Follow “Lindsay in the Arctic” on a New Alaska Glacier Adventure!

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Hello again! After my Lindsay in the Arctic expedition last year, I am now embarking on an Alaskan adventure! The University of Alaska Fairbanks is holding an International Summer School in Glaciology, and I will be participating as the Instructor for Science Communication. Taking place this August 2014 in Alaska’s Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, it is truly an international program, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, The Glaciology Exchange Program GlacioEx, the International Association of Cryospheric Sciences, and the Geophysical Institute of the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

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Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

The goal of the course is to provide graduate students with access to firsthand research frontiers in glaciology, including remote sensing, glacier geology and hydrology, glacier dynamics, surging and tidewater glaciers and ice streams, glacier response to climate change, and more.

Twenty-seven graduate students from 9 countries who focus on glacier-related research will join 9 instructors for 10 days at the Wrangell Mountains Center in McCarthy, Alaska. Instructors will be joining from the University of Alaska, the University of Birmingham in the UK, the University of Oslo in Norway, Alaska Pacific University Anchorage, and the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science in Miami (that’s me).

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Countries represented by participating instructors and students

There is a good reason why the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science in Miami is participating in this summer school on glaciers – and that is sea level rise.

Much of the general public is probably not aware of the research being conducted on glaciers, nor how this research may apply to their own lives and environments on the other side of the continent or world.  The oceans connect us all, and here in Miami we are particularly attuned to the potential impacts of sea level rise on our beaches and reefs, and the availability of our abundant freshwater.  Melting glaciers and ice are one reason sea levels are rising, and the Museum would like to connect you to cutting edge research on the subject.  One of the ways we do this is to connect the public with the scientists engaged in this research, and this Glaciology Summer School is an extraordinary opportunity to do that. As an instructor, I will be expanding on the Museum’s local Science Communication Fellows program. I will work with scientists on skills and strategies to effectively communicate their research to the public, and they will share not only their research on glaciers but also their Alaskan adventure with all of you!

And that is what you will get to see on the Lindsay in the Arctic blog – in real time! See what they’re doing, you’re your questions, and follow along!  And I will help guide the process, so that everyone will understand what brings a Science Curator from Miami, who still lives above sea level, to an Alaskan glacier.

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Broad Key, Florida

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Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Alaska

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MUVE and Wells Fargo #GreenTeam ‘Team Up’ at Virginia Key

On Saturday, July 12, Wells Fargo attended a Museum Volunteers for the Environment (MUVE) habitat restoration event and presented the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science with a $74,542 grant award through its Environmental Solutions for Communities grant program.

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The Wells Fargo grant, in addition to $125,000 donated to MUVE in 2013, is supporting volunteer-led environmental restoration activities at Virginia Key North Point, a highly diverse barrier island just off the coast of downtown Miami. North Point hosts an active sea turtle nesting beach, dunes, freshwater wetlands and acres of coastal hardwood forest. The area is being transformed into one of Miami’s only public spaces specifically designated for recreational use and the conservation of flora and fauna. Only three months ago, the beach was suffocated in invasive plants and unusable. In the past month, volunteers have planted 18,000 sea oats and loggerhead turtles have laid seven nests. Adjacent to cultural landmark Miami Marine Stadium, North Point is an ecological treasure Miami can be proud of.

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The Wells Fargo #GreenTeam joined MUVE to replant sea oats on the dune at Virginia Key North Point, stabilizing the area with native vegetation. Earlier volunteer efforts at the site involved volunteers in removing invasive plant species and establishing a baseline for monitoring future improvements to the site. To read coverage of the event via El Nuevo Herald, click here.

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Great Horned Owls Now at the Falcon Batchelor Bird of Prey Center

ghowexhibit3Birds of prey have predators too (including humans), and they too can get get sick, injured and orphaned. But the human team at the Falcon Batchelor Bird of Prey Center at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science is dedicated to helping birds of prey heal and recuperate. The Center focuses on ecological research and the rehabilitation and release of injured birds of prey, and includes a unique outdoor experience for guests that features exhibits with live alligators, crocodiles, turtles, tortoises and amazing birds of prey such as bald eagles, hawks and owls. Specializing in raptors that are either native to Florida and/or migrate through Florida, the Museum has cared for thousands of injured, sick and orphaned birds since 1991. Almost half of these have been released back into the wild. When it is determined that a raptor can no longer survive in the wild, it is taken in and cared for by the Museum.

