer camps at the Florida Museum of Natural History

April 25th, 2011

Editor’s Note: A full list of camps follows this release

Photos available

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Register your child for a summer of exploration and discovery at the Florida Museum of Natural History’s camps.

The museum offers week-long summer camps from June 13 through Aug. 12 and week-long field camps the weeks of June 27, July 18 and Aug. 1.

“Our summer camp programs are a great opportunity for children to learn about many exciting, interesting topics,” Florida Museum education assistant Amanda Erickson said. (more…)

Fla. Museum hosts Caribbean archaeology symposium June 29, public welcome

June 19th, 2007

The Florida Museum of Natural History presents “In the Footsteps of Ripley and Adelaide Bullen: A Survey of Caribbean Archaeology” from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on June 29 in Room 122 of Frazier/Rogers Hall on the University of Florida campus. This first-ever event sponsored by the Florida Museum Caribbean Archaeology Program is free and open to the public.

Event organizer and Florida Museum Archaeology Curator Archaeology Bill Keegan said speakers will touch on topics highlighting the multicultural diversity of the Caribbean and historical interconnections between the islands.

“People think of history as an old, dead subject,” said Keegan, who heads the Florida Museum’s Caribbean Archaeology Program. “But two presenters, both of whom are from the Caribbean, are talking about the influence of the pre-European path in modern society. To my mind this shows that the path is still alive today.” (more…)

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