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…)

Audubon Society, Smokey Bear to appear at Fla. Museum’s Discovery Room

July 21st, 2009

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Discover common birds of Florida and celebrate Smokey Bear’s 65th birthday at two upcoming Discovery Room events at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

Adam Kent, board member of the Alachua Audubon Society, serves as a guest “Dr. Discovery” Wednesday and Smokey the Bear will host a party in his honor Aug. 12. Both programs begin at 3 p.m.

Kent’s presentation is a fun way for children to familiarize themselves with common Florida birds. Participants may play detective as they read facts about birds and match the correct species. They also will have the opportunity to create their own bird.

Smokey Bear will join the Florida Museum on Aug. 12 for his 65th birthday celebration. The Florida Division of Forestry presentation on fire safety includes information for children and parents about wildfire prevention and outdoor burning guidelines. (more…)

Fla. Museum brings the birthday party to you!

June 16th, 2009

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — This summer, the Florida Museum of Natural History is taking its popular birthday parties on the road. On Saturdays from May 30 through Aug. 22, museum staff will offer natural history-themed parties at the home or venue of the birthday child’s choice.

“Travel-sized” parties feature a 45-minute natural history presentation for up to 15 kids including the birthday child. Party guests will discover fun facts about fossils, Florida animals and butterflies, and enjoy exciting games. Each child will make a nature-themed craft to take home.

“Travel-sized parties are a great option for anyone wanting to enjoy the museum’s exhibits and collections from the comfort of their home or other preferred location,” said Tiffany Ireland, Florida Museum education assistant. “Our staff has been working hard to create a celebration that incorporates the parts of our museum kids love best.” (more…)

Alachua County students’ ‘A’ in science earns free Butterfly Rainforest admission

June 9th, 2009

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Alachua county students earning an “A” or “S” in science during the last grading period of the 2008-09 school year are invited to visit the Florida Museum of Natural History’s Butterfly Rainforest exhibit free this June and July.

Open to students exiting grades K–12, any child presenting a report card showing they earned an “A” or “S” grade in science for the most recent grading period will receive one free admission to the Butterfly Rainforest with one paid regular price adult admission.

“Part of the museum’s mission is to interpret the natural world, and science literacy plays a major role in bridging the gap between science and everyday life,” said Jamie Creola, Florida Museum assistant director for education and visitor services. “So we believe it’s important to reward students who achieve excellence in science.” (more…)

Space available in Fla. Museum summer field camps for grades 5, 6

May 20th, 2009

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Spaces remain in the Florida Museum of Natural History’s summer field camps for students entering grades 5 and 6 and parents are encouraged to register their children now.

Field camps, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., provide advanced scientific exploration designed specifically for older children. One session, “Junior Palentology,” is full, and the other two are filling fast.

“Scientist for a Day,” June 22-26, will give students the opportunity to find out what different scientists do on a daily basis. “Six Legs, More or Less,” Aug. 3-7, offers a closer look at the many-legged creatures through the eyes of an entomologist.

The five-day camps cost $210 for Museum members and $260 for non-members. (more…)

Florida Museum seeks summer junior volunteers ages 12-17

March 9th, 2009

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History is accepting applications for summer 2009 junior volunteers from students ages 12-17. The application deadline is 4:30 p.m. April 14.

Junior volunteers work with younger students in the museum’s summer camps and with children and families in the Discovery Room. They also interact with visitors through Discovery Cart demonstrations in the museum’s permanent exhibits and serve as interpreters for the “Amazing Butterflies” exhibit opening June 13.

“Being a junior volunteer is a great way for students to learn how a museum works behind the scenes to present programs and events, and many of our volunteers make new friends while serving,” said volunteer coordinator Julie Crosby. (more…)

Fla. Museum hosts Wigglers and Walkers series March 18, April 15

March 9th, 2009

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Crack into spring with the Florida Museum of Natural History’s “Wigglers and Walkers” program at 3:30 p.m. March 18 and April 15. “It’s Eggs-cellent” will be a fun-filled, educational afternoon for children ages 2-5.

This season, students will learn about different types of eggs and the animals who lay them. Through arts, crafts and other activities, youngsters will discover reptile/amphibian and birds eggs while exploring the museum. Activities include egg painting, make-your-own turtle and other take-home projects.

The cost per class for each adult and child pair is $4 for Florida Museum members and $5 for non-members. Each additional child is $1. Pre-registration is not required, but children must be accompanied by an adult. Participants should arrive early to park their strollers and meet new friends. (more…)

Now register online for Fla. Museum school holiday, spring break classes, camps

February 16th, 2009

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History will spice up the spring with one day class and two spring break camps for students in grades K-5 during Alachua County Schools student holidays.

Online registration for the classes is now available through the Florida Museum’s new secure system, accessible at http://xms.dce.ufl.edu/reg/groups/flmnh/.

Unleash your inner alligator during “Gator Country” from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on March 27. Students will learn about one of Gainesville’s most prominent figures, Albert the Alligator, and some of his crocodilian “cousins” through an exciting Everglades adventure.

This class complements the museum’s newest temporary exhibit, a double feature on the Florida Everglades, on display through May 31. “ForEverglades: Photos by Clyde Butcher & Jeff Ripple,” and “Alien Attack: Target Everglades” explore the beauty and danger of the Everglades in ways both children and adults can enjoy. (more…)

Fla. Museum hosts November ‘Animal Illustrations’ student class

October 28th, 2008

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Let your imagination run free at the Florida Museum of Natural History’s “Animal Illustrations” class from 1-3 p.m. on Nov. 1, 8, 15 and 22.

The class for students in grades 5-10 will teach participants about selected animals and creating original artwork with colored pencils. Local artist and class instructor Janet Porcelli will cover topics including color, value and composition. (more…)

Fla. Museum scientist produces four new butterfly watching books

October 6th, 2008

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Families searching for a fun, inexpensive activity can delve into the increasingly popular world of butterfly watching thanks to a series of four publications produced by Florida Museum of Natural History lepidopterist Jaret Daniels.

Daniels is assistant director for research at the Florida Museum’s McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity and also works in the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, which published the “Florida Butterfly Encounters” series in cooperation with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The four-booklet set sells for $7 and is available in the Florida Museum gift shops and online at www.ifasbooks.com.

“Florida is an ideal environment for butterfly watching because we have year-round sunshine, warm temperatures and a variety of native butterflies,” Daniels said. “These booklets are a great tool for anyone wanting to explore wild Florida.” (more…)

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