Meet the Experts Weekend
November 26 and 27, 2011
Ever wonder about how exhibitions come together in a museum? Did you know that the museum has researchers, collections staff and even a 3D imaging studio? On November 26 and 27, come meet some of the interesting folks who work behind the scenes. It's a must-do event this autumn!
Many people are surprised to learn that the Canadian Museum of Nature has more than 10 million specimens—95% of which are housed in Gatineau, Quebec. In this special research and collections facility (named the Natural Heritage Building) is a group of 40 researchers and 23 collections staff diligently working behind the scenes to study and record Canada's natural history.
The Meet the Experts weekend offers the public the opportunity to interact with many of these staff and learn about the work they do. In most cases, the experts are stationed in the exhibition area that is related to their specialization.
In the RBC Blue Water Gallery, chat with Kathy Conlan, Ph.D., about the tiny creatures that she studies on the bottom of the Beaufort Sea in the Arctic. Discover the wonderful diversity of Canada's seashells from mollusc expert André Martel, Ph.D. Meet Noel Alfonso, who will share his knowledge of local fishes and show you some handy fish-identification guides. And learn how human parasites can be our friends as well as our enemies from parasite expert Judith Price.
In the Vale Earth Gallery, examine various minerals with gemmologist Willow Wight and find out which ones are gemstones and which are not. See an array of minerals selected by our mineral-collection expert, Michel Picard, and learn about some of their peculiar (even spectacular) properties. You can even bring in your own minerals for Michel to identify.
Head up to our interactive Discovery Zone on the fourth floor to meet the museum's dynamic 3D duo: animation artist Alex Tirabasso, and Arius 3D technician Paul Bloskie. See some of the 3D computer animations they've produced in the museum's own 3D imaging centre, and find out how they're able to create such hi-tech reproductions of specimens.
Find out about the plants of Canada from the museum's chief botany collections manager, Jennifer Doubt. (Do you know what a bryophyte is? Jennifer is an expert on them). And stop into the Talisman Energy Fossil Gallery to meet Kieran Sheppard and Margaret Currie who take care of the fossil collections in the gallery and the museum's vast collection of palaeo treasures in Gatineau.
You can even get a sneak peak at the new Awesome Arctic exhibition, which is opening to the public on November 29!
So much to do... so many interesting people to meet and stories to hear. And it's free with museum admission. Mark your calendars now!
Note: Activities and experts vary depending on the day. See the schedule.