Museum Musings

Be the Change

If you have not seen the new Science Discovery cart activities about forest ecology and invasive plant species in Atlanta, you need to check them out! If you already have, continue reading to learn more. I’m excited about these activities because I developed them as part of my Girl Scout Gold Award project. This award is equivalent to the Boy Scout Eagle Scout Award and is a great opportunity to positively impact the community. I enjoyed working with the education staff and F.U.N. volunteers on this project and we’re all very proud of the final result.

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Drop by and visit the cart to check out the fun games and artifacts! It’s a great way to learn about the environment. Non-native invasive plants are dangerous to an ecosystem because they spread, outcompeting the unique native species in the region. If you’ve ever driven anywhere in Atlanta, our landscape is covered with fields of kudzu, English ivy, and other non-native plants. While these plants are everywhere, they can be easily overlooked and so can their impact.

Invasive plants are a big problem and hit forests particularly hard. We can all help preserve native landscapes by removing invasive plants from our own yards to prevent their seeds from spreading. While it is important to remove invasive plants, it is just as important to avoid using pesticides when doing so. Chemicals are sometimes necessary to complete the task, but they should be used responsibly. If you want more information about invasive plants, check out my previous post, A Nature Invasion.

The cart activities include great games and artifacts that give visitors a fun opportunity to learn. I’ve seen kids and adults alike have their ‘a-ha’ moments, illustrating this cart has ‘planted a seed.’

You too can plant a seed. If you know a girl scout, encourage her to stay in the program and go for the Gold! Not only will you have a reliable source of Girl Scout cookies, you will help this girl make an impact on her community. I am incredibly thankful to have had such an opportunity. The environment is my passion and I am so proud to have made a small contribution toward its protection.

But you don’t need a Gold Award to change your community. We are all capable of making the world a better place. I hope you’ve been inspired to join the battle against invasive plants and look forward to seeing you at the Science Discovery cart!

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” –Mahatma Gandhi

—Meg Withers, Environmental Education Intern

Written by Fernbank Museum at 10:26

Goose Bumps! The Science of Fear Opening Day 

In celebration of the opening of Fernbank’s new exhibition Goose Bumps! The Science of Fear, the Museum offered a day of fun, hands-on activities designed to complement the themes highlighted in the exhibition.

Here are some highlights:

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Guests were given the opportunity to see and interact with animal ambassadors from Fernbank’s live animal collection. Pictured: FUN volunteer Amanda M. holds a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach.

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Guests were also invited to make their own mini-monster puppet using googly eyes, fuzzy sticks, feathers and their imaginations. Picture: FUN volunteer Audrey Hayes 

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Special guests from rom the Neurobiology of Fear Lab from Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory joined the fun, giving guests an opportunity to see and hold actual brains!

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Guests, and Giggy, had fun using props at the selfie booth, which also printed Goose Bumps souvenir prints!

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The day was also filled with face painting, a phobia matching game and lots of giggles as guests explored the spectacular exhibition.

Goose Bumps! The Science of Fear is on view through on January 4, 2015. Make sure you come explore this exciting, interactive exhibition!
—Brittany Loggins, Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator

Written by Fernbank Museum at 17:26

IMAX Ticket Giveaway

Giggy -Fernbank CHILLSSnap a pic, win some tix! Whether it’s a silly selfie or frighteningly funny group shot, we want to see your photos from the Goose Bumps! The Science of Fear photo stop. 

Share your photo on Twitter or Instagram using the #FernbankCHILLS, or post directly to our Facebook page and automatically be entered to win 2 free IMAX® tickets! 

Caution: Make induce serious giggles.

Need inspiration? Check out our #FernbankCHILLS gallery.

—Deanna Smith, Director of Marketing

Written by Fernbank Museum at 14:05

Volunteer of the Month: October

Eugene -Wilson -300We are pleased to honor Eugene Wilson as our October Volunteer of the Month.

Eugene Wilson has spent much of his 17 years with the Museum working behind the scenes. He began by assisting with the preparation and maintenance of taxidermy, and when that department closed he was quickly recruited as a volunteer with the Facilities Department. Since then, he has kept busy installing and deconstructing exhibitions, making repairs throughout the building and assisting in the workshop.

An avid hunter and angler, Eugene enjoys traveling across both North and Central America seeking salmon, halibut, deer and duck. He has traveled to Alaska on nine occasions for whale watching and fishing near Glacier Bay, and is headed to Montana later this year. His favorite part of volunteering at Fernbank is working with his great friend Jerry Washington, Vice President of Facilities.

Learn more about volunteer opportunities at Fernbank Museum. You can also call us at 404.929.6360 or e-mail

Written by Fernbank Museum at 09:58

Volunteer of the Month: September

Sept -2014-VOTMWe are pleased to honor Renee McConnell as our September Volunteer of the Month.

While Renee has only been volunteering with the Museum for about 18 months, her Fernbank story starts nearly twenty years ago. She first came to the Museum as part of her son's field trip and the impact of that first visit has remained with her. After her son left for college, Renee returned to the Museum as one of our valued Polaris members, assisting as an IMAX® attendant and special events volunteer.

She loves volunteering, and appreciates opportunity it gives to expand her knowledge and to experience both the wonders of nature and the intricacies of different cultures. Her favorite moment at the Museum comes from this year's Reptile Day. She was able to overcome her fear of snakes by observing them closely and asking questions of the exhibitors. "I am very proud that I pushed past my fear to create a long lasting memory," she said.

Learn more about volunteer opportunities at Fernbank Museum. You can also call us at 404.929.6360 or e-mail

See photos from Reptile Day 2014.

Written by Fernbank Museum at 16:27
Welcome to the official blog of Fernbank Museum of Natural History. This blog is an opportunity for the people that keep Fernbank running and constantly expanding, to share stories from their point of view. We hope you’ll enjoy these first-hand, behind-the-scenes glimpses of what goes into keeping a world-class natural history museum running. As always, we’d love to hear your feedback on these stories, to hear your personal experiences and hear any suggestions for topics. Happy reading!