Nature Activity at FLMNH Maia whelan

Nature on Display: I found the exhibit on the Seminoles appealing and quite interesting. This three-dimensional display of their fishing community made it easier to picture their way of life than simply reading an article. Today, humans buy manufactured tools and have no idea about the process in which they were made. Florida's Native Americans, however, knew how to utilize the land they lived on and its resources to build canoes, make tools, etc. By showing this in a small 3D exhibit, I could put myself in their shoes and better understand life back then.

Nature and Ethics: The interactivity of Butterfly Rainforest allowed for me to view myself as a "member of the biotic community" that Leopold spoke about. When inside the exhibit, I felt that I was immersed in a foreign community and felt that I had to be courteous of its natural inhabitants (the butterflies). Others in the exhibit seemed to share a similar feeling; they looked around in awe at the natural setting and took many photos, but moved through the rainforest gingerly, taking great care not to disrupt the natural environment. This brought to my attention that other species must feel a similar sense of lack of belonging among humans, but to a much larger and unfair extent. People often see the human race as entitled beings, therefore causing us to unreasonably disrupt the lives of innocent species. Instead, I believe we have an ethical responsibility, as the "most advanced" or intelligent species, to make sure that we maintain a healthy relationship with all beings of the earth.

Nature and the Human Spirit: As a college student in the United States, I am often too consumed with my own worries in the present to ever think about life in the past. At the Natural History museum, however, I was reminded that there is so much more to the universe than schoolwork and studying for finals when I saw the fossil of a mastodon. It is unbelievable that we are able to piece together life in the distant past and uncover species that are no longer around today. Though we have discovered a lot, there is still so much mystery in the world that is yet to be uncovered.

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