Nature on Display: the Estuary Exhibit
The estuaries that accompany mangrove forests on our coasts are important areas of biodiversity and breeding grounds for marine life. I found the design of this exhibit appealing because it shrunk me down and really made me experience the estuaries. It obviously captured my attention through its ability to make me feel as though I were underwater; for a short while, I too was a fish. What I learned about the nature world in this exhibit is that there is more than meets the eye. We, as humans, might just see the water below the mangroves, but there is far more than meets the eye. This is an ever important place where new marine life starts. I very much enjoyed being fully immersed under the sea to get a true sense of how important these areas are.
Brandan and the Butterflies
Leopold believes that we need to view ourselves as "members of the biotic community" rather than "conquers of the land". The Butterfly Rainforest exhibit allows us to do just that. An artificial garden for the butterflies to roam, this exhibit allows us to step into their environment and experience these beautiful creatures in their element. This exhibit, however, is just one of the many at the museum that allows us to be fully integrated into nature, thus allowing us to truly appreciate its intrinsic beauty. The interactive, larger than life, and well-designed exhibits at the museum captivated me and many others. It was quite obvious that the design for interaction allowed a truly appreciation. A stark environmentalist already, this trip only further instilled ethical responsibility into me. I left remembering why I care so much about the environment. As a member of this global community, it is up to me to do my part in order to ensure that the beauty of nature is still around for my children, and generations after.
The Human Spirit
I can't stress enough how well the Natural History museum was designed. It was captivating, interactive, and informative. By creating such realistic and extraordinary exhibits, the designers of the museum allowed me to feel as though I were literally transported somewhere else. Whether it was in the Butterfly Garden, the estuary exhibit, or even the realistic mangrove room, I was able to picture myself realistically there. By feeling fully immerse in my experience, I could appreciate the majesty and regain an appreciation of the beauty of nature without ever leaving Gainesville.