Museum Musings

Volunteer of the Month: December 2014

Earl -CrockerWe are pleased to honor Earl Crocker as our December Volunteer of the Month.

Earl Crocker began volunteering with Fernbank in 1993 as an extension of his longstanding volunteer position with his church. With his decades of experience as a sixth grade Sunday school instructor, Earl was a great fit for the school groups who often visit Sensing Nature during their field trips.

When not at the Museum, Earl dabbles in coin collecting and he loves to travel—cruises and visits to Hilton Head are perennial favorites. Always in a jovial mood, Earl loves to joke with visitors and play the occasional mild prank on his fellow volunteers. Interacting with people is his favorite part of volunteering!

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 11:33

Volunteer of the Month: November 2014

Julie -JohnsonWe are pleased to honor Julie Johnson as our November Volunteer of the Month.

Julie became interested in volunteering with Fernbank during her first visit almost eighteen years ago. The Greeters that day were “extremely welcoming,” and their enthusiasm encouraged her to try volunteering for herself. Julie credits volunteering at Fernbank with initiating some of her most interesting hobbies, including birding and rock climbing. In fact, it was the IMAX® film To the Limit which inspired her to join her first climbing class and remains her favorite IMAX® film.

Julie has volunteered in many roles at the Museum and is currently responsible for one of our most essential tasks: tallying volunteer hours and entering timecard information. It is Julie’s hard work that makes our 50 Hour Rewards Program possible!

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 15:00

The Planning that Makes Event Days Possible

Fernbank Boo-seum Trick-or-Treat has been my favorite family planning day thus far. Not only is Halloween one of my favorite holidays, but there are so many options for games, treats and costumes!

Like most people, when I think a great place to start brainstorming is Pinterest.

For this particular event I scoured the Halloween craft and Pin boards and came across this fun “Spider Swamp.”

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By re-purposing our “plank” from Pirate Day, and purchasing a few spider webs and spiders, we were able to create a fun game for all of our trick-or-treaters.

Another fun game featured at Fernbank BOO-seum was “Pin the Nose on the Pumpkin” and “Pin the Boo on the Ghost.”

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Pinterest provided the inspiration, which was a fun twist to this Halloween favorite.

In addition to these games we also had “Creepy Coloring,” a “Monster Toss” and a fun DJ that kept everyone dancing.

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Of course no Fernbank BOO-seum is complete without the cutest of costumes and CANDY.

My personal favorite costume:

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We hope to see you next year at Fernbank BOO-seum, and in the meantime have fun making your own Halloween bash extra-special!

—Brittany Loggins, Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator

Written by Fernbank Museum at 14:52

Be the Change

If you have not seen the new Science Discovery cart activities about forest ecology and invasive plant species in Atlanta, you need to check them out! If you already have, continue reading to learn more. I’m excited about these activities because I developed them as part of my Girl Scout Gold Award project. This award is equivalent to the Boy Scout Eagle Scout Award and is a great opportunity to positively impact the community. I enjoyed working with the education staff and F.U.N. volunteers on this project and we’re all very proud of the final result.

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Drop by and visit the cart to check out the fun games and artifacts! It’s a great way to learn about the environment. Non-native invasive plants are dangerous to an ecosystem because they spread, outcompeting the unique native species in the region. If you’ve ever driven anywhere in Atlanta, our landscape is covered with fields of kudzu, English ivy, and other non-native plants. While these plants are everywhere, they can be easily overlooked and so can their impact.

Invasive plants are a big problem and hit forests particularly hard. We can all help preserve native landscapes by removing invasive plants from our own yards to prevent their seeds from spreading. While it is important to remove invasive plants, it is just as important to avoid using pesticides when doing so. Chemicals are sometimes necessary to complete the task, but they should be used responsibly. If you want more information about invasive plants, check out my previous post, A Nature Invasion.

The cart activities include great games and artifacts that give visitors a fun opportunity to learn. I’ve seen kids and adults alike have their ‘a-ha’ moments, illustrating this cart has ‘planted a seed.’

You too can plant a seed. If you know a girl scout, encourage her to stay in the program and go for the Gold! Not only will you have a reliable source of Girl Scout cookies, you will help this girl make an impact on her community. I am incredibly thankful to have had such an opportunity. The environment is my passion and I am so proud to have made a small contribution toward its protection.

But you don’t need a Gold Award to change your community. We are all capable of making the world a better place. I hope you’ve been inspired to join the battle against invasive plants and look forward to seeing you at the Science Discovery cart!

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” –Mahatma Gandhi

—Meg Withers, Environmental Education Intern

Written by Fernbank Museum at 10:26

Goose Bumps! The Science of Fear Opening Day 

In celebration of the opening of Fernbank’s new exhibition Goose Bumps! The Science of Fear, the Museum offered a day of fun, hands-on activities designed to complement the themes highlighted in the exhibition.

Here are some highlights:

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Guests were given the opportunity to see and interact with animal ambassadors from Fernbank’s live animal collection. Pictured: FUN volunteer Amanda M. holds a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach.

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Guests were also invited to make their own mini-monster puppet using googly eyes, fuzzy sticks, feathers and their imaginations. Picture: FUN volunteer Audrey Hayes 

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Special guests from rom the Neurobiology of Fear Lab from Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory joined the fun, giving guests an opportunity to see and hold actual brains!

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Guests, and Giggy, had fun using props at the selfie booth, which also printed Goose Bumps souvenir prints!

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The day was also filled with face painting, a phobia matching game and lots of giggles as guests explored the spectacular exhibition.

Goose Bumps! The Science of Fear is on view through on January 4, 2015. Make sure you come explore this exciting, interactive exhibition!
—Brittany Loggins, Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator

Written by Fernbank Museum at 17:26
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!