Utah Natural History Museum traveling exhibit highlights ‘amazing migration stories’
Oct 18, 2012 | 770 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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William Thomas of the Natural History Museum of Utah puts the finishing touches on one of the Amazing Migrations exhibits now on display at Zions Bank in Moab. Photos by Tom Taylor
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Salmon return from the ocean to the streams where they were hatched. Monarch butterflies roost by the millions in oyamel trees. Caribou surge over the tundra.

The Natural History Museum of Utah’s Traveling Treasures program exhibit examines those phenomena and others, focusing on the message that “migrations are magnificent and mysterious, a great rhythm of movement across the landscape.”

  The exhibit, “Amazing Migration,” is now on display at the Moab Zions Bank branch through October. The exhibit features specimens and objects from the museum’s collections that “offer a glimpse of the swirl of animals and even plants in migratory motion across the globe,” according to a museum news release.

  In conjunction with the exhibit, Natural History Museum of Utah Invertebrate Collections Manager Christy Bills will present an Oct. 24 lecture about the “amazing world of invertebrates all around us,” according to a news release. Bills will answer questions from the audience. She will also have live tarantulas on hand for participants to view, officials said. The lecture will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. at Zions Bank’s Moab office at 330 S. Main St.

Traveling Treasures is sponsored by the Natural History Museum of Utah at the University of Utah and is in its 15th year of the partnership. The exhibit, which changes its theme every two years, is installed in the lobbies of Zions Bank in communities across the state. During the span of the program, Traveling Treasures has been taken to 166 communities, traveled approximately 20,800 miles, and reached more than 400,000 Utah residents through the exhibit and related free family events, museum officials said.

  “As the state museum of natural history, we want to reach out to communities across the entire state of Utah to extend the opportunity for residents to experience the Museum’s vast collections,” said Museum Executive Director Sarah George. “The Traveling Treasures exhibit has been an important exhibit that has helped relay the story of the Museum’s collections across the state. Amazing Migrations is one of those stories, and it shows how Utah is connected to places all over the globe.”

  The new exhibit details migrations of people, animals and plants. The displays include a cadre of Monarch butterflies, a deer skull, and even an ancient moccasin, as well as dozens of other objects and specimens, officials said. Amazing Migration will be in the lobby of 11 different Zions Banks during the 2012 calendar year.

  The exhibit will travel 1,280 miles across the state of Utah, visiting 11 communities. After debuting in Brigham City in February, the exhibit traveled to South Ogden, Tooele, Saratoga Springs, Richfield, Salina, Manti, and Price. Following its stop in Moab, the exhibit will move on to Monticello and Kanab.

  “Migrations are amazing. Scientists know why animals migrate, but much less about how they make their journeys,” museum officials said in the news release. “But, migrations also create connections. Through migrating animals, Utah is connected to the Arctic, South America, and countless places in between.”

  The Natural History Museum of Utah, the University of Utah, is one of the leading scientific research and cultural institutions in the Intermountain West. Established in 1963, the museum oversees more than 1.2 million objects and offers exhibitions and educational programs to thousands of residents and visitors each year, including traveling and permanent exhibits, special events and other programs. The museum also offers a variety of outreach programs to communities and schools throughout the state, reaching every Utah school district each year, officials said. The museum has an active research program that includes more than 30 scientists and features 10 field expeditions each year, officials said.

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