Museum Musings

Holiday Hours


Independence Day 2014 Holiday Hours
Fernbank Museum will be open during normal daytime business hours over the Independence Day weekend. 

Explore the wonderful world of whales, catch a flick on the biggest screen in town and more. Fernbank educators will also lead guests through a variety of hands-on activities during special drop-in programs offered throughout the weekend. Activities vary. Check the “Today at Fernbank” sign when you arrive for details.

Fernbank Museum’s normal daytime hours are:
Sunday: Noon to 5pm
Monday – Saturday: 10am to 5pm

Purchase advance tickets online or by calling 404.929.6400. As always, parking is FREE 

Please note: Fernbank’s Martinis & IMAX® will not be held Friday, July 4. The event will return Friday, July 11.  

Written by Fernbank Museum at 12:12

Special Summer Ticket Giveaway


Whale Watch 1.jpgDid you have a whale of a time in
Whales: Giants of the Deep? Did you take advantage of the special "Fernbank Whale Watch" photo opp? If so, that photo could win you TWO FREE IMAX® tickets! 

We want to see your “Fernbank Whale Watch” photos. And, just for sharing your pictures, you will automatically be entered to win 2 free IMAX® tickets.

It’s simple to share:

Need inspiration? Check out our #FernbankWhales gallery.  

Check out 97 Days of Play for more summer fun ideas! 

—Deanna Smith, Director of Marketing

 

Written by Fernbank Museum at 16:03

Adventures in DIRT! A Return to Summer Camp

Fernbank's offiical blog started with a post I wrote after joining one of Fernbank’s first mock digs during summer camp. That was (ahem) a few years ago, so I decided it was time to re-visit the dig pit and live vicariously through our young, energetic and very excited campers. 

First, it was time to fuel up for our adventure. Campers enjoyed a picnic lunch in the Museum’s Great Hall, under the watchful eyes of the world’s largest dinosaurs.

 photo 1.JPG

Please don’t feed the dinosaurs.

I decided to head to the dig pit early to take photos before the flurry of activity started. Much to my chagrin, as the campers arrived, I heard one of them ask (referring to me) “Is she a fossil.” I didn’t take it personally. (Note: look into stronger face cream.)

photo 2.JPG 

My reaction to being confused with a fossil.

Before we dug in to the day’s adventure, Kaden Borseth, Fernbank’s Education Program Manager–Earth Science, gave a quick overview. He explained what the campers would be looking for, the tools they’d be using, as well as the best method for recovering the fossils they found. When it comes to paleontology (and archaeology), gentle is the key! You don’t want to damage your discovery.

Instruction.jpg

A quick “how to.”

And then we began! Not with a starting pistol, but with an exited flurry of little hands grasping tools and shifting dirt. It wasn’t long before the first declaration of “I FOUND something.” It would not be last.

Posing with find.jpg 

Campers worked in teams.

Excited voices called out items as they found them. Eggs, legs, ribs and more. As each piece was uncovered (after a celebratory wave to show the others), they were carefully cleaned off and set aside.

fossils in container.jpg

But these weren’t just random pieces, like a really cool (and a bit dirty) puzzle, the pieces formed a dinosaur!

steggy.jpg

Almost done!

It was great to be a kid again, even if just for a couple of hours.

Found something.jpg

Adventures in dirt!

This unique activity was developed by Fernbank educators and is one of many engaging programs offered by the Museum. And while mock digs aren’t currently offered to the public, you can take advantage of a variety of drop-in programs offered throughout the summer. Activities include chemistry demonstrations, animal encounters and more. Look for the “Today at Fernbank” sign when you arrive for details.

Click here to see more photos from today's dig.  

—Deanna Smith, Director of Marketing 

Written by Fernbank Museum at 17:01

Volunteer of the Month: June

JUNE VOTM photo.jpgWe are pleased to honor Kate Marie Wiles as our June Volunteer of the Month. 

Kate Marie loves talking about science and meeting new people, which makes her an excellent fit for Fernbank. She began volunteering in August of 2013 and can usually be found interacting with young guests at one of our Discovery Carts or teaching visitors about fossils at the A Walk Through Time in Georgiakiosk—a task she also trains new volunteers to handle.

When not donating her time and talent to Fernbank, Kate Marie enjoys horseback riding (both jumping and dressage), hiking, and soccer. Volunteering allows Kate to feel more connected to the scientific community, which she really enjoys. But one of her favorite moments was being mistaken for a local evening newscaster.

“He was totally starstruck,” she said.

For information on how to become a volunteer, call 404.929.6360 or e-mailvolunteer@fernbankmuseum.org.

Written by Fernbank Museum at 11:17

A Neighborhood Nestwatch Experience

This summer, Fernbank has the opportunity to begin working with the Smithsonian Institution’s Neighborhood Nestwatch program.  This citizen science project is geared to connect bird enthusiasts with actual researchers to gather scientific data related to bird habits and population patterns. Recently, Christine Bean (VP of Education) and I had the opportunity to learn firsthand how the program works, as Chris’ yard has become one of the research sites, along with her next-door-neighbor.

As an educator with a passion for animals and scientific research, I was intrigued to learn more about how the program actually works at the study sites and was not disappointed. The Nestwatch scientist, Alie, began by observing the area and surveying which bird species were present. Then, we helped setup mist nets and a sort of “field command station”. Throughout the few hours we monitored the nets, we caught a handful of birds, which were banded, measured, recorded and released. We also caught a few species that are not currently targeted in the study, so they were released unharmed.

Chris-holding-downy.jpg 

“It was the first time I’d held a bird—Alie taught me how to hold it so it would be gently yet firmly supported. I was struck by the warmth of this tiny creature, and its strong heartbeat,” Christine Bean

Having a propensity for working hands-on with animals, I was thrilled about the opportunity to help manage the birds through the process and aid in recording their measurements. The birds banded included a Tufted Titmouse, Northern Cardinal and 2 Chickadees. Chris and her neighbor will continue to observe these animals year after year and report their data directly to the Smithsonian Institution.

cardinal1.jpg 

Cardinal with “pacifier”

During the experience, one of the most entertaining parts was learning about the different behaviors of each bird species. We learned that Cardinals and Tufted Titmouse are two species that “announce” their frustrations throughout the banding process and that cardinals have the most powerful bites of the 8 targeted species for this study. While the Cardinal was in the process of measurement and banding, Alie offered a twig to pacify the bird and it worked! 

Lynn_titmouse.jpg 

I couldn’t believe how quickly and efficiently Alie was able to work with the birds, recording their data and going through several steps before releasing them back into the neighborhood. She held the bird in one hand, using the other to write, shuffle through data sheets and measure tail and tarsus lengths. The birds were also weighed, sexed and evaluated for body fat content. Alie’s compassion for these animals was also evident from her gentle and comforting manner, all while explaining the process and answering questions from us. Overall, the experience was incredibly rewarding, as we learned about the birds and the research process and had the opportunity to actually be a part of this scientific study!

Learn more about Neighborhood Nestwatch and find out how YOUR backyard can be involved.

—Lynn Anders, Animal Programs Coordinator

Written by Fernbank Museum at 10:26
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!

Archive