Archive for May, 2010

The Geckos are Coming!

I am really looking forward to the opening of the Geckos exhibit this week!  I have the privilege of working with Fernbank Museum’s live animal collection.  But, in Fernbank’s animal collection, we only have one species of gecko—the leopard gecko.  From May 28th through September 6th, guests will be able to see over 15 different species at Fernbank Museum of Natural History! 

Did you know gecko eyes can tell us whether they’re daytime or nighttime hunters?  Also, most geckos have their own unique “windshield wipers” to clean their eyes, rather than eyelids to blink! 

I think the most interesting characteristic of geckos is that the smallest gecko discovered can fit on an American dime!  These little lizards reach just over a half-inch in length from nose to tip of tail.  In contrast, the largest living geckos can reach lengths over 14 inches from nose to tip of tail.   That means, the largest geckos are 24 times larger than the smallest geckos (that’s like comparing the length of a pen to the height of an elephant)!

The geckos we’ll be hosting come from many different places around the globe.  There will be day geckos from Madagascar, desert geckos from Africa, and many tropical geckos from islands and continents all over the world!  Learn with me as we delve into the diverse wild world of geckos!

Join Fernbank Museum as we begin to uncover the colorful and diverse world of geckos!  You could also join us for a full day of fun Sunday, June 6th for our Geckos Family Day, including live animal encounters featuring Fernbank’s own animal collection.  Each animal encounter is unique and may provide the opportunity to see and touch creepy-crawly invertebrates, smooth snakes, bumpy lizards or tough turtles!

Lynn Anders, Animal Care Coordinator

May 25, 2010 at 2:31 pm Leave a comment

What a week

This morning I hung out with geckos—real, live geckos. Deanna, my internship supervisor, asked me to accompany her while she took photos of the new gecko exhibit for Facebook. Geckos are incredibly cool (you have to come see them this summer). I saw geckos that looked like leaves, bright green geckos, orange scaly geckos, geckos that clung to the wall with their sticky toe pads—and those were just my favorites! Before that, we rummaged the gift shop for event prizes, and now I am sitting at my desk preparing to type a press release about Roar: Lions of the Kalahari, a riveting IMAX film that is coming to Fernbank in July. This is a fairly typical day as the marketing and communications intern at Fernbank.

My last semester at college was spent discussing internships. Who was working where this summer? Would it be a good learning experience, and I was repeatedly told that Fernbank Museum was among the best internship positions. After my first week as an intern at Fernbank, I know they were right. I am already learning new skills and polishing old ones.

Starting an internship, my biggest fear was the mundane. I could not imagine sitting at a desk all day typing press releases, answering phone calls, and making copies. I quickly learned that those tasks at Fernbank are anything but boring. I have a dinosaur sticker on my computer, a picture of stampeding elephants on my desk, and I write copy about lions, geckos, and bugs! The phone calls I make are directly related to big projects I am helping create. I am included in meetings with graphic designers and get the inside scoop on upcoming events. I am assigned many projects that require the skills I have been taught in the classroom at school, and they are all fun topics that I thoroughly enjoy working on.

In addition to fun projects, the staff is outstanding, friendly, and helpful. Everyone I work with at Fernbank is thrilled to be working at such an awesome museum, and their enthusiasm is quite contagious. I have been encouraged to explore each and every exhibit in the Museum, which has sparked my own excitement.

In only one week, I have fallen in love with Fernbank Museum. I want to tell everyone about this cool place that I have discovered, and when I come to work, I get the chance to do that through marketing and communications. I look forward to seeing you this summer at Fernbank Museum. If you see me around, please come and tell me your favorite thing about Fernbank.

-Andrea Lowery, Marketing & Communications Intern

May 24, 2010 at 7:59 pm Leave a comment

Going to the Worms (in a good way)

Read about Fernbank Museum’s Worm Composting Project

Since 2007 Fernbank Museum environmental educators have collected fruit and vegetable scraps from employees to use in on site vermicomposting efforts. A collection bin placed in the employee break room is used to collect food waste such as coffee grounds/filters, fruit peels, newspaper, apple cores, etc. This material is then transferred into one of three outdoor worm bins containing red wiggler earthworms (Eisenia foetida) that consume the waste and leave behind nutrient rich worm castings (“compost”) than can be used to fertilize plants used by the Museum.

This process removes numerous pounds of garbage from the waste stream, thus sending less waste to already overfilled landfills across Georgia. Museum educators have also started worm composting efforts at numerous elementary, middle, and high schools in metro-Atlanta through the UrbanWatch Atlanta program. For more information, find us online.

Eli Dickerson, Environmental Education Programs Manager

May 19, 2010 at 5:28 pm Leave a comment


About

At Fernbank Museum, there’s much more than dinosaurs and giant-screen films. Even with our website, e-newsletters, Facebook pages and Twitter updates, there’s still a lot we’d like to share with you. 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!