South Florida Museum Weekly News: Upcoming events, programs and more, Wed, Mar 19, 2014

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South Florida Museum Summer Science Camps are Now Open for Enrollment!
The South Florida Museum’s annual Summer Science Camp is open for registration. We offer 6 weeks of camps for students entering grades 2 – 5, each week with a new and exciting theme! (This year the Museum will also be offering camp for students entering grades 6-8. Details on weekly themes and enrollment information will be coming soon.) Camps take place Monday through Friday from 9 am – 4 pm. Snacks are provided but students must bring their own lunches. Detailed information about themes and pricing is provided below. Click here for more information.
Week 1: Veterinary Science       
June 16 – 20             

Learn all about how to care for your pets as well as other domesticated and wild animals. Investigate the history of domestication and animal training while gaining new insights on animal care through the scientific perspective.


Week 2: Coral Reefs & Our Oceans  

June 23 – 27

How do coral reefs form? Why are they important and how do they affect the ecosystems of our oceans? These and many other questions answered about coral reefs and atolls around the world.


Week 3: It’s Electric!    

June 30 – July 3 (Four day week – no class July 4th)

Experience electricity with your own two hands!  Metaphorically speaking of course! Engage in hands-on learning challenges such as constructing circuits, building electromagnets and designing circuit boards. Learn how electricity can be powered from alternative sources such as wind, water and sunlight. Power the future! 


Week 4: Under the Microscope      

July 7 – 11

Take a look at the micro world through the lens of this amazing science tool. Examine tiny “beasties*” in the water and in dirt and even on our own skin! Tour the microscopic world living all around us – not for the faint of heart!

*Antony van Leeuwenhoek’s (the father of microbiology) own word when seeing the microfauna for the first time!


Week 5: Monsters of Our Seas

July 14 – 18

Imagine you are a sailor on the ancient seas discovering for the first time the “monsters” living beneath the dark waters…sharks, whales, octopus, giant squid just to name a few. What’s out there in the DEEPEST waters? Come and explore the depths of our oceans from the safe, dry classroom. 


Week 6: Planets, Planets Everywhere!

July 21 – 25

Scientists are finding new planets orbiting other stars every day! These extra-solar or exo-planets come in all sizes, some even resemble our own earth. Travel around our own solar system, Milky Way galaxy and universe in the Bishop Planetarium for a truly “out of this world” experience! 



Registration requires a $50 non-refundable deposit per session selected, and will be accepted by mail (check or credit card) or fax (credit card) only. A registration form and medical release form are required. Space is limited and will be filled on a first come first served basis.  


South Florida Museum Members qualify for the Member rate. Members enrolling more than one camper also enjoy a reduced rate for additional campers.     

Museum Member Camp……………$180/session  

Member Additional Camp……………$155/session 
Non-Member Camp………………………$225/session


The Museum will accept checks (made out to ‘South Florida Museum’) or Visa/MC. Full payment for camp session is due by the first day of camp, but will be accepted at time of registration. Full refunds will be made if the Museum cancels a session. Camp fees, less your non-refundable deposit, will be refunded if you cancel 30 days prior to your camp session


Financial Assistance may be available to help subsidize fees. Registration forms are available for download online here. For more information or to register for camp, please contact Amy Bower directly at 941-746-4131, ext. 13.


Film Fridays presents

An American Legacy” 

So Proudly We Hail this Friday,
March 21 at 6 pm

Honoring Veterans in Partnership with Legacy of Valor


The Film Fridays series “An American Legacy” features moving portrayals of U.S. military troops and events throughout recent history, focusing on the intimate stories behind the heroics. In partnership with the Legacy of Valor campaign and the Manatee County Veterans Council, “An American Legacy” highlights the personal sacrifices and patriotic spirit exhibited by our American troops. The Legacy of Valor, a campaign created by the Patterson Foundation, endeavors to connect with the community to create and share a mosaic of events that honor veterans, inspire patriotism and embrace freedom. The series runs Friday evenings at 6 p­m through March 28, 2014. (See individual film listing & schedule below.) 


Film Fridays programs cost $5 General Admission, $3 Museum Members – seating is limited; reservations are required, call 941-746-4131, ext. 13 or RSVP online here. The Museum and the Legacy of Valor will additionally offer free admission to the film series for veterans and their families (up to 6 people per family, 60 admissions per screening), advanced reservations required. Please call 941-746-4131, ext. 13 for details and reservations. (Free tickets for veterans may not be reserved online.) 


In addition to the films in the series, the program will offer visitors the special opportunity to view related materials and artifacts from the Museum’s permanent collections, as well as personal items borrowed from the private collections of community members, adding both a personal touch and historical context to the military stories presented in the movies themselves. These items will be on display in the Planetarium Lobby during select Museum hours as well as at the film screenings in special exhibit cases changing weekly throughout the run of the series. The Museum is proud to welcome special guests from the Manatee County Veterans Council and the Legacy of Valor campaign at each film presentation.


