The Search for Alien Worlds
April 25 - July 25, 2019
Discover Exoplanets: The Search for Alien Worlds is a national traveling exhibition exploring the fascinating world of space and astronomy. Discovery Exoplanets covers topics such as the search for habitable worlds beyond our Solar System, how NASA scientists are searching for these worlds, and how they may be like our own.
Getting people interested in science can bE challenge, but Discover Exoplanets strives to make it fun with hands-on, multimedia activities where visitors can build their own solar systems, see the most recent NASA discoveries, and learn about whether popular TV and movies feature "Science Fact or Science Fiction." A more unique aspect of this program is that Portneuf District Library is hosting an exhibit with similar content, and the two venues will be working together on programming. The Idaho Museum of Natural History will also offer a related series of public events to bring STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programming to children, teens and adults.
"We are proud that the IMNH was selected to be one of seven sites nationwide to host the Discover Exoplanet exhibit," said Dr. Leif Tapanila, Director. "We have partnered with Portneuf District Library to bring this important exhibition to our community. We think people of all ages and backgrounds will find that the exhibition explores the universe, and our place in it, in a way that is understandable, inspirational, and relevant."
The IMNH is located on the Idaho State University Pocatello campus.
Discover Exoplanets was developed by the Space Science Institute's National Center for Interactive Learning (NCIL) in partnership with NASA's Universe of Learning. This project was made possible through support from NASA, under cooperative agreement number NNX16AC65A.
Discover the Naturalist Within
Journey with Edson Fichter
May 2019 - January 2020
Discover the Naturalist Within, Journey with Edson Fichter is a new collaborative public exhibition by the Idaho Museum of Natural History (IMNH). The exhibit's narrative framework focuses on creating a new generation of nature enthusiasts from Dr. Edson Fichter's past work as an Idaho naturalist. Fichter was a well-known Pocatello artist and biologist and an extremely talented wildlife illustrator, photographer, and writer. He still lives in the hearts of many as admirers of his art and for his numerous contributions to science. The IMNH has over 40 pieces in a collection of Fichter’s drawings, pictures, poetry, and research documents generated from his studies in the Pahsimoroi Valley, Idaho.
Like Fichter’s work from the past, today, anyone interested can become a citizen scientist naturalist and contribute to the base of current knowledge in biology, zoology, ornithology, etc. Naturalists today, also referred to as citizen scientists, contribute to science through the mobile application iNaturalist. Visitors to the IMNH will learn how they too can be on a bike ride in the foothills, see a flower, take a picture, and learn what the plant is. The data collected is placed into a global database, identified by experts, and the location is GPS’d for future use in conservation and species research.
Dr. Chuck Peterson’s recent article on iNaturalist and how the science community is using findings. A local Pocatello iNaturalist project has been established at Idaho Fish and Game's Edson Fichter Nature Area, with observations being contributed at this time.
Exhibit collaborators include Ryan Babcock; ISU Arts Dept., Stan Gates; Gate City Fine Arts, Dr. Peterson, ISU Biology Dept., Dr. Rick Williams, ISU Affiliate Faculty, Jennifer Jackson; Idaho Fish and Game, and others that knew Edson personally.
Education is fundamental at the IMNH. Two ISU graduate students are working to develop this exhibit in preparation for their chosen fields of Art and Museum studies. Additionally, the IMNH is preparing Discover the Naturalist Within: Journey with Edson Fichter as one of our future traveling exhibit in conjunction with the Idaho Library Association to be shared across the State to currently geographically underserved populations.