Museum Musings

Here We Grow Again

Please join us in welcoming Eli Dickerson to Fernbank Museum as our new Ecologist. Eli will be coordinating programs and leading Museum ecology initiatives ranging from community engagement and public outreach to the ongoing restoration work inside the 65-acre Fernbank Forest.Eli On Blood Mtn

Eli is no stranger to Fernbank Museum. He previously served as Fernbank’s Environmental Outreach Programs Manager from 2005-2011, working with students, teachers, children and families to educate the public in environmental science. One of the programs he developed, UrbanWatch Atlanta, remains one of the Museum’s core science program for students.

And, Eli is no stranger to ecology! He has a wealth of experience, including positions with the National Park Service, Piedmont Park Conservancy and Trees Atlanta.

Read the official press release for more information on Eli’s experience and his new role at Fernbank Museum.

Learn more about "Atlanta's hidden gem," Fernbank Forest 

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—Deanna Smith, Director of Marketing

Written by Fernbank Museum at 13:26

A New (Familiar) Face

Hello fellow Fernbank enthusiasts! My name is Brooks Mitchell and I am the newest staff member in the education department. I have a Geology degree with an Anthropology minor from the University of Alabama, and I have been working with students in museums and science institutions for the past several years. As you may imagine, this is somewhat of a dream job for me! Brooks 300

Although I am stepping into a new, full time role with the Museum, I have been a part of Fernbank Museum since moving to Atlanta from Tuscaloosa, AL in 2013. I started out as a volunteer at Fernbank, working the A Walk Through Time in Georgia desk and playing piano in the café. I began working part time in the membership department shortly thereafter. In addition to my roles at Fernbank, I also worked at Georgia Aquarium as an Environmental Educator for most of 2014.

When I’m not teaching families about earth science, you might find me running (I just completed my first marathon and have an “ultramarathon” coming up soon), playing piano, or hanging out with my better half, Curtis the terrier/beagle mix. I am absolutely thrilled to be able to work with such an important part of the Atlanta community, and I am truly looking forward to helping our visitors understand the natural wonders of our planet. I hope to see you around!

—Brooks Mitchell, Programs Educator–Earth Science

Editor’s Note: See Brooks in action! He is part of our team of presenters for the Live Science Shows offering daily in The Power of Poison exhibition gallery.  

Written by Fernbank Museum at 16:48

February 2015 Volunteer of the Month

We are pleased to honor Patsy Belcher as our February Volunteer of the Month.

Patsy has been volunteering for nearly six years, but her connections with Fernbank and Fernbank Forest can be found throughout her lifetime, extending from her childhood walks to her commencement as one of the first female graduates of Emory University. However, it wasn’t until her friend Hopie Eubanks, a long-time A Walk Through Time in Georgia volunteer, brought her to an event at Fernbank that she decided to join Polaris and begin volunteering at the Museum.PastyB

A bookkeeper for her late husband’s ophthalmology practice and a former high school teacher, Patsy loves entertaining at home and being active in her community. Her favorite parts of volunteering include working with fellow volunteers and Museum staff, and meeting people from all over the world. We’re thrilled to have Patsy as part of our Fernbank family!

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

—Kate Naylor. Member and Volunteer Services Coordinator 

Written by Fernbank Museum at 15:27

January 2015 Volunteer of the Month

We are pleased to honor Shirley and Stan Thomas as our January Volunteer of the Month.

Shirley and Stan have been married for 57 years and have volunteered together at Fernbank Museum since 2008. They enjoy their time at Fernbank because it gives them a chance to meet and talk with visitors from all over the world. Jan VOTM

Before coming to Fernbank they volunteered for the National Park Service, where they served as educational guides on train rides from Atlanta to New Orleans, and as trauma support in the North Fulton Hospital. In their spare time, they enjoy playing Bridge, watching football and being active in their church.

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

From all of us in the Member and Volunteer office, Happy New Year!

—Kate Naylor. Member and Volunteer Services Coordinator

Written by Fernbank Museum at 15:45

Holiday Traditions: Snow Jam

In conjunction with the holiday-inspired exhibition Winter Wonderland, we asked staff to share some of their traditions so that we can share them with you.

Chris -Bean -blog -photo

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
One of my most cherished holiday memories is a tradition that only lasted a few years – making paper snowflakes with my younger brothers. You know, when you fold a circle of paper into a pie-sized wedge, make a few strategic cuts and voila, a beautiful and unique snowflake is created!

As the older sister, I was the “go-to” babysitter, which was a job I actually enjoyed because I adored my little brothers and it was fun to think of things to do with them. Each December, my parents went off to a holiday party and one year, we took the opportunity to cover the window panes with snowflakes. My parents were surprised and delighted by our project, and so it became an annual tradition for the next few years. Our snowflakes weren’t fancy but each was unique, just like a real snowflake.

Soon, I moved on to college and their interests turned elsewhere and sadly, our annual “snowfall” ended. Perhaps when we all gather together this year at our childhood home, we’ll paper the windows for old-times’ sake!

Need ideas or inspiration to let it snow? Click here.

—Christine Bean, Vice President of Education

Written by Fernbank Museum at 16:53
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!