Museum Musings

Dinosaur Q&A


While I’m a fan of the idea of Chris Pratt leading a gang of Velociraptors, nothing compares to the original Jurassic Park. And, nothing compares to watching this most iconic of dinosaur films with an actual paleontologist! 

Author and paleontologist Dr. Anthony Martin of Emory University will lead the special presentation Science on Screen: Jurassic Park at Fernbank Museum, Sunday, March 22.* Before Dr. Martin delves into the science behind the film (can we talk about thatTriceratops poop??), I had a few questions for him.Tony Martin Blog

What is your favorite part of being a paleontologist?
My favorite part of being a paleontologist is going outside and searching for fossils, especially with other paleontologists. I’m really happy whenever I get the chance to do this.

Why are my arms so short?
Blame your ancestors and evolution for that. Your great-great-great-great grandparents probably didn’t need big arms to survive a typical day during the Mesozoic Era, so your arms reflect that history, which is perfectly, normal. Besides, long arms are overrated.

What is your favorite dinosaur?
Oh, that’s easy: Oryctodromeus cubicularis. This was a small ornithopod dinosaur from Montana that lived during the Cretaceous Period, about 95 million years ago. One reason why it’s my favorite dinosaur is because it’s the only known burrowing dinosaur, fossilized in its den with two younger dinosaurs of the same species. Even better, I was lucky enough to co-name it! Its name literally means “digging runner of the den.”

Have you ever met Jeff Goldblum?
No, I haven’t. But you know what’s really sad for him? He hasn’t met me yet, either. Hopefully it will happen someday: after all, life finds a way.

Do you have any snacks?
What did you have in mind: Chihuahuas or Great Danes? Wait a minute: why are you looking at me like that?

Black and blue or gold and white?
I like dresses of all colors, regardless of how people perceive them.

Do you think feathers would look good on me?
Oh, for sure. I’m thinking iridescent black for most of your body, with some yellow and red feathers on your arms, and hot pink on the top of your head. With an ensemble like that, think of how you’d rock the Buckhead night life!

When can we go to Jurassic Park?
I’m sorry to report that ‘Jurassic Park’ closed about 145 million years ago. Fortunately, though, we can still see the living descendants of dinosaurs today as birds. Which is pretty cool, because that means you can watch the relatives of ‘Jurassic Park’ in your backyard every day.

You can find Dr. Martin on Twitter at @Ichnologist. And you can find me on Twitter at@giga_a_dino and on Facebook

—Giggy A. Dinosaur

*Admission to Science on Screen: Jurassic Park is free, but space is limited and. reservations are required. 

Written by Fernbank Museum at 11:45

A Sweet Treat “To Die For”


Continuing our series of “poisonous recipes” inspired by Fernbank’s
Dangerously Delicious Tasting Events, here’s a sweet treat from Laura Heiman, Grants and Sponsorship Coordinator. Laura graciously shared a batch of these with staff and I can attest to their deliciousness! 

Coookie Photo For Blog


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies 

1 cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin
½ cup vegetable oil
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ t. salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups chocolate chips
½ cup nuts (optional)



Directions:

  • Combine sugar, pumpkin, vegetable oil and egg.
  • In a separate bowl, add flour, salt, cinnamon and baking powder. Stir well.
  • Combine baking soda, milk and vanilla to dissolve and add to dry mixture.
  • Add dry mixture to wet mixture and mix well.
  • Add chocolate chips (and nuts, if desired).
  • Drop by spoonful on lightly greased baking sheet and back at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

Do you have a “poisonous recipe” you’d like to share? Send to social.media@fernbankmusuem.org.

—Deanna Smith, Director of Marketing

Written by Fernbank Museum at 16:28

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

INGREDIENTS

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

INSTRUCTIONS

  • 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 volunteer@fernbankmuseum.org.

—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
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!

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