My Visit to the Florida Museum of Natural History By: Sabrina Ochoa

Introduction

Amongst my friends, I am probably the least intelligent of them all in regards to the natural world. I immerse myself in nature, but mostly for short periods of time that immediately allows me to go back to what I am used to, my comfort zone. Despite this, when I entered the Florida Museum of Natural History, I was instantly more excited to view my life as a part of the natural world. My experience pushed me to be excited about stepping outside of my comfort zone and experiencing nature more holistically.

Nature on Display

"The Hall of Florida Fossils: Evolution of Life and Land"

This exhibit captivated me with its intricate, large fossils. It allowed me to take a step back and view my life as a small blip amongst all other things in nature. Often times, it can be easy to forget that we are living through a time that not only uses history to grow, but also creates a foundation for the future. This exhibit reminded me, and taught me to think about life as living amongst nature rather than separately. Fossils are proof of the roots of discovery which brought our world today to its current stance. This is something I was continuously reminded of during my experience at FLMNH and I am confident that if I had not gone to the museum, I would not have had the same learning experience.

Nature and Ethics

"The Butterfly Rainforest"

"The Butterfly Rainforest" was an exhibit that brought the learning of museums to life. Filled with plants, butterflies, and birds from all over the world, it is a place where cultures mix which allows visitors to view nature in agreement with Leopold. As a child, I had an odd fear of butterflies, so when I stepped foot into the Butterfly Rainforest, I literally stepped outside of my comfort zone. When I did, I experienced something wonderful; I forgot my worries and was able to focus on the world around me and admired the butterflies as they flew about. It was amusing to see people of all ages staring in wonder at nature's creations and it felt as though the exhibit brought us all together. Needless to say I am no longer afraid of these delicate and natural creatures. I admire their beauty and fragility, and just as Leopold states, feel a responsibility to protect creatures of the natural world.

Nature and the Human Spirit

"The Hall of Florida Fossils: Evolution of Life and Land"
"Northwest Florida: Waterways and Wildlife"
"South Florida People and Environments"

Similar to my reaction to the shark fossils, these exhibits continually created a holistic sphere where I found myself giving my life perspective. The exceptional part, in my opinion, about natural history is that anyone who sees its exhibits can relate to it and build upon the knowledge that cultural, scientific, and natural roots tie us all together.

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