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Category Archives: Exhibits

Blogs about new botany exhibits and the creation process.

Watershed of the Future simulator update – Day Three of install

Things are shaping up – all of the computers and speakers are connected, and all eight touch screens are working. Basically, the simulator prototype is operational. Today will be spent installing the latest software updates and making sure everything is networked properly. The first image shows the simulator in “single-player mode” – this is our default experience, where a visitor can come up to the table and use any one…

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First Light on our new exhibit!

Day Two of the Lake Winnipeg: Shared Solutions simulator installation, and we have first light from the projection system! The simulator comprises a table with eight individual touch-screens, surrounding a large projected image covering the table. In regular mode, visitors can take control of their own version of the Lake at each station, without being affected by what other visitors do. Big shared events like floods and storms will show up…

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New Science Gallery exhibit takes shape!

It’s been a while since I have updated this blog, because I have been working on the next big exhibit for the Science Gallery. “Lake Winnipeg: Shared Solutions” is scheduled to open in March 2014, but a big piece of it is being installed this week so we can do on-site testing and evaluation of the prototype. The exhibit addresses the health of Lake Winnipeg and what feeds into that…

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A few of my favorite trees (& lichens & fungi…)

One of the great things about working at the Museum is being able to see all sorts of specimens and artefacts up close. When I first started working here, I used to enjoy looking through the Natural History cabinets on my lunch break. Creating temporary exhibits in the Museum’s Discovery Room is a wonderful way to share some of my favorite things in the collection with our visitors. As I…

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Rocket lands in Science Gallery

Did you know that one of the most successful small rocket programs in the world is run from right here in Winnipeg? Magellan Aerospace (formerly Bristol Aerospace) builds the Black Brant series of sounding rockets for customers around the world. Payloads launched by Black Brants have been studying the upper atmosphere and near-space environment for over 50 years, and have even been launched from right here in Manitoba (at the Churchill Rocket Range on the northern…

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If people were like pollinators…

I was recently watching the hilarious yet scientifically accurate video on the mating habits of bees done by Isabella Rossellini (http://www.sundancechannel.com/greenporno/?playlist_id=14433699001#video_section).  Coincidentally, I’ve also been reading about the quite bizarre and sometimes gruesome life cycles of wild pollinators for my upcoming Prairie Pollination exhibit.  Inspired by Isabella, I found myself wondering what it would be like if people were like pollinators… If people were like hummingbird pollinators, we would run…

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Botanical Curator Blues

One of the problems with being a botanist working at a museum is that most of the botanical specimens cannot be displayed in an exhibit.  The bulk of the collection consists of herbarium specimens (dried, pressed plants mounted on paper) that are very fragile and light sensitive.  As a result they usually can’t be displayed for long (or at all) without being damaged.  Further, a pressed plant is only a…

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Colours of Lichens

On October 28th a new natural history exhibit on the Colours in Nature will open in the Museum’s Discovery Room.  Organisms and minerals representing all the colours of the rainbow will be on display.  Unfortunately no flowering plant specimens will be displayed (only photographs) because, unfortunately, most of the plants in our collection represent only one colour: brown.  If the exhibit was on the colour brown in nature, boy would…

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A Museum of a Museum

I recently attended the annual meeting of the Canadian Society of Ecology and Evolution in Banff, Alberta.  However, being stuck inside a building on several beautiful sunny days was agonizing and on several occasions I found myself gazing wistfully out the windows at the mountains beyond.  Fortunately, visiting other museums while I travel is an important part of my job as it helps me to plan exhibits here at The…

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50 Years Ago Today: Bold steps in space

50 years ago today, during the height of the Cold War, Americans and Russians were head-to-head in a competition to put the first human into space. At the same time, both nations were trying to send robotic probes to the Moon and the other planets. On February 3, 1961 (in North American time zones), the Soviet Union launches a four-stage version of their R-7 rocket. Earlier versions of the R-7 had…

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