Florida Museum of Natural History Madeleine Wagner

Nature on Display

The exhibit that I explored and how most visually appealing was the "Frogs: a chorus of colors" exhibit. I found this the most immersive in nature and effective at piquing my curiosity about the natural world. The exhibit caught my attention through it's design. The frog exhibit was divided into sections based on the type of frog. Each area had a different and very interesting breed of frog that you were allowed to view through the glass. As well, there was a description of the type of frog, and it's genetic profile, including it's preferred food, habitat, size and life cycle. I found this information to be helpful in allowing me to learn about the natural world in a way in which i would have not understood through another medium . I discovered the role that a certain species of frog has in nature by helping me to understand it's characteristics and even in some circumstances, personality traits. By both giving me a visual of the frog and a description, it has given me an opportunity to expand my knowledge of the world around us. My experience at the museum that I found the be the most enjoyable was the fact that I got to see the frogs physically. I was able to view their physical appearance and actions in person, instead of on a screen, giving me a more hands on experience.

Nature and Ethics

My visit to the Florida Museum of Natural History has changed the way I think about the environment, and the role that many organisms have to continue the cycle of life on our planet. When going through the frog exhibit, I began to see the frogs, as well as humans themselves as members of a much larger and interconnected community, all vying for space and resources. Just as Leopold states, I believe that we, as humans, should give more respect to nature and our surrounding environment, instead of just cutting it down. Many of the species on earth have been around far longer then we have, and therefore should be able to have enough space to feed and reproduce, just as we do. As I was going through the exhibit, I began to feel slightly disturbed at the extent of human impact on the environment, and our role in the extinction of many different species, including several types of frog. I had the same reaction as many other people in the exhibit, that of awe towards the different types of frogs that we find unique and interesting, as we have never seen them before, most likely due to our lack of attention towards the finer things in nature. I believe that the museum allowed people to connect with nature through the different exhibits as we were able to look at different types of environments, and the role that humans played in shaping them, as well as letting us view the frogs and butterflies (in the butterfly garden) up close. Overall, my museum experience has instilled in me an ethical responsibility to pay more attention and appreciate the environment around me, as well as my role within it.

Nature and the Human Spirit

There are many ways in which the Natural History Museum takes us out of our ordinary lives. For one, the museum allows individuals to view aspects of nature that we do not usually think about on a daily basis. We are allowed to see different and unique species of frog (such as the one pictured above, known as a "Waxing Monkey Frog"), that we have never seen before, breaking away from our daily routine and allowing us to experience new and interesting parts of nature. This museum helps take us away from our ordinary lives by showing us a different perspective of the world around us, letting people experience the beauty of nature and the environment instead of doing what they would normally do every day (i.e. go to work, sleep, eat, etc.) This allows us to form new opinions, new perspectives on the world, to expand our horizons and knowledge, and to develop a global point of view on nature and our role within it. Visiting the museum, in essence, has helped me better understand who i am and better appreciate the mystery and majesty of the natural world. As Heschel stated, I believe that we need time to help discover who we are and our place in society, and the museum has help me in discovered the hidden beauty within nature .

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