Stories tagged exhibits

Jan
18
2011

If you're a total Buzz nerd like JGordon, you may have noticed a number of posts with the tag "Future Earth" over the last couple of years. They started when the folks here at the Science Museum of Minnesota began researching a new permanent exhibit called Future Earth, opening Fall 2011 at SMM. This exhibit will ask, "How do we survive and thrive on a human-dominated planet?"

EarthBuzz: This new branch of the Buzz focuses on Future Earth topics.
EarthBuzz: This new branch of the Buzz focuses on Future Earth topics.Courtesy SMM

This is a different question than we're used to asking, but it's a vital one. Understanding the answer means studying more than just global warming, rising sea levels, and population growth--we also have to think about energy production, agriculture, retreating glaciers, transportation, hunger, poverty, development, and the list goes on. It turns out that because all of these issues are interrelated, we can't study or address any one of them in total isolation.

This new way of understanding is what inspired the Future Earth exhibit. Future Earth will look at environmental issues with a fresh perspective, explore the ways we study and understand our impacts on the environment, and shed light on projects that offer innovative solutions to complex problems, such as this one we hope to implement at Science Museum of Minnesota. The goal is to foster understanding, hope, and action.

Future Earth is part of a larger effort taking place at SMM, the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment, and a team of other institutions called the Future Earth Initiative. Funded by the National Science Foundation, FEI aims to raise awareness and offer workable solutions for life in a human-dominated environment. Given adequate time and resources, these solutions could help reduce our negative impacts on the environment while providing us all with the energy we need to live. Think of it as saving two birds with one…thing that you save birds with…

Jun
30
2010

Double Exposure: A new photo exhibit at SMM!
We often hear about global warming as an invisible chemical process, but rarely do we meet its direct impacts face-to-face. A new exhibit on Level 6 puts the evidence right before your eyes, and it might just give you a chill. Double Exposure: Aerial Photographs of Glaciers Then and Now opened in early June and runs through Labor Day (Mon. Sept. 6). It compares old and new photos of glaciers in Alaska and the Alps. The exhibit is a precursor to the upcoming exhibit Future Earth, opening Fall 2011, which will ask, "How do we survive and thrive on a human dominated planet?" (More on Future Earth coming soon!)

How to get to the exhibit:
Stop by on your way to dine at the Elements Cafe! Take the lobby elevators or musical stairs to Level 6 and turn right. You can't miss it!

More about Double Exposure
Global climate change is more obvious in glaciers and oceans than it is in the atmosphere because air reacts very quickly to changes in temperature. Ice and water, on the other hand, react very slowly due to thermal inertia--they only show changes in temperature that are slow and build up over time. So, by the time a change shows up in the oceans or glaciers, we can conclude that it's a long-term cumulative effect rather than a temporary fluctuation. This is why the Double Exposure project is so important.

Double Exposure follows the work of David Arnold, a freelance journalist and photographer who set out to duplicate the work of photographer Bradford Washburn. Washburn had photographed glaciers in Alaska and the Alps in the 1930s and 1960s. To create a visual record of climate change, Arnold worked from 2005-2007 to photograph some of the same sites as Washburn from the same vantage points. As you compare the old and new images, you can see that significant melting and changes in the flow of water took place in as little as 45 years.

As a visitor to Double Exposure, you'll learn how to read a glacier and interpret the photographs yourself with the exhibit to guide you. You'll learn how Arnold solved the challenge of duplicating Washburn's photos with physics. You'll also learn about current impacts, trends, and potential solutions to global warming.
So, please come check out these amazing photos!