5630 Dunbar St. at 41st Ave.
604-684-4613

Newsletter #209, May 7, 2011

Things to do in the neighbourhood: UBC Beaty Museum of Biodiversity, part 2

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The Beaty Biodiversity Museum works to illuminate how biodiversity evolved, how it is maintained, why it matters to humans, and how we can conserve it. The museum seeks to nurture the sense of wonder that many--especially youth--feel in experiencing biodiversity in hopes that they choose to preserve it as citizens, and perhaps even study it as scientists.

Science studies life's diversity in order to understand common principles underlying the biology of all species, to understand how our ecosystems came to be and how they function, and to learn how to act sustainably. Since the early 20th century, biologists at UBC have archived specimens of the many species they have studied in our natural history collections.

The museum puts UBC's natural history collections, with more than two million specimens, on public view for the first time, filling the 20,000 square foot display area. Among the treasures are a 26 metre long blue whale skeleton suspended in the Atrium, the second-largest fish collection in the nation, and myriad fossils, shells, insects, fungi, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and plants from around British Columbia and the world.
On May 13, 2010, the University of British Columbia officially opened the Beaty Biodiversity Centre, which houses the Beaty Biodiversity Museum and the Biodiversity Research Centre – a team of more than 50 scientists dedicated to understanding and conserving the diversity of life on earth. Over the past year, the exhibits have been assembled and put in place and are now open to the public.
Hundreds of preserved specimens are on display in upwards of 20 rows of display cases.
Most of the material is kept in locked cabinets and are only available for research, but a good deal of displays are open and drawers beneath them make for interesting interactive information.
Given the high "ick" factor, it's a perfect place to take the kids.
Displays go back to the very beginning, evidence here of the Cretaceous Extinction.
There is a playroom-workstation with tables and chairs for children to draw and build things under supervision.
And for kids of all ages, there is a lab with over a dozen microscopes and plenty of samples to explore.

The Beaty Museum is located at 2212 Main Mall, just to the South West of the UBC Bookstore. Information about getting there and parking is on their web site.

The Museum is open Wednesday to Sunday, 11 am to 5 pm and there is a small admission charge. There are guided tours at 2-hour intervals.

Other things to do in the neighbourhood:

Newsletter #147
UBC Botanical Garden

Newsletter #148
UBC Farm in danger

Newsletter #149
Camosun Bog

Newsletter #150
Southlands Nursery

Newsletter #151
Museum of Anthropology Grounds

Newsletter #152
Kerrisdale Village

Newsletter #153
UBC Walking Tour

Newsletter #166
Thunderbird Olympic Arena

Newsletter #169
Museum of Anthropology reopens

Newsletter #173
UBC Nitobe Garden

Newsletter #174
Arthur Erickson House and Garden

Newsletter # 180
The Pacific Museum of the Earth

Newsletter #182
Southlands Country Fair

Newsletter #196
UBC Beaty Museum of Biodiversity

Newsletter #209
UBC Beaty Museum of Biodiversity, part 2

Back to index

Newsletter #210
Postal worker shutout eclipsed by Canucks shutout and riot

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