GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida Museum of Natural History researchers recently received $53,000 to enhance the museum’s online database of Mayan artifacts.
The two-year grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities coincides with the museum’s new temporary exhibit “An Early Maya City by the Sea: Daily Life and Ritual at Cerros, Belize,” open through Oct. 7. Florida Museum curator of Latin American art and archaeology Susan Milbrath and Debra Walker, a museum courtesy assistant curator who has worked extensively in Cerros, received the grant. University of Florida anthropology graduate students Jeffrey Vadala and Lucas Martindale Johnson developed the exhibit under their direction. (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida Museum of Natural History researcher Neill Wallis recently received a $20,000 grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation to analyze and digitally document pottery made by prehistoric people of the southeast U.S.
The grant will help Wallis analyze Swift Creek Complicated Stamped pottery used by hunter-gatherers of northern Florida, Georgia and eastern Alabama from A.D. 100 to 800. Methods include recording vessel shape and form, photographing designs, and conducting neutron activation and petrographic analyses and radiocarbon dating soot on the pottery. The grant will fund the neutron activation and petrographic analyses.
“This will be useful to many archaeologists working in Florida, Georgia or Alabama – there are a lot of sites that have Swift Creek pottery,” Wallis said. “It’s really going to give us a sense of how hunter-gatherers interacted with other hunter-gatherers.” (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History has received a $13,872 grant to reprint the popular educational brochure, “Florida Wildflowers and Butterflies.”
The grant from the State of Florida and the Florida Wildflower Foundation Inc. is the third award the museum has received for the project.
“We have distributed 250,000 copies of the brochure across the state,” said Florida Museum Center for Informal Science Education Director Betty Dunckel. “It has been very well received and reflects the tremendous interest in learning more about our native wildflowers and butterflies.”
The museum received the grant in March and is now distributing the additional 250,000 brochures through organizations around the state. The brochure contains 100 color photographs of native wildflowers and butterflies and has a companion web site with a searchable database. (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History received $186,000 from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Tuesday to identify and prepare 25,000 marine specimens as part of a new international DNA barcoding project.
Florida Museum invertebrate zoology researchers will analyze specimens from about 5,000 species in the museum’s collections for barcoding, or genetic sequencing. Florida Museum Malacology Curator Gustav Paulay expects the project to eventually yield public, online databases for species identification that also will create evolutionary tree diagrams with the click of a button. (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History has received a $397,298 federal grant to expand its “Marvelous Explorations through Science and Stories” program in Marion County Head Start classrooms.
The Administration for Children, Youth and Families grant will allow the museum to double the number of classrooms it reaches to 32 with the science-centered literacy curriculum initially developed by the museum in partnership with the Alachua County Public Schools and the Alachua County Library District. The program began in 2001 and has touched more than 5,000 children and their families and teachers. (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Thanks to a “Museums for America” $133,000 grant from the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Florida Museum of Natural History will produce a series of educational programs for teachers and students in the Gainesville area and around the world.
The museum plans to develop gallery experiences that enhance school field trips and tie museum exhibits to the in-class curriculum. It also plans to create an enrichment program that will supply teachers with classroom materials, scientific knowledge and techniques, and online resources to supplement and enhance learning in classrooms worldwide.
“This grant gives the museum the opportunity to strengthen our involvement with schools by providing valuable resources to teachers and enhancing learning experiences for students,” said Jamie Creola, director of education at the museum. “Everything we do is correlated to the Sunshine State Standards and meant to help teachers and students. All developed materials will be available on our Web site and thus available to anyone in the world with access to a computer.” (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History recently completed several major projects to help educate the public about the state’s native butterflies and wildflowers.
Funded with a $94,409 grant from the state of Florida, Florida Wildflower Advisory Council and the Florida Wildflower Foundation Inc., the “Educating the Public about Florida’s Wildflowers and Butterflies” project allowed the museum to create a new outdoor garden, indoor exhibit, web site and color brochure.
“The Florida Museum’s Butterfly Rainforest has generated considerable visitor interest in butterfly gardening,” said Florida Museum Center for Informal Science Education Director Betty Dunckel. “Our garden showcases Florida’s native wildflowers and their importance as host and nectar plants for our native butterflies.” (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida Museum of Natural History archaeologists are rehabilitating the world’s largest collection of Calusa Indian artifacts and specimens, thanks to a $284,504 grant recently awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The Calusa artifacts and specimens — from fish otoliths and Spanish glass beads to shavings left over from working with wood, shell and stone — are unique because they comprise the only large, systematic collection from a major town site of this people group.
The Calusa occupied Pineland, located west of Fort Myers on the shore of Pine Island, for 15 centuries. Florida Museum archaeologists William Marquardt and Karen Walker and hundreds of volunteers excavated the site, now part of the Florida Museum’s Randell Research Center, between 1988 and 1995. The scientists now face the challenge of conserving and preserving the more than 141,000 specimens, which they say are extremely valuable for education and research. (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History has received a $397,143 grant from the Administration for Children, Youth and Families/Head Start Bureau to expand its Marvelous Explorations through Science and Stories program into Marion County.
The Florida Museum will work with Childhood Development Services Inc. of Ocala, Marion County Public Library System, Silver River Museum and Environmental Education Center and Marion County Public Schools on this one-year implementation grant.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History has received a $5,000 grant from the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. The grant will assist the Florida Museum with the production of two free public events and an interactive discovery cart for the “In Search of Giant Squid” exhibition, which opened Sept. 24 and runs through Jan. 2, 2006.
“This is an exceptional opportunity to increase audience understanding and interaction in our exhibits,” said Jamie Creola, Florida Museum education program director. “The grant enables us to offer expert speakers and hands-on activities to enhance our visitors’ experiences.”