This month, the Museum has unveiled a new exhbit in the Wildlife Center featuring great horned owls, developed entirely by Museum staff. As guests step outside, past the bald eagle and turkey vulture, they will come across what appears to be an empty enclosure full of trees. However, upon closer inspection, they will notice two great horned owls – it may take a minute to find them, because these magnificent birds have natural camouflage to blend in with their environment. The owls are non-flighted, non-releasable rehab birds which were acquired from other rehab facilities around the state of Florida. The owls’ enclosure has been planted with native plant species found in areas where great horned owls live naturally, such as slash pine, red cedar and beauty berry. In addition to the native plant species, the area includes natural water features so the birds may drink and bathe as they would in the wild. The exhibit will constantly grow and develop as more non–releasable birds arrive to the Center, so keep visiting and see how many owls you can spot!

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It’s Preschool Science Time!

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Young visitors to the Museum’s Discovery Room are now treated to a brand new Busy Bee Puppet Story with sing-a-long songs, and the chance to join a hands-on activity to make their own model of a bee.

We have a few people to thank for that. First is the College Knowledge and Careers program, funded by JP Morgan Chase. Through this program high students in our Upward Bound Math and Science Center program are working as summer interns with Museum staff to gain work experience in a museum setting, and to learn how to engage families and our youngest museum visitors in the amazing world of science.

Next is the Museum’s ECHOS (Early Childhood Hands-On Science)  comprehensive preschool program. Want to learn more about busy buzzing bees, or even take a bee story home with you? The storybook used for the Busy Bee Puppet Story is an original ECHOS storybook, and is available for purchase at the Museum box office. You can find more about ECHOS bees materials at Busy Buzzing Bees.

Preschool Science Time continues on weekends for the rest of the month of July, from 1-5 pm in the Discovery Room.  Don’t forget to check out our real busy buzzing bees in our Museum’s bee hive, donated by the Junior League of Miami.

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Puppet Story[3]

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Feathers to the Stars Summer Camp – Register Now!

Summer Camp – Feathers to the Stars!
Register Now!
July 28 – August 1
Grades 4 – 8

Have you ever thought about ancient humans, gazing up at birds, perhaps imagining what it might be like to fly? How did the first pioneers of flight create blimps and gliders and airplanes that succeeded in allowing us to join birds in the sky? In the short few decades following, we found ways to fly around the world and build rockets that took us to the Moon… Do you think humans can meet any challenge?

The Feathers to the Stars exhibit, being developed for our new Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, will take visitors on a journey of flight, from dinosaurs to birds to airplanes to rockets to ideas that may now seem like science fiction, but may well someday turn into science fact. Along the way, visitors can follow in the footsteps of the pioneers of flight, by building, testing, and flying their own aircraft designs. And if your design doesn’t fly, don’t worry, you’re in good company with many flight pioneers who had to try and try again before reaching the sky!

But you don’t have to wait until our new Museum opens to experience Feathers to the Stars! Young people from grade 4-8 can join our brand new Feathers to the Stars summer camp class right now. They will meet fantastic birds in our Wildlife Center, design motor-powered paper airplanes that they can take home with them, visit the Goodyear Hangar to watch a blimp take off into the sky, and design a mission to… anywhere in the Universe that their imagination and flying contraptions can take them.

Summer Camp – Feathers to the Stars!
Register Now!
July 28 – August 1
Grades 4 – 8

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Meet one of the earliest flying creatures…

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Watch a blimp take off…

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Design a mission to….?

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MUVE-ing Along

On July 11th, volunteers from Miami Dade College’s Earth Ethics Institute, Citizens for a Better South Florida, and Florida International University’s Biscayne Bay Campus Summer Camp planted nearly 3,000 sea oats at #VirginiaKey North Point.

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‘Expedition: Arctic!’ Mini-Exhibit Now on Display

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Did you know the Museum recently participated in an international Arctic expedition to better understand climate processes in the Polar Region? In August-September 2013, the Museum’s Science Curator, Lindsay Bartholomew, joined a team of scientists aboard the Russian research vessel, Akademic Fedorov, as part of an international effort to study climate processes in the polar region, including physical oceanography, atmospheric science, ocean chemistry and the carbon cycle.

At the new “Expedition: Arctic!” mini-exhibit currently on display at the Museum, Lindsay shares her experience on what most would consider a surreal adventure, and the exhibit itself gives visitors a small taste of that incredible experience. You will see a short video of what an Arctic scientific expedition is really like – from blue sea ice, to white polar bears, to amazing scientific equipment – all told by the scientists who experienced it. You will see a real piece of styrofoam that has been shrunken after being sent 2,000 feet under the ocean. The exhibit will teach you about the tools and techniques scientists used on the vessel to learn about Earth’s climate, and will introduce you to some of the scientists that went on the expedition. You will even meet Lindsay’s special friend “Willy the Box Turtle” who joined the expedition as a representative “mascot” from Miami. Most of us dream about exploring the vast depths of the Arctic, yet very few of us will be able to do so. This exhibit gives us dreamers, and perhaps future scientists, the motivation to turn that dream into a reality!

