FLMNH - Northwest Florida: Waterways and Wildlife - Caves: Natural Spaces in Rock - Haideotriton Haven
Nature on Display: Museums about natural history are designed to engage people in nature and to display information about various animals, plants, history about Earth, etc. in an enjoyable way to remember what people learned. One exhibit that was particularly appealing to me is the Caves: Natural Spaces in Rock from Northwest Florida featuring Haideotriton Haven. I found this exhibit appealing because of all the features and activity that happens within a cave. This site captured my attention as it was a life-size cave making it feel very real as if we are walking through a real cave. The cave included many features of a cave, such as cliff hangers, bats, water, frogs, bugs, fish, reptiles, speleothems (cave formations from dripping water), etc. I really appreciate the dim lighting and size/shape details which also make the design appealing. It is very dangerous to visit a real cave so we rarely get to experience it. Seeing all these exhibits in person made the education about various natural historical aspects easier as we get to experience them in person. Other mediums like pictures would not have given the same understanding. The experience of walking through a cave and discovering the natural aspects within a cave, including animals, plants, and water was fascinating. I found the knowledge and in-person experiences very enjoyable at this museum.
FLMNH - Butterfly Rainforest
Nature and Ethics: If we don't learn to appreciate the land for its natural value rather than economic value, then Leopold believes that conservation efforts will fail. He believes we should “love, respect, and admire” the land and we should view ourselves as members of the “biotic community” rather than as “conquers of the land.” The Butterfly Rainforest in the Natural History Museum gave me the opportunity to experience nature in the way that Leopold recommends. Walking through the Butterfly Rainforest made me feel relaxed. Seeing all the colorful butterflies in their natural habitat and the various plants and waterfall was fascinating. I sensed the flying butterflies, temperatures, greenery, moisture, etc. I also read the information boards about butterflies and their flight, temperatures, drinking, feeding, coloration, reproduction, rainforest layers, and night in the rainforest. As I went through the Butterfly Rainforest and the museum, I thought about how important and beneficial nature can be to many plants and animals and even people as it provides a relaxing environment. Also, these natural places are homes for plants and animals so it is unethical to destroy or damage them for human and economic benefits. I believe other people reacted to these exhibits in a similar way by appreciating nature and its activity. The overall Natural History Museum, especially the Butterfly Rainforest allows visitors to connect with nature by experiencing it directly. My experience in the museum definitely instilled an ethical responsibility to nature of preserving and conserving it or at least not hurting it as Leopold imagines.
FLMNH - Florida Fossils: Evolution of Life and Land - American Mastodon
Nature and the Human Spirit: "Heschel believes that we need to take time in our daily lives to connect to the eternal so we can recognize the mystery and majesty of the Universe." The Natural History museum helps us step out of our ordinary lives by showing us what exists in the natural world beyond our homes, work spaces, and education. It presents aspects of the world that we wouldn't usually experience or see. For example, I found the fossils of the American Mastodon special because it is now extinct so we would never see it in person. It is amazing to think that this huge animal once lived in the places we live now. The Natural History Museum helps us better understand who we are by questioning human existence and showing that there are a plethora of other plants, animals, creatures, etc. that exist in the same world that we humans live in. The museum also definitely helps us better appreciate the mystery and majesty of the natural world by helping us realize that we humans are not the only creatures that exist and that we should help protect this natural world to support other plants, animals, habitats, etc. as well.