Fla. Museum to host fourth annual ButterflyFest Oct. 24-25, online registration now available

July 27th, 2009

Photos available

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Join the Florida Museum of Natural History during its fourth annual ButterflyFest Oct. 24 – 25 for a weekend of fun activities focused on pollinator conservation and gardening.

ButterflyFest is a free, family-friendly event with activities and workshops emphasizing awareness and conservation of backyard pollinators and wildlife. This year’s event also features the first “Pollinator Photo Contest” with cash prizes awarded in junior and adult age divisions.

“ButterflyFest celebrates our living Rainforest exhibit and highlights the ongoing research conducted by our scientists in the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity,” said Douglas Noble, head of exhibits and public programs. “The fun, engaging atmosphere of the festival brings thousands to the museum to embrace our role in the conservation of pollinators.”

This year’s festival features wildlife research ecologist, author and artist Thomas Allen as the keynote speaker, as well as games, activities, workshops and tours for the whole family. (more…)

Harn Museum, Florida Museum host annual Earth Day celebration April 18

April 7th, 2009

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Harn Museum of Art and Florida Museum of Natural History are joining together once again to celebrate Earth Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 18. The free event features crafts, painting demonstrations, live music, a dance performance, educational presentations and organic food.

The Harn Museum of Art is offering a number of programming opportunities, including an informative lecture at 11:30 a.m. about how to make your household energy efficient.

At 12:30 p.m., Tom Southall, curator of photography, will give a gallery talk about “Landscape Perspectives: Highlights from the Photography Collection,” discussing the beauty of the natural world and aspects of human interactions with the land.

Both museums are offering art opportunities for visitors. At the Florida Museum, visitors can create CD clocks and fashion recycled accessories such as newspaper hats and paper tube bracelets. Guest artist Peter Carolin will be plein air painting outside the Harn Museum of Art as part of the museum’s Family Day. Visitors can paint with him, make jewelry with recycled-paper beads or create nature rubbings. (more…)

‘Can You Dig It?’ returns to the Florida Museum

March 11th, 2009

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Join the Florida Museum of Natural History from 5-9 p.m. March 19 for “Can You Dig It?,” an interactive evening of fun activities for the whole family.

The University of Florida geology department and Gainesville Gem and Mineral Society will join the Florida Museum to present volcanic eruptions, “Oreo plate tectonics” and other hands-on activities, presentations and demonstrations exploring the ground beneath your feet. Demonstrations include gem cutting and a mineral show. Guests will be given a card and may earn a prize by visiting 10 stations during the event. (more…)

Florida Museum to host 30th annual Collectors Day Jan. 24

January 8th, 2009

Photos available

A list of participating collectors willing to speak with members of the media is available by request.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History will host its 30th annual Collectors Day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 24. The event is free and open to the public.

“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 all 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.”

Visitors will encounter a wide variety of personal collections at this family-oriented event, ranging from corkscrews and antique cars to sports and war memorabilia. Local collectors will be available to share their passion for their collections. (more…)

Rare fossil butterflies to be displayed during Fla. Museum ButterflyFest this weekend

October 15th, 2008

Editors note: A full schedule of events follows this release.

Photos available

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida Museum of Natural History ButterflyFest visitors will have the opportunity this weekend to see four rare butterfly fossils not normally on public display.

The fossil butterfly exhibit is one of the many activities and workshops taking place during the museum’s annual butterfly festival from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Housed in the Florida Museum’s invertebrate paleontology collections, the specimens are four of about 50 known fossil butterflies in the world.

“Butterfly fossils are rare because they have extremely delicate exoskeletons,” said Florida Museum of Natural History Invertebrate Paleontologist Roger Portell. “Insect fossils are preserved under unique conditions.” (more…)

Florida Museum to host additional live butterfly releases on weekends

August 10th, 2007

Photos available

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History’s Butterfly Rainforest will offer visitors the opportunity to view live butterfly releases Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. beginning Aug. 18.

“The popularity of the butterfly releases has outstripped the crowd capacity of the Butterfly Rainforest,” said Douglas Noble, head of exhibits and public programs at the museum. “The two additional releases each day offer an opportunity for more visitors to participate in this highly informative and fun event.”

The museum also plans to release the butterflies at multiple locations inside the exhibit and will equip staff members with wireless microphones, allowing more guests to participate at one time. (more…)

Fla. Museum reopens popular Discovery Room family activity area today

July 2nd, 2007

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum reopens one of its most popular family activity areas today, a new and expanded Discovery Room. Previously open only during the summer, the Discovery Room will provide ongoing, interactive family activities daily until 4:30 p.m. through December 2008.

Discovery Room visitors may explore a coral reef, create animals from Florida’s diverse ecosystems in self-guided discovery stations, or complete an arts and craft or coloring project. Scheduled programs include story time, puppets and museum exploration with Dr. Discovery.

“The Discovery Room received an outstanding reception last year, and based on the numerous requests of our members and visitors, we’ve decided to offer it through December 2008,” said Florida Museum of Natural History Education Director Jamie Creola. “The expanded schedule will provide opportunities for increased public engagement with Discovery Room resources and allow our education staff to evaluate current, and develop new, programming and exhibits for that space.” (more…)

Inaugural Florida Butterfly Festival to be held Oct. 14-15 Event headquartered at Florida Museum includes photo contest, lectures, field trips

August 4th, 2006

Photos available

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — “Do you have a thing for wings?” Join the Florida Museum of Natural History along with community partners for the inaugural Florida Butterfly Festival Oct. 14-15.

Experience butterflies like never before through expertly guided field trips to natural areas in and around Gainesville. Family activities will entice even the youngest participants to develop a lifelong appreciation and enjoyment of our natural surroundings.

Participants can experience the amazing world of butterflies and learn about the challenges faced throughout their life cycle, including insight into how other cultures perceive this magical creature through a series of lectures by world renowned naturalists.

(more…)

Fla. Museum’s free family ‘Discovery Room’ opens June 12

May 15th, 2006

Photo available

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Looking for something the whole family can do this summer? The Florida Museum of Natural History will offer an interactive “Discovery Room” for guests of all ages from June 12- Aug. 13. The room is free and open every day until 4:30 p.m.

Activities include entertaining crafts, including creating creatures from Florida’s diverse ecosystems, hunts for museum treasures and exploration of a coral reef. Guests also may visit during the following scheduled program times for stories, puppets, museum exploration with Dr. Discovery and more!

(more…)

Fla. Museum, Alachua Astronomy Club present "Starry Night" April 13

April 6th, 2006

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History and the Alachua Astronomy Club will offer “Starry Night: A Guided Tour of the Universe” from 5 to 10 p.m. April 13, featuring presentations, planetarium shows and star viewing. “Starry Night” will be held at the Florida Museum as part of its Museum Nights program.

At 7 p.m., astrophysicist Fred Adams, University of Michigan, will discuss the fate of the universe in his lecture, “Where Are We Going? The Future History of Our Universe.” Light refreshments will be provided. There is no admission charge for this event.

(more…)

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