Nature on Display
At the museum, one exhibit that I found particularly enticing was the Butterfly Rain forest exhibit. The primary appeal for the exhibit is the aesthetic appeal for me because the artistic beauty of the environment and butterflies themselves is something I value highly. I prefer to approach life with the critical lens of art connoisseur so the design naturally caught my attention. I understand now the different functions of butterfly wing patterns thanks to the explanation of the tour guide. Generally, it was nice to be around a quiet natural environment as that gives me a sense of peace.
Picture of the saber-tooth tiger skeleton
Nature and Ethics
One could easily make the argument that displaying the bones of a deceased creature for study might be morally controversial. In the case of the museum however, the amount of information and the level of detail in describing these displays made it so that Leopold's view of understanding and becoming one with our environment is being closely observed by the museum. I believe that by studying these creatures, we immortalize them and show them respect. I think that if we intend to view ourselves as a member of the biotic community, we must equate the lives of animals with ourselves. As I went through the exhibit however, I noticed people also tending to glorify the unity of humanity and nature. The museum allowed its visitors to interact with nature by sharing information with information cards and intelligent guides as well as allowing interaction via environmental immersion with the Butterfly Rain Forest exhibit. I think that after my experience in the museum, my appreciation for nature has gone up and my sense of responsibility towards general upkeep of my environment is now greatly increased due to the level of connection and understanding that I now have.
Bananas placed outside in the Butterfly Rain forest exhibit
Nature and the Human Spirit
In our world today, we learn and interact with the world primarily on a computer or cell phone screen. By allowing us to have direct visualization of creatures and their environments, we are able to transcend the restrictions in learning capabilities brought upon us by the new age of technological "advancements." It helps us better understand that we are animals and creatures of the world just as the things that are on display are. We should appreciate the ambiguity of our existence by attempting to eliminate it. In doing research, interacting with museum exhibits, and becoming more sympathetic towards our fellow earthlings, we create a better world for everyone in the natural world of our planet.
When visiting the museum, I noticed that the majority of the items on display were very well preserved and represented with plenty of information. The hard work done by the staff and museum to connect its community with nature is a prime example of unity between our urbanized and natural worlds.