Florida Museum of Natural History Nicole Polisar

Life size display of the Calusa
A scene that depicts Calusa's way of life

Nature on Display: One exhibit that really caught my eye was the portion about the group Calusa. They had a life-sized display outside, shown through a wall of windows, that depicted the home, the typical Calusa family, and the type of land they lived around. This particular display caught my attention because of how the natural light outside illuminated their home land. The museum also had more rooms displaying many aspects of their way of life. I found this exhibit layout to be appealing because it keeps people active and engaged when walking throughout the museum. This exhibit taught me how groups of people hundreds of years ago were so close to nature. For example, they lived in little huts surrounded by trees and lived directly off the land for survival means. One part of the exhibit was a realistic model of how they fished and showed the Calusa on the shore using materials all from nature. The fact that I got to learn so much about the history of Florida in a nontraditional way of teaching really made my experience at the museum enjoyable.

I captured butterflies eating fruit

Nature and Ethics: The museum provided me the opportunity to experience nature how Leopold suggested through the butterfly exhibit. The butterfly exhibit was a section of land outside with gorgeous gardens, paths and benches throughout so that people can be truly immersed within the beauty of the environment. People can sit back and watch nature and insects, specifically butterflies, in their natural habitat. This allows patrons to understand that nature is needed more than for trade, money and status, but that nature is actually living beings home and comfort. Without preserving nature, numerous species of animals will have nowhere to go and ultimately die as a result. I was overcome with a sense of peace when walking through this exhibit because of how beautiful and quiet the land was. I was extremely happy that this museum had a portion where people can interact and see how butterflies live close up. Many people were taking pictures of the breath taking sights and children were loving how many butterflies they could see. My time in this exhibit did instill a feeling of responsibility for taking care of the earth because the land not only is home to animals and insects but our home as well and nature should be treated as such.

An exhibit that immerses you in the undersea environment

Nature and the Human Spirit: The Florida of Natural History museum helps us step out of our regular lives by immersing us in realistic exhibits that consume our senses. For example, as shown in my photo, the exhibit about the marine life surrounding Florida was made to look like patrons were passing by underwater. They had a sound system with ocean sounds vibrating throughout, sharks hung from the ceilings to make it seem like they were swimming above you and the lighting was a brilliant blue to give you the feel of the ocean water. Museum goers step out of their ordinary life of being a human and for a few minutes become one with the sea. This creative and detailed way of creating an exhibit helps us connect better to the subject matter being taught which in return makes us more aware of how we affect or are affected by the subject. Moreover, this connection and awareness to the exhibit’s subject makes us appreciate having the mystery of the natural world by showing us the beauty and incredible depth the world holds.

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