Volunteer Spotlight

July 19, 2011 at 1:19 pm Leave a comment

Fernbank is fortunate to have almost 300 dedicated Polaris Guild volunteers providing support in all areas of the Museum—from greeting visitors to assisting with educational programs.

One of those volunteers is Anne Townsley. Anne has been a Fernbank Museum volunteer for about 9 ½ years. She came to the Museum at the recommendation of her daughter-in-law (remind us to thank her for the recommendation).

Like many Polaris volunteers, Anne has had the opportunity to work in a variety of roles at Fernbank—helping at special family activity days, serving as a Museum greeter and assisting patrons as an IMAX® attendant. But one of her most unique duties is assisting as an UrbanWatch Atlanta volunteer. Anne, working alongside program director and Environmental Education Programs Manager, Eli Dickerson, leads students on special guided tours of Fernbank Forest.* Following the walk, the group works together in the woods just off the Museum’s Terrace (where the Stegosaurus is located) pulling invasive plants and planting native plants.

Anne loves science and being around children, but her favorite part of Polaris is working alongside the other volunteers. “They are curious and well-travelled and it’s a joy to get to know them and work with them.”

In fact, this opportunity to meet others with similar interests is one of the main reasons she recommends Polaris to others. She also feels the opportunities extended to volunteers to see previews of special exhibitions and IMAX® films as an added benefit.

Her favorite part of the Museum itself? Hands down, Fernbank NatureQuest. “When I started as a volunteer, the [Children’s Discovery Rooms] were already showing some age. When the time came to begin work on the new space, I was thrilled.”

Just for fun, we asked Anne what three items she’d want to have with her if she were stranded on a desert island. “A fossil, a magnifying glass and a canteen,” was her response. You can take the girl away from the science, but you can’t take the science away from the girl.

If you’d like more information on joining Polaris, please contact us at 404.929.6360 or volunteer@fernbankmuseum.org.

—Deanna Smith, Director of Marketing

*Note this program only available through UrbanWatch Atlanta. Visit us online for details.


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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!

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