Florida Museum of Natural History By: Jordyn McKenzie

Nature on Display

As I walked through the museum one exhibit in particular stuck out to me, Northwest Florida Waterways and Wildlife. The design of this particular exhibit started with the coast line showing detailed representatations of the wildlife, then it moved into indepth analysis of the plants and insects that support life, after the plants it showed how the Indian populace interacted with the land in a peaceful manner. My favorite part of this exhibit was the cave because it seemed like an accurate representation with the use of lighting and sound effects, it also reminded me that there are lifeforms in all shapes and sizes, in varying places, and that it is our responsibility to live in a way that doesn't objectify the land and its inhabitants. I have never been in a cave, and I think books and movies can only tell you so much information, being able to actually gain the feeling of walking into one proved to be effective because I felt immersed in the environment. I enjoyed being able to come in contact with all varities of life through these simulations. I gained a deeper appreciation, respect, and need to protect these different environments or at least live more codominantly.

Nature and Ethics

The Natural History Museum provided numerous ways in which we could experience nature. There was the Butterfly museum, the fossil exhibit, the Southern and Northwestern waterway and wildlife exhibits, all of which brought us closer to the different ways creatures live as well as how we should interact with them. I feel like being able to actually experience these environments by seeing there recreation allowed me to form a true appreciation and respect for the land. It is no longer just what we see with the eye but also includes all the ecosystems we don't observe. As I walked through the museum I sensed a theme, each exhibit incorporated some type of human interaction, trying to show us that we can coexist without destroying other life forms. I was able to form a deeper appreciation for all the little things that make life sustainable, as well as realizing that there are little ecosystems present in every form, fighting to survive just like us. It was amazing getting to hear the sounds of the oceans and caves, to see how the differences in lighting effected my perception of the life forms, and just physically being able to see the beauty of the natural world and everything it possesses made me feel more in tuned with life. The experience was made even better with the way in which the appreciation was spread among the many people present within the museum. There is beauty in identifying with something in nature along side other individuals, it unites you with someone you may have never met. The exhibits formed in me a much deeper understanding of the environment and its importance, as well as a need to help in its preservation.

Nature and the Human Spirit

The Natural History Museum helps us to step out of our ordinary lives by connecting us to the extraordinary changes that have taken place with time, by creating in depth experiences with different types of environments, and by putting us in actual contact with live insects to fully see the life that lives all around us. The museum exhibits help us to realize that there is so much more to life than just humanity. We are but fragments of a larger whole. With that said, it is important to note that we weren't the first beings on the earth either. I think these exhibits help us realize that although we may see ourselves as superior we are in no way superior to any being, there is so much variety that it is impossible to call one trait superior over another. We are not on earth to destroy its inhabitants, but to coexist; to make sure that we can figure out ways to make that happen. Being able to see all these different fossils and interactions, I am able to partially grasp the enormity of all of life. There is so much more out there that we will never be able to fully understand, but the beauty is masked in the mystery.


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