ButterflyFest offers activities for all ages, including butterfly releases, plant sale

October 21st, 2010

(EDITORS: A complete schedule of events follows this release.)

Photos available

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The fifth annual ButterflyFest at the Florida Museum of Natural History from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday features free, interactive presentations and activities the entire family will enjoy.

Visitors can listen to presentations about Project Butterfly WINGS, Honduran butterflies and moths, the Monarch Watch organization, worldwide honey bee decline and the migratory patterns of Monarchs. Gardening activities and wildflower walks as well as live butterfly releases will also be offered. (more…)

Florida Museum presents Nature Coast conservation photo exhibit through Aug. 8

June 28th, 2010

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History will display its newest photography exhibit “Life on the Edge: The Story of Florida’s Nature Coast” by Eric Zamora through Aug. 8.

Zamora uses the visual power of photography in this exhibit to share the story of Florida’s Nature Coast with the goal of helping mold a sustainable future for the region. (more…)

Celebrate 40th anniversary of Earth Day with museums at UF Cultural Plaza

April 16th, 2010

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Join the fun with the Florida Museum of Natural History and Harn Museum of Art during the 40th anniversary of Earth Day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 24.

Located in the University of Florida Cultural Plaza, this year’s celebration includes demonstrations and activities focused on the environment and conservation. The Alachua County environmental protection department will hold a rain barrel sale outside the museums. These barrels help homeowners collect water for reuse on their property. Also, visit with local conservation groups at both museums and learn how easy it is to help preserve the planet. (more…)

Fla. Museum to screen ‘The Philosopher Kings’ with custodian Melinda Augustus Feb. 16

February 1st, 2010

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Spend an evening basking in the wisdom of seven kings and one queen who sweep halls, clean toilets and pick up trash. The Florida Museum of Natural History will host a free screening of “The Philosopher Kings,” a documentary about wisdom found in unlikely places, from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16.

The feature-length film includes museum custodian Melinda Augustus, who will speak about the filming experience at the screening and answer questions.

“The Philosopher Kings” guides viewers through the campuses of seven American colleges and universities on a search for knowledge from unexpected sources: the schools’ custodians. Producers Patrick Shen and Greg Bennick chose to feature the stories of individuals who are often ignored in their custodial positions to show that wisdom grows at all levels of society. (more…)

Register by Dec. 31 to display during Fla. Museum Collectors Day Jan. 23, 2010

December 22nd, 2009

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Join the Florida Museum of Natural History from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 23, 2010, for the 31st annual Collectors Day event. Meet local collectors and discover the history and enthusiasm behind their unique displays.

Registration to display collections is open through Dec. 31. Call Tiffany Ireland, 352-273-2061, for more information and to register. The Jan. 23 event is free and open to all ages.

“Collectors Day provides the public with an opportunity to become more than an observer at the museum while focusing on an important component of natural history museums and science — collecting,” said Florida Museum education assistant Tiffany Ireland. “Like scientists, the participants in the event collect as a way of exploring the diversity and history of their area of interest. This event provides them with the rare opportunity to share that knowledge and passion with others.” (more…)

Fla. Museum hosts 11th annual "Trashformations" recycled art competition

November 5th, 2009

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History and the Alachua County Office of Waste Alternatives will present the 11th annual “Trashformations” recycled art competition awards ceremony from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 20.

The artwork featured is created by local middle school, high school and college students from trash and other recycled materials. Artwork must be comprised of 70 percent or more recycled, recyclable or reused materials. The Florida Museum will display the winning entries in its Central Gallery through Dec. 6.

“It’s a fun and creative way to raise awareness about recycling,” said Patrick Irby, a waste alternative specialist for the Alachua County Office of Waste Alternatives. (more…)

ButterflyFest this weekend features tagged monarch releases, plant sale

October 19th, 2009

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History will release tagged monarch butterflies, hold gardening and photography workshops and feature expert speakers on a variety of gardening and pollinator wildlife topics during its annual ButterflyFest Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 24-25).

ButterflyFest is a celebration of all pollinators and encourages visitors to explore their role in our ecosystem through crafts, games and presentations. The festival also includes activities, entertainment, food vendors, workshops and tours for the whole family.

Florida Museum staff will release hundreds of Monarch butterflies both days of the festival. The Florida Museum is participating for the third year in the national Monarch Watch program, which tracks the butterflies’ migration to Mexico with citizen reports using tiny stickers attached to the butterflies’ wings. (more…)

Florida Museum announces ninth annual free volunteer fossil dig

October 6th, 2009

Photos available

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History vertebrate paleontology division will begin its annual free volunteer fossil dig Saturday, Oct. 24. The project will continue through Tuesday, Nov. 24, with work occurring from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

No previous experience is required. Volunteers must be at least 15 years old, in good physical condition and be able to work a minimum of three hours a day. Visit www.flmnh.ufl.edu/vertpaleo/fall_2009.htm for more information and an application form.

This year’s dig will take place at the Thomas Farm fossil site in northern Gilchrist County near the town of Bell. The site contains a rich diversity of ancient life that lived in the Southeast about 18 million years ago. Volunteers will likely discover fossil teeth and bones of small three-toed horses, a large horn-less rhinoceros, the giant bear-dog, and Alligator olseni, the ancestor of the modern alligator. (more…)

Fla. Museum Starry Night event celebrates the universe Sept. 25

September 10th, 2009

Editor’s note: A full schedule of events follows this release

Photos available

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Join the Florida Museum of Natural History and area astronomy groups for an evening of scientific discovery during the annual Starry Night event from 5 to 10 p.m. Sept. 25.

Produced by the Florida Museum, University of Florida Astronomy Department, Santa Fe College Astronomy, Florida Space Grant Consortium and Alachua Astronomy Club, Starry Night is a free event full of activities for the entire family. This night of inter-planetary adventure gives visitors a chance to speak with expert astronomers, learn about the tools they use and see rocks from space. Attendees can build their own telescope, talk to an astronomer, meet an astronaut, win door prizes and other free gifts and more! (more…)

Join the Florida Museum, UF Cultural Plaza for Friday Night Sights

September 9th, 2009

Photos available

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — It’s that time of year again — football season has finally arrived and so has the University of Florida Cultural Plaza’s Friday Night Sights. Bring family and friends beginning Friday as the Florida Museum of Natural History, Harn Museum of Art and Philips Center for the Performing Arts provide additional events to enhance select home football game weekends.

The Florida Museum and Harn Museum will remain open until 7 p.m. on select Friday nights, allowing visitors to explore before attending performances at the Phillips Center next door.

Florida Museum guests may visit the Butterfly Rainforest during all Friday night events, as well as the newest temporary exhibit, “Amazon Voyage: Vicious Fishes and other Riches” beginning Oct. 3. (more…)

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