Nature on Display
When first walking into the ocean exhibit I was intrigued by the colors and realistic features. I felt as though I was actually underwater while time was paused and I was able to examine every aspect in detail and learn more about it than I would just observing the actual ocean. Walking into this exhibit felt calming, and as though I were in another world due to the tunnel-like design. Through the design of this interactive exhibit I was able to observe how the creatures of a mangrove system interact and read about how they help each other function. If the same information were to be displayed through a painting I would not have been as compelled to stop and observe all of its features, or take the time to decipher the small details in order to learn about the mangrove's marine-life interactions. I am a visual and interactive learner, so being able to walk through exhibits that were appealing to the eye made me more eager to learn about the things I was walking past rather than just glancing and walking past as I would in an art museum.
Nature and Ethics
The biggest rule in any museum is "no touching", this rule applied in the Florida Museum of Natural History. Thus rule forces us to only observe and appreciate the nature that we are there to learn about, allowing us to experience the nature in the way Leopold recommends. I love nature and appreciate it everyday, but being able to learn more in depth about the nature I come across everyday, I felt grateful. As students of the University of Florida, we are very lucky to have access to this museum and the ability to learn about Florida's natural world. There are many people in the state of florida who are blind to the nature around them and don't have the opportunity to learn about it and appreciate it. When walking through the exhibits I felt lucky to be learning more about the state I was born and raised in. When walking through the butterfly garden I noticed young kids and adults intrigued by the butterflies and fully enjoying standing still while watching they fly around gracefully. On the other hand, I was trying to get through that exhibit as fast as possible, while I appreciate the existence of butterflies and their role in the environment, I do not enjoy their presence near as much as others. This butterfly exhibit allowed visitors to be isolated in nature for a short time and experience how butterflies interact with nature. Before visiting the museum I had an immense dislike and fear of butterflies, but after being forced by a friend to face my biggest fear and walk through the butterfly exhibit I gained more appreciation for the beautiful insects, but I am still afraid of them. I was also able to learn about their importance to the natural world, and that they aren't just money makers for those huge butterfly gardens that so many people pay to visit.
Nature and the Human Spirit
Orchid in the Butterfly garden
While walking through the Florida Museum of Natural History, I momentarily forgot about the world that was outside and fully submersed myself in the world that I was walking through in the museum. The museum allows people to step out of their lives for as long as they are there due to the carefully designed, intriguing exhibits they provide. The best example is the ocean exhibit; when walking through it I felt as though I were experiencing another world, I was so fascinated by the features of the exhibit and eager to learn about the mysterious world that so many know so little about, that I didn't think of anything else. Being immersed in the knowledge of Florida's natural world in this museum allows us to understand that nature was here before us and will be gone if we don't learn to appreciate it. When walking through our daily lives there only few people who stop to appreciate the wildlife everywhere, and more importantly respect it. After visiting this museum I felt conscious of the nature around me everyday, and made sure that I respected it. There are so many things that people don't know about our natural world that scientists are working to discover, which is one of the many things learned by everyone after they have walked through the whole museum.