Welcome to the Naturalist Center!
Originally posted on NC Museum of Natural Sciences Education Blog:
“This is soooo gross, but soooo cool!” I hear this comment often from our younger visitors as they explore the Naturalist Center for the first time. As they leave, I also hear them say “This is my very favorite exhibit in the whole Museum!” Since May of 2012, we’ve had 85,630 visitors so it seems like the Center is a favorite of just about everyone. I am the Coordinator of the Naturalist Center which is located on the second floor of the Nature Research Center. We represent a small sample of the Museum’s vast research collection of over 3 million specimens. While the research collection is only available to scientists, the Naturalist Center is open to the public so you can browse through our collection of over 1,000 non-living specimens including birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, insects, plants, fungi, fossils, rocks and minerals. Upon entering the room for the first time, you will be asked to watch a short video that explains how some of the specimens are prepared and how to handle them. Although we do have a play area for very young children, the room is really designed for older kids and access to the entire collection is restricted to children 8 years old and older. A highlight of the Naturalist Center are two interactive “touch tables”— these tables have built-in computers that allow you to “scan” a specimen and learn more about it by simply touching the table top.
We are very lucky to have a great group of volunteers who help staff the room. We’re always looking for more volunteers so please contact Cindy Lincoln or complete the volunteer application online if you are interested.