Students Display Work at Natural History Museum in Los Angeles

Students Display Work at Natural History Museum in Los Angeles
Images like this of students off the coast
of Laguna Beach are part of the poster exhibit.
Students look for native birds at the
Bolsa Chica Wetlands.
Students search for fish on a net in Newport Harbor.

Amid the urban sprawl, sometimes it's easy to forget Southern California has diverse and rich natural habitats. From the Mojave Desert to the depths of the Pacific Ocean, wildlife and ecosystems thrive. A new exhibit by Cal Poly Pomona students at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County aims to remind people of the abundant natural wonders all around.

The campus and surrounding communities are invited to attend the exhibit titled “Exploring Our Land,” which launches Sept. 7 with an opening reception. The exhibit will run through Oct. 21.

“'Exploring Our Land' has been an avenue for students learn to how to present science in a way the general public would find interesting,” said Biology Professor Emeritus Jonathan Baskin. “The exhibit provides a service to the community by teaching about 'Our Land.'”

“Exploring Our Land,” is the culmination of a service-learning course co-taught by Baskin, Mike Brown, curator of BioTrek, Biology Lecturer Diane Morales and Karen Brzoska, a media specialist with the I&IT Division. The class aimed to teach students various ways to interpret science for the public.

Fourteen students researched topics relating to such areas as marine biology, herpetology and ecology during field trips. They visited locations all over Southern California such as the tide pools in Laguna Beach, the San Gabriel Mountains and Mojave Desert, and the Voorhis Reserve and BioTrek, which are both located on the Cal Poly Pomona campus.

The students developed informative and colorful posters based on their field trips and other research, which will be displayed in the Interact exhibit hall at the Natural History Museum. They also developed a video presentation, which will be shown in conjunction with the posters.

“Science students learn a lot about presenting science to other scientists but not always how to present it to the general public,” Brown said. “In this course the students learned how to share knowledge and skills with others in order to promote knowledge about our environment in Southern California.”

The development of this exhibit was supported by the Natural History Museum, the College of Science's Biological Sciences department, I&IT Division, BioTrek and the Center for Community-Service Learning.

Student participants in the exhibit include:

Rochelle Barnes

Daniel Crosier

Folley Igbinosun

Kimberly Kato

Stephanie Leach

Lorena Muro

Elisa Rodriguez

Brandy Ulrich

Allison Roth

Marie Winans

Justin Wood

Jennifer Y'Deen

Teaching assistants include:

Francisca Herrera

Carla Stout

The opening night reception will be Sept. 7 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., and includes free admission, light refreshments, beverages and free parking in the museum parking lot. The museum is located at 900 Exposition Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90007.

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