Museum Musings

Pick Your Poison(ous) Recipe

Toxins are everywhere, often occurring naturally in foods, but it’s the dose that makes the poison. Fernbank’s Dangerously Delicious Tasting Events feature some of these everyday poisons we love to eat. In anticipation of our next tasting event on March 29, we’ll be sharing some of our favorite recipes that are “to die for.”  

Cinnamon Cardamom Ginger Butter Glazed Salmon Banner Butter For Blog
“Poisons” included: cinnamon, salt
Courtesy of Banner Butter


  • 1 sockeye or pink salmon filet, skin on 
  • Coarse sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons softened Cinnamon Cardamom Ginger Banner Butter 


  • Preheat oven to 400 and then heat skillet over medium high heat.  
  • Add 1 Cinnamon Cardamom Ginger tablespoon butter to the hot pan.  
  • While butter is melting in skillet, sprinkle coarse sea salt on both sides of the salmon filet and then or spread softened Cinnamon Cardamom Ginger butter on each side, as well.  
  • Place the salmon on the hot skillet to caramelize until golden brown; around 2 to 3 minutes on each side.  
  • Place the entire skillet into oven for 8 minutes until salmon is cooked through.

Mark your calendars to join us Sunday, March 29 for another Dangerously Delicious Tasting Event!

—Deanna Smith, Director of Marketing 

Written by Fernbank Museum at 14:32

March 2015 Volunteer of the Month

We are pleased to honor Curtis Waltes as our March Volunteer of the Month.

Curtis began volunteering at Fernbank in 1997, assisting in Sensing Nature, but it was the variety of personal interaction with guests that lead him to become a Greeter and IMAX® Attendant. IMG_3865

Curtis loves traveling, and says he has never traveled anywhere he did not enjoy. His favorite destination has been the Amalfi Coast of Italy, but most recently he has begun to travel closer to home. He hopes his visits span the entire North American continent, ranging from past destinations like Nova Scotia, Canada to future plans for Yellowstone National Park. In addition to travel, he loves to watch old movies; The Sound of Music and Gone with the Wind are two of his favorites! At the Museum, Curtis looks forward to watching our IMAX® films and exploring special exhibitions.

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 11:02

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
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!