ScienceOnline'09 - Friday Lab Tour: the NC Museum of Natural Sciences


After coffee cupping, still pretty frozen, we went back to Radisson to see who else has arrived for ScienceOnline09 in the meantime. I set up my temporary field Headquarters in the lobby (photo by Lenore):

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After a quick lunch, it was time for Lab Tours (check blog posts and pictures for other people's experiences). A bunch of us went to the NC Museum of Natural Sciences where Roy Campbell, the Director of Exhibits, gave us a fantastic whirlwind tour through the Museum and the vaults, the secret basement chambers that general public cannot access.

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I've been going to the Museum for 17 years now, pretty regularly (I used to volunteer there when it was still in the old building), yet I always notice something new, some new detail or improvement they made since the last time I visited.

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This was a pretty big group - if I remember correctly (and it's all a blur now), we had Melissa, Paula, Elissa, Robyn, Molly, Kim , Patty, Daniel, Sol, Enrico, Carlos, as well as the entire contingent from Miss Baker's class - eight students, two parents and Miss Baker herself.

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But there is no group big enough or rowdy enough to get Roy off his game. The Museum is enormous, and I don't think there is anyone in the world but Roy who is capable of giving a tour of it in just two hours and covering everything and going everywhere and saying so much interesting stuff!

I am sure that the visit to the palaeontology lab (where an amazingly well preserved and complete skeleton of a bipedal crocodile was being cleaned) and the vaults was the greatest hit with the group:

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But for me, the most exciting was a brief look through one of the windows, onto the lot next door, where the bulldozers were hard at work digging a big hole - for the new wing of the Museum, as big as the main building, or so it appearrs. And that new wing - now THAT'S going to be exciting and unique, but you will have to read this blog for some time in the future until you get to hear the entire story once it becomes public....

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Thanks for sharing. All of the tours seemed interesting and worthwhile. I hate I missed this one, but Kristen (and Troy & Jeff) were so nice they extended me a special invite on Monday - after the conference. I didn't get see all of the behind the scenes stuff, but I did meet Leon the entomologist and he took me in the holding room and introduced me to some cool tarantulas.

It really is a great museum, I go there often. One of my favorite exhibits is the Bullhorn Acacia and its tenants.

Oh, Danielle, you went to the one in Durham. This one is in Raleigh. We've got two good museums around here ;-)