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‘Nature Unleashed’ coming to Fernbank Museum in 2010

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The eruption of Mount St. Helens on July 22, 1980, showing an elutriate cloud from pyroclastic flow rising through cloud layer. USGS photo by Jim Vallance, provided by the Field Museum.

Fernbank Museum of Natural History announced today a new exhibition that explores natural disasters through images, animation and artifacts.

Nature Unleashed: Inside Natural Disasters,” will run Feb. 6 through May 2, 2010. It was organized and developed by The Field Museum in Chicago. I recommend poking through the Field Museum’s exhibition site — it offers a lot of detail about what they included in terms of hands-on experiences and hands-off artifacts. Fernbank will also show the IMAX film, “Forces of Nature,” while the exhibition runs.

The exhibit delves into earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes and tornadoes. Here’s the description from the press release:

Museum visitors can witness what it’s like to stand inside a roaring tornado; trigger an underwater earthquake and simulate a tsunami; create a virtual volcano; touch and examine real rock and lava specimens; discover how people adapt to living at risk; and witness the resiliency of disaster survivors. The exhibition shows that while storms, volcanoes, and other forces of nature are formidable, they are completely natural phenomena. Whether they’re disasters or not depends on the choices we make.

The new exhibition will move into the space currently filled with the “Gold” exhibition, which explores perceptions of uses of gold in history, science, decorative arts, industry and economies.

Want to go? “Nature Unleashed” opens Feb. 6, 2010 and continues through May 2.$15 for adults, $14 for students and seniors, $13 for children ages 3 to 12, free for members and children ages 2 and younger. The exhibition is included in museum admission, but the IMAX film costs extra. Fernbank Museum of Natural History, 767 Clifton Road, N.E., Atlanta. 404-929-6300,

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