At the Museum, we are working hard to create flexible, innovative furniture systems, exhibit components and interactive experiences, to ensure the Museum is always up-to-date for even the most frequent of visitors. The “Expedition: Arctic!” exhibit structure is a prototype for these new exhibition structures that will be featured at the new facility currently under construction in Museum Park in downtown Miami. Ideal as both an exhibit and a demonstration space, the “Expedition: Arctic!” exhibit will soon be transformed to showcase a whole new type of science later this fall!

“Expedition: Arctic!” is on display through mid-summer. To learn more about Lindsay’s trip to the Arctic, check out our Lindsay in the Arctic blog portal.

Science Curator Lindsay Bartholomew

Science Curator Lindsay Bartholomew

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‘Under the Sea’ Exhibit Now on Display

Best Overall - 
Filippo Borghi: Blue Shark (Prionace glauca)
, Portugal, Europe

Best Overall – 
Filippo Borghi: Blue Shark (Prionace glauca)
, Portugal, Europe

Undersea photography shows us unique views of our own world, but sometimes it seems as if we are seeing something entirely otherworldly. To honor the skill and artistry of amateur photographers who show us our watery world as we’ve never seen it before, the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science is proud to host “Under the Sea,” an exhibit of 26 images from the 2014 and 2013 Annual Underwater Photography Contest. Presented by the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science’s Underwater Photography Contest, the exhibit will be open for viewing exclusively on the weekends, 10 AM to 6 PM, Saturday and Sunday.

On display in the Museum’s Space Gallery through August 2014, the exhibit features award-winning underwater images shot all around the world. The annual Underwater Photography Contest is open to all amateur photographers who earn less than 20 percent of their income from photography. Categories are judged by a panel of expert judges from the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and are awarded in these categories: Macro, Fish or Marine Animal Portrait, Wide Angle and Best University of Miami Student Photograph. One winner is selected in each category with two runners-up. One winner is selected as Best Overall Photograph.

This year’s Best Overall Photograph belongs to Italy’s Filippo Borghi, who introduces us to a blue shark cruising with pilot fish under the sun off the coast of Portugal. Sponsored by Divers Direct, the Best University of Miami Student Photograph winner was Laura Rock, for allowing us to meet Atlantic Sailfish off of Isla Mujeres, Mexico.

Best Student Entry - 
Laura Rock: Florida
 Sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus)
, Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Best Student Entry – 
Laura Rock: Florida
 Sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus)
, Isla Mujeres, Mexico

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Curious Vault Collaborations 001

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Art and science tend to be separated in people’s minds. They are separate classroom subjects. They are (usually) housed in separate museums. One is expression, and the other is understanding. But if art is all about experimenting with the expression of ideas, and science is all about experimenting with the world around you, why can’t they be in the same museum – or even the same exhibit?

On Tuesday, June 10, over 160 guests gathered at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science for the launch of the Curious Vault Collaborations event series. Showcasing the importance of creativity and innovation in science, the event brought together local thought leaders for a cutting-edge panel discussion exploring the intersection between art and science.

The discussion also focused on the inaugural Curious Vault Collaborations exhibit “Do Brain Corals Dream of Algal Symbionts?” and how the Curious Vault Collaborations project, a periodic exhibition and online cabinet of curiosities, joins together a local artist and scientist to create a tabletop display showcasing both art and science. The exhibit is a massive brain coral, artistically embellished with custom-made neon tubing. The result is a seemingly infinite view of neon and brain coral, a visual effect that simulates a view of an actual coral reef from under the waves. The only materials used, in addition to the brain coral itself, are neon, an acrylic two-way mirror, red oak, a soundtrack, and electronics.

The discussion featured the exhibit’s creators Dr. Andrew Baker, associate professor of Marine Biology & Fisheries at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, and local artist Sinisa Kukec of Spinello Projects. They were joined by local writer Nathaniel Sandler, founding member of the Bookleggers community mobile library, and Kevin Arrow, Art & Collection Manager for the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science.

Prior to the discussion, guests enjoyed libations courtesy of Finlandia Vodka and Desperados beer, and light bites by Sushi Chef Japanese Restaurant & Market and The Better Chip.

Come see our inaugural artistic science project, or scientific art project, currently on display at the Museum.

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Volunteers Plant 4,000 Native Plants on Virginia Key

On Saturday, June 27th, students from the Miami-Dade College Earth Ethics Institute and campers from Kreative Motion Summer Camp joined MUVE and other local volunteers to plant native dune plants on Virginia Key’s North Point. By the end of the day, nearly 4000 plants were in the ground!

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