Good Life Nature Activity By: Dharma Santos-Santiago

Nature on Display

I found the Butterfly Rainforest exhibit to be the most appealing to me out of the various exhibits I visited. First off, I have an emotional attachment to butterflies because they are mother’s favorite animal. Every time I see a butterfly flutter past me I immediately think of her so walking into the exhibit immediately made my heart fill with joy and nostalgia. I loved the layout of the exhibit because it resembled a tropical rainforest. Alongside the beautiful butterflies there were bright flowering plants, lush greenery, and an array of species such as birds and fish. These elements completely immersed me into the exhibit and I really felt like I was in nature. The beautiful scenery drew my attention every which way and made me want to stay there for hours. Seeing the strict conditions the exhibit must maintain in order to keep the species thriving made me appreciate and respect the fragility of wildlife. What made my museum experience so enjoyable was the interactive components of each exhibit. From having butterflies land on your finger to looking at ocean bacteria under a microscope, I was witnessing nature at work, not just learning about it from a poster. When you see or experience something for yourself, you tend to respect it much more.

Nature and Ethics

The Natural History museum did provide me with the opportunity to view myself as a member of nature rather than superior to it. Every exhibit I entered always tied the information back to the visitor. For example, in the South Florida People and Environments exhibit the visitor learned about how different Native American tribes interacted with estuaries. This made me reflect on how not only the Gainesville community interacts with the environment but also how I personally interact with it. I noticed that younger children and adults alike were enjoying the exhibits as much or even more than I was. My experience did not instill an ethical responsibility to nature in me, it strengthened it. As a Sustainability Studies major, I am constantly learning about the workings of species and various environments and humans' destructive impact. I understand these facts and am constantly working to minimize and reverse our impact. My museum experience reminded me of my responsibility and inspired me to work even harder. It is easy to get carried away with the hustle and bustle of college. To get overwhelmed and lose sight of why I am at this university. The museum brought me back into focus and motivated me to perservere.


The Natural History Museum steps visitors out of their ordinary lives by providing a learning environment that contains information that people do not seek to learn on their own. The typical visitor does not normally have an interest on North Florida waterways or the evolution of fossils but when they come into the museum, they learn about that kind of information in fun and interactive ways. When you take the time to learn about the past, you are able to prevent the mistakes made from earlier peoples from happening again. The Natural History museum shows visitors just how complex and delicate nature is. Realizing the complexity and delicacy makes visitors appreciate the majesty of the natural world much more than when they first entered the museum.

No consent was needed for any photo and they are all my own.
Created By
Dharma Santos-Santiago

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