Florida Museum of Natural History Kavitha Komatineni

Nature on Display: When I was younger my brother and I were always obsessed with fossils. Dinosaur fossils were the most interesting to us but we always found the stories told by fossils in general to be the most fascinating. I believe this is why I was attracted the most to "The Hall of Florida Fossils: Evolution of Life and Land". What I liked most about this particular exhibit was how open it was. Due to the size of the attractions within the exhibit everything was much larger and grander than any other part of the museum. The way it was set up allows viewers to explore the last 65 million years of Florida's history. It began when Florida was under water and lead to when humans took their first steps on the state. As a result, I learned much more than I expected going into the exhibit in the first place. In the part of the exhibit depicted in the picture I really enjoyed how it took up a whole wall, and I appreciated how each fossil was placed side by side so I could see the diversity that existed during that time.

Nature and Ethics: Last semester I took a sustainability course here at the University of Florida. During the course we talked a lot about the appreciation of nature and saving our Earth for future generations. We too discussed Leopold's outlook on nature and his philosophy to "love, respect, and admire" the land. At the end of this class I emerged with a better understanding of nature and an even greater appreciation. Walking through the Florida Museum of Natural History I I felt this feeling once more. With the butterfly exhibit and glass walls that allow viewers to see the work of researchers, the museum unknowingly creates a connection between the viewers and nature. The serenity of the exhibits and the information provided supplies a one-on-one relationship with the nature surrounding us. This somewhat forces us to take the time to recognize the importance of the land around us and its relevant history. Before this experience in the museum I already felt an ethical responsibility to nature but any opportunity in which I get to experience it as closely as I did here will always be treasured.

Nature and the Human Spirit: As a child one of my goals in life was to have a butterfly land on me like the ones you see in the pictures, so when I entered the Butterfly Sanctuary I felt an extraordinary feeling. If it weren't for me attending the museum I never would have experienced the things I did. The exotic butterflies, plants, and culture all around the museum are not things you can see in your ordinary life. It takes a curiosity that forces you out of your comfort zone to seek information only a museum can provide. If it weren't for these assignments I am not sure if I would have taken time out of my days to view the museum, but i am glad I did. Museums, nature, history and science help us understand the mysteries of the world and piece together the unexplainable. Museums allow you to explore what you never thought you would be interested in. For me, the frog exhibit excited me as I learned about the variety of frog species there are in the world and their role in the environment. The ranges in size and color between each frog was surprising and I got to learn about something I do not know anything about. I believe the more you learn about the unknown the closer you get to an educated and more tolerant lifestyle.

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