Museum Musings

Volunteer of the Month: May

Paul BuckholdtWe are pleased to honor Paul Buckholdt as our May Volunteer of the Month.

Paul Buckholdt retired from the U.S. Army in 1969. Since then he has been involved in a variety of interesting projects, including carpentry, electrical work, theatrical photography and computer programming. He is also a Ham, or amateur radio operator, and often spends his time communicating with police for first emergency services during foot and bicycle races. He also uses his radio to connect to other Hams around the globe, including a member of the US Navy stationed in Antarctica.  

An avid rider, you can often find Paul on one of his old BMW motorcycles. He enjoys taking long trips across the country as well as watching motorcycle races.  

Paul is a long-time supporter of Fernbank, having visited routinely since the Museum opened in 1992. In this third year of volunteering, he says the current special exhibition Whales: Giants of the Deep is his favorite so far.

For information on how to become a volunteer, call 404.929.6360 or e-mail

Written by Fernbank Museum at 13:56

Celebrate Easter and Passover by Visiting Jerusalem

403x403-Jerusalem.jpgDue to popular demand, the captivating giant screen film Jerusalem, presented by National Geographic Entertainment, has been extended through the Easter and Passover holidays at Fernbank’s IMAX® Theatre.

Jerusalem immerses audiences in a spectacular cinematic journey—soaring high above the Holy Land and plunging deep into the vibrant Old City—so they can experience as never before the iconic sites cherished by billions.

Special screenings of Jerusalem will be offered in Fernbank’s IMAX® Theatre Fridays at 7pm and Sundays at 5pm through April 27. IMAX tickets are $13 for adults, $12 for students and seniors, $11 for children 12 and younger, and $8 for museum members.

These special screenings will likely sell out. Advance purchase is highly recommended online or by calling 404.929.6400. 


Written by Fernbank Museum at 14:07

Spend Spring Break with Us

Do the kids have warm-weather wiggles to work out? We’ve got the cure! Here are the top 10 reasons to spend spring break at Fernbank Museum.

10. Take a VIP tour. Download the newly updated Fernbank App to guide you through the Museum and discover more in-depth information about exhibitions. It’s like a pocket guide to Fernbank!

9. Grab your baskets. Hop on over for Fernbank’s Dinosaur Egg Hunt (April 12), featuring age-appropriate timed egg hunts, thousands of prize-filled eggs, special activities, and more.

8. Get hands-on. Special hands-on programming will be offered in the Naturalist Center. Activities vary from animal encounters to science explorations and more. Dates and time vary; look for the “Today at Fernbank” sign when you arrive for specific details.

7. Go star gazing. Explore the nighttime sky in The Star Gallery, a unique space featuring 542 twinkling stars.

6. Experience a close encounter of the dinosaur kind. Come face-to-face with the world’s largest dinosaurs, Argentinosaurus and Giganotosaurus, in the permanent exhibition Giants of the Mesozoic.

5. Explore the great outdoors INDOORS. Fernbank NatureQuest turns kids into explorers, scientists and adventurers through hundreds of hands-on activities, live animal displays and engaging encounters.

4. Treat yourself to an island adventure. Discover an extraordinary world above and below the sea in Journey to the South Pacific, now showing in Fernbank’s IMAX® Theatre.

3. Meet nature’s greatest explorers. The new film Island of Lemurs: Madagascar journeys to a world beyond imagination, filled with strange creatures you will never forget. (Opens April 4)

2. Have a whale of a time. Explore the wonderful world of whales inside-out in the new exhibition Whales: Giants of the Deep.

1. Enjoy FREE Museum admission. Become a Fernbank member and enjoy an entire year of free Museum admission, discounts on IMAX® tickets and more. Family levels start at $120.

Coming Soon

Fernbank’s summer series 97 Day of Play returns in May with an incredible line-up of special programming including Island Adventure Day (May 31), Superhero Day (June 15), Reptile Day (July 12), Dinosaur Birthday Bash (August 23) and more! 

Written by Fernbank Museum at 15:46

Volunteer of the Month: March

Ellouise-Bryan.jpgWe are pleased to honor Ellouise Bryan as our March Volunteer of the Month.

Ellouise has been with Fernbank Museum since we opened on October 5, 1992! She joined us as a Greeter at Fernbank shortly after retiring from Dekalb Medical Center after thirty-one years as a nurse in the ER and ICU.

Ellouise loves working with people and especially loves to be where things are happening. In addition to volunteering as a Greeter each week, Ellouise also sings in a chorus group at a church in Rockdale county, where her late husband was a deacon. She has also volunteered with the Dekalb Convention and Visitors Bureau. Ellouise loves talking to our visitors, and one of her favorite memories from her time at Fernbank is a volunteer group trip to Charleston, NC.

For information on how to become a volunteer, call 404.929.6360 or e-mail

Written by Fernbank Museum at 16:54
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Not Your Average Day of School

As exciting as High School can be, often the routine of school, homework, sleep, repeat gets monotonous. Fortunately, our high school presents a unique opportunity twice a year to break that monotony and do something different for a month. We get to take unique classes, or take on an internship opportunity. Our something different was working as Junior Environmental Interns at Fernbank Museum of Natural History, which proved to be more of an interesting experience than we had imagined.


Every day, we arrived at Fernbank at 1:30pm and didn’t waste any time getting back into the woods. It was so refreshing, even in the frigid temperatures, to breathe in the fresh air and appreciate the beauty of the overlook forest the museum has to offer. As soon as we had our gloves and bags in tow, we’d descend the earthy path down the hillside into the woods and start pulling English Ivy that covered the ground and trees alike. We learned that English Ivy, although commonly used for decoration, is actually considered an invasive species in our region of Georgia. This means that, if left uncontrolled, English Ivy could expand to cover the grounds of the forest and up through trees—strangling them—as well as, blocking sunlight and resources from ground plants. Now, don’t get us wrong, ivy is a beautiful plant, but it is definitely something that needs to be regulated for the sake of the forest. And that’s where we come in. Every day, vine by vine, we pulled the ivy off and out of the ground, freeing the soil and native plants from their pest.


From this important non-native invasive species removal, we’ve truly come to appreciate the value of environmental conservation. Not only is the environment breathtaking on a larger scale, but up close you can see the smaller thriving plants and organisms that call the forest their home. Also, this forest and many like it around us provide valuable resources we sometimes take for granted. Tree roots help prevent soil erosion and keep our world in place. Forests play a valuable role in the water cycle, without which nothing could survive. Trees, of course, provide us with oxygen in the air we breathe every day. Invertebrates in the soil help break down and recycle organic waste compounds.


The realization that by pulling ivy we could make a difference in keeping a forest healthy and functioning made doing this job everyday almost effortless. Combined with being outside in a beautiful environment, being active and doing things with our own hands, and spending time together as friends and making new friends at the museum, working at Fernbank Museum of Natural History has been an experience we will never forget.

Fernbank offers many volunteer opportunities, including restoration, throughout the year. Learn more about Fernbank’s volunteer program.

Griffin, Sandy and Sam, Junior Environmental Interns

Written by Fernbank Museum at 09:38
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!