Nature Lab at the Natural History Museum, Los Angeles, CA - July 2013

Somehow I have not done anything "outdoorsy" that is worth posting about since April although I haven't had to work my weekend job since June. Sometimes I notice I plan less when I have more time (and there's always that pesky wedding planning to focus on :).

So, although this is not something I would normally feature on the blog, I want to tell you about this great new project at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles. It's a bit citizen science and a bit urban exploration with a dash of history thrown in.

Visiting the Nature area of the museum allows you to learn about the natural history of Los Angeles County and see some wildlife for yourself in the Nature Gardens and Nature Lab. I may be a child at heart, but I thought the new space was really well done and interesting for people of all ages. Here are a couple of photos I took on-site.

In the online hub of this new project you can:
  • explore the Nature Map - a map of Los Angeles County populated with wildlife observations added by common-folk like myself. This is a collaboration with which is where I keep track of all of my observations and get help identifying the elusive organisms so I just consented to have my entries included in the map and, Voila!, they are now part of the NHM exhibit on the website and in the Nature Lab interactive wall map on-site at the museum. Pretty cool!
Here is one of my observations on the interactive map in the exhibit

  • learn about L.A.'s wildlife in their Wildlife Guide and Plant Guide.
  • check up on their BioSCAN Project - "This first-of-its-kind scientific investigation will discover and explore biodiversity in and around one of the world's largest cities: Los Angeles."
  • browse their list of projects organized by type of wildlife. It's like my Wildlife Adventurer Tools section on steroids! 
Can you tell I'm geeking out about this! So, if you have a chance to visit what they are branding as "The New NHM" I'd recommend it.