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.
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.
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.
Birds 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!
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.
Summer Camp – Feathers to the Stars!
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!
July 28 – August 1
Grades 4 – 8
Meet one of the earliest flying creatures…
Watch a blimp take off…
Design a mission to….?
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.
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
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
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.
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!
Miami is all about water. We are surrounded by it, with the Everglades, the Caribbean, and the Atlantic bordering Miami on three sides. People visit our city to not only see the water, but to get in the water – and if they’re very lucky, they might just get to see what’s happening under the surface. At the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science’s 3rd Annual Miami Underwater Festival, visitors were able to do just that, without even getting wet!
Presented by Everest Capital and festival chairs Shelly and Marko Dimitrijevic, with additional support by Maria Isabel and David Schwedel, the Miami Underwater Festival was held in celebration of global World Oceans Day, and included three days of marine related programming in two locations, including the Museum and – for the first time ever – Knight Plaza at Museum Park, site of our brand new Museum facility!
On Thursday, June 5, over 100 guests gathered at the Museum for a VIP kick-off soiree. Attendees were the first to view the new “Under the Sea” exhibit, featuring selections from the University of Miami Rosentiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science Annual Underwater Photography Contest. Before making their way into the planetarium for a selection of world-renowned marine films by BLUE on Tour, the touring arm of the world-renowned BLUE Ocean Film Festival & Conservation Summit, guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and signature Finlandia vodka cocktails, including the Blue Coconut Crush, Underwater Grapefruit Crush and the Friendly Fire Coral. Following the films, there was a special keynote presentation by Dr. Michael Heithaus, Executive Director, School of Environment, Arts and Society at Florida International University.
On Saturday, June 7, guests enjoyed a full day of actives at the Museum, including a variety of beautiful underwater films showcasing marine conservation and sustainability, featuring BLUE on Tour. Additional highlights included a discussion with acclaimed worldwide photographer Zach Ransom, a special virtual tour of Florida International University’s underwater laboratory, Aquarius, a meet-and-great with local diving stars Billy Catoggio and Mitch Herne of the popular TV show “Scuba Nation,” a workshop series with coral expert Dr. Diego Lirman of University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS), and for those not of faint heart, shark dissections.
Guests continued to make a splash later Saturday evening at a special evening program, co-sponsored by COSEE Florida. The event included the premiere of “Raising Shrimp” by Fish Navy Films with filmaker and founder Dr. Ted Caplow, along with a a selection of short films curated by Beneath the Waves Film Festival.
The festivities continued at the Museum on Sunday, June 8, along with an exciting outdoor fair at Knight Plaza in Downtown Miami, sponsored by the Miami Downtown Development Authority (DDA), DWNTWN Miami and The Miami Herald. Have you ever seen a water-powered jetpack? Visitors to the festival did, as they watched a man from Aquajet Miami “fly,” powered by water, more than 30 feet above the surface on the Bay. Visitors who might have never seen in person the beautiful coral reef that is right off the Florida coast actually participated in creating their own “coral reef” out of recyclable materials, in a community art project with local artists Kerry Phillips and Regina Jestrow. Pour in a scavenger hunt around the plaza, string trio performances by the Greater Miami Youth Symphony, and a sneak peek of Adrienne Arsht Center’s H2OMBRE summer show, and you wind up with an ocean of fun for everyone.
And this is Miami in the summer after all, so the Better Chip, ZICO Pure Premium Coconut Water, Gilly Vending and Nestle Coffee Mate kept everyone refreshed and – of course – hydrated!
Photo Credit: World Red Eye