The Natural History Museum Abie King

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Natural history museums have always been my preferred type of museum to visit. I prefer to learn about the natural world in a historical context than i do many other things. The museum was overall a positive experience. It wasn't extremely crowded which allowed me to enjoy it even more than if it were busy. The process of getting to the museum was very easy and there was parking available so it was not stressful getting there. Walking into the museum was pleasant and clean and the people were very welcoming when I first walked in. I really enjoyed seeing so many different species (dead or alive) and I enjoyed learning through a very visual manner.

Nature on Display

These images are from the sustainability related exhibit in the museum

This exhibit appealed to me the most during my experience. My first impression of the design of this exhibit was an overwhelming feeling of nostalgia. This exhibit is set up like a small playhouse in size. I walked in and saw a fake fridge, fake cabinets, a fake window, lots of colors, etc and it reminded me of being a child. This made it very approachable and pleasant in itself. They had a lot of cartoon images of food and other household items which also reminded me a lot of Minnie Mouse's house at Disney World. (Another thing to feel nostalgic about). The nostalgia and bright colors are definitely something to draw the attention of your average person, but the main point that drew me in was the sign reading "Our Energy Future" right outside of it. I am a Sustainability Studies major so it is very important to me that we figure out more sustainable practices in our everyday lives. There were a lot of statistics and little tidbits of information scattered all throughout the little house that I didn't completely know. I think that this exhibit, although not mocking nature in its design, teaches a lot about the natural world. By mocking the design of an everyday american household, it puts humans in their usual environment but yet surrounds them with a lot of very relevant and applicable information regarding climate change, sustainable energy, buying locally, etc which is very important for the preservation of our natural world. I enjoyed the easy of access at the museum when it came to learning new facts, or using any of the interactive exhibits, or just looking at the exhibits. There was no difficulty for me.

Nature and Ethics

"What Stories can the Midden Tell us?" Exhibit
(Horrible quality, I know)

I think this exhibit definitely reinforced what Leopold says about conservation. He calls on us to "love, respect, and admire the land" and wants us to view ourselves as part of the "biotic community" and this is definitely an example of our impact on the rest of the biotic community. It is a little hard to see, but at the top of this picture you can see the layer of soil with a glass bottle, aluminum cans, and a bunch of other man made trash which cannot decompose. This exhibit said so much about our current lifestyles, especially considering that the only time frame in which there was human made trash in the soil was from the past couple hundred years until now. We didn't use to live in this manner. This exhibit, I believe, would have this type of effect on anyone who looks at it. I think most people would realize how horrible we are to the planet as opposed to how we used to interact with it just by looking at this exhibit. The museum itself didn't instill an ethical responsibility to nature in me, I already had this responsibility in tact, however, it definitely reinforced it even more with this exhibit.

Nature and the Human Spirit

This specific exhibit felt like another world. All of the different sea animal statues and pictures was incredible. When I walked in here I really felt as though I was able to interact with this whole population of creatures that live in a habitat so different from mine. I began to think more about how bizarre it is that we humans have put so much work into figuring out ways in which we can get ourselves underwater in a way that still sustains our lives. You don't see whales trying to live on the dry land. We also go out of our way to take animals from within this habitat that can't even sustain us and consume them on dry land. It made me think a lot about our relationship to the rest of the world and how I truly feel about the idea of people eating seafood (as if finding nemo didn't already make me hesitant). This helped me deeply understand my values and feelings towards other species all over the planet.

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