Good Life Nature Activity at FLMNH Joshua Fullerton

NATURE ON DISPLAY

During my visit to the Florida Museum of Natural History, there were many times that I felt very immersed in the natural world, seeing it in a memorable way that was informative as well as entertaining. The exhibits recreated natural settings in immersive ways, making me feel as if I was not only present in the environment, but also as if I was a participant in the ecosystem that I was learning about. The exhibit that did this the most for me was the aquatic life exhibit. It was appealing because its design was the most effective in making me feel as if I was actually within the ecosystem because the room was lit to feel as if one was underwater, and all the aquatic life was up-scaled by a factor of six. It captured my attention by immediately changing my surroundings into a 360-degree view of the world in a way that I could never see it in real life. Through this, along with the write-ups in the exhibit, I learned about the workings of an aquatic ecosystem in a very personal way, where I could look up and see what I was learning about, allowing me to understand the information on a visceral level that would not be possible in another medium.

NATURE AND ETHICS

The Natural History Museum provided me with the opportunity to experience nature in a way in which I could appreciate and admire it for its beauty and significance with its exhibit on Floridian ecosystems (mangroves by the shore and relevant wildlife). I felt a sort of "at home" feeling in the exhibits of the Natural History Museum due to the fact that they depicted ecosystems that I was very used to seeing, having grown up near the coasts of Clearwater, FL. However, at the same time, the exhibit allowed me to connect to nature in a way that I had not before by opening my eyes to the ever present issues in an ecosystem I had grown up with. This instilled in me an ethical responsibility to nature, not only for the preservation of biodiversity, but also for the the preservation of the nature that I have come to call home.

NATURE AND THE HUMAN SPIRIT

The most memorable experience of mine in the Florida Museum of Natural History by far is my visit to the butterfly garden. I understood Heschel's belief when I entered this space, as I had never experienced nature's majesty in such close quarters before. I'd seen mountains and rice terraces and endless rivers, but never before had I been so close to something so perfectly delicate and crafted as a butterfly. This experience helped me to step out of my ordinary life and appreciate the little things that nature has to offer. It truly opened my eyes to the mystery, majesty and perfection of nature; witnessing something so simple and delicate as the life of a butterfly puts things into perspective, and shows that even the tiniest things, like a vein in a wing or its color, has meaning and purpose beyond what that organism can ever know.

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Joshua Fullerton
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