Nature and Ethics
Yes, the museum allowed me to experience nature the way that Leopold described. It left me in awe and allowed me to appreciate it up close in addition to being extremely informative. I felt a deep connection to nature and a desire to protect it. I sensed the appreciation of those around me. My thoughts walking through the museum were, "How are we so lucky to live in such a beautiful and diverse world? How could we permit ourselves to be the destroyers of this beauty?".
I noticed that certain exhibits really caught people's eye. The estuary exhibit of larger than life sea creatures was a part that a lot of people seemed to dwell in for an extended period of time. I think this was because it felt as if you were underwater and were placed directly into the estuary as an organism. You were up close with the creatures and I think this made a profound effect. This up close, immersive exhibit allowed people to further connect with nature because they were not separated by glass, but were face to face with nature in a larger than life perspective.
Yes, the museum instilled in me an ethical responsibility to nature. Particularly the photo above instilled in me a desire to protect our fish. Not being a resident of Florida, I did not have prior knowledge on the "net ban" and the ethics behind it. However, after reading the literature that the museum provided I began to have an understanding and form an opinion. Overall, I think we need to focus on minimizing the effects of commercial fishing and boat traffic. I think we also need to develop further efforts to protect our estuaries.
Nature and the Human Spirit
The museum helps us to step out of our ordinary lives because it helps to place you in nature you don't encounter on a daily basis here at UF. Yes, UF does an incredible job to encompass the campus in the beautiful Florida landscape but I've found that during my escapades to class, I am solely focused on getting to class and not the nature around me. The museum gently forced you to take in the nature around you and increased your appreciation for it. I absolutely had to take a picture with the Megalodon fossil because I've always been intrigued by this specimen. I can't even fathom the size of this prehistoric shark. As I took this picture jokingly, I thought about how this specimen was so large and made me seem so small. It helped me draw an analogy to nature. Nature is so much bigger than us, yet we act as if we are above it. This helped me realize that in order for us to protect nature, we must overcome our sense of importance and realize issues that are bigger than us. Megalodon is a mystery, for it could still be swimming through our oceans. The museum displayed this fossil majestically and spiked my curiosity. Overall, the museums displays made you dive into aspects you would never discover on your own, which deepens one's appreciation for the natural world.