This week’s film:

Friday, March 21 at 6 pm – So Proudly We Hail

(1943) Not Rated, 126 minutes. 

A stirring, patriotic drama of the romance and heroism of a team of World War II Army Nurses who fought side by side with the men of Bataan and Corregidor. One of the most popular and successful films of the wartime era, featuring Claudette Colbert, Veronica Lake, and topped by Paulette Goddard’s Oscar-nominated performance.



Museum Members – $3

Non-Members – $5


Paid reservations required; please RSVP by clicking here or call Amy Bower at 941-746-4131, ext. 13. (Veterans wishing to reserve FREE seats must call Amy Bower for reservations; FREE veterans’ tickets are not available online.) Please arrive promptly: Pre-purchased program seats will be held until 5 minutes prior to program start time ONLY, at which time they may be released for re-sale.


 Remaining film in this series:

March 28 at 6 pm – Alive Day Memories (2007)



Sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.  


March is Florida Archaeology Month! 

Join Us in Celebrating the Museum’s Founding Collection of Artifacts from Montague Tallant 


Montague Tallant

Florida’s diverse history and prehistory stretches back over 12,000 years. Every March, statewide programs and events celebrating Florida Archaeology Month are designed to encourage Floridians and visitors to learn more about the archaeology and history of the state, and to preserve these important parts of Florida’s rich cultural heritage. Florida Archaeology Month 2014 explores Florida’s first people, the Paleoindians.


The South Florida Museum features a large collection of materials from these people. The first floor galleries featurs fossil evidence of Florida’s earliest marine and mammal inhabitants and archaeological material representing paleoindian, archaic and pre-contact cultures. Of particular note is the Museum’s world class archaeological gallery featuring the collection of Montague Tallant. 


Montague Tallant’s passion for collecting began at an early age and lasted a lifetime. By 1909 when he moved with his family to Florida from Virginia, the youth had accumulated more than 2500 items. At the time of this death, Tallant had explored more than 169 sites in Florida and amassed one of the world’s most comprehensive private collections of Florida’s First People artifacts.

Pottery featured in the Tallant Collection.

Most of Tallant’s collecting was done in the 1930s. During this time, he interacted with many prominent archaeologists including John Goggin and J. Clarence Simpson. Matthew W. Stirling, Chief of Bureau of American Ethnology at the Smithsonian, took great interest in Tallant’s work. Stirling arranged for analyses of Tallant’s gold and silver artifacts, taught him pottery reconstruction techniques and visited Tallant on digs in Florida. 


During the post-war period, Tallant was approached by several out-of-town buyers who were interested in his collection. A civic effort in Bradenton championed by the Chamber of Commerce raised money to purchase the collection and its artifacts of pottery, metal, bead, shell and stone tools, which became the founding collection of the South Florida Museum in 1946. Following his death, his widow sold the remaining collection to the Museum of the American Indian in New York City. It is now part of the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. For more information about the Tallant Collection, click here. The collection is on view to the public and is included in regular Museum admission.


Florida Archaeology Month is coordinated by the Florida Anthropological Society, and supported by the Department of State, Division of Historical Resources. Additional sponsors for 2014 include the Florida Archaeological Council, Florida Public Archaeology Network, state and local museums, historical commissions, libraries, and public and private school systems. For more information about this month-long celebration of archaeology, click here to visit the Florida Archaeology Month webpage.



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In This Issue:
Summer Science Camp
Film Friday This Week
Volunteer at the Museum
Museum Hours
Program Calendar
Museum Store
Volunteer Central
Now Hiring
Snooty Cam
Museum Affiliations

Hours and Info

Current Museum Hours:
Monday through Saturday:
10 am to 5 pm
Sunday: Noon to 5 pm

2014 Admission Prices:

Adults – $18
Seniors (65+) – $16 
Children (4-12) – $14  
Children 3 and under – Free with paying adult
Museum Members – Free
(click here for details)
Active Military / Florida Teachers – Free with proper ID
Combo Tickets are also available for the South Florida Museum and the Da Vinci Machines Exhibition, click here for more information.

For more info, call 941-746-4131, ext. 0 or visit


Events & Programs Calendar
Click here to view our upcoming calendar of events and programs. Call 941-746-4131, ext. 13 for more information.
Upcoming Programs:
March 26, 7 pm – Join us for our exciting live star talk, Stelliferous Live with Jeff Rodgers, Director of the Bishop Planetarium. Stelliferous Live is the fourth Wednesday of every month at 7 pm in the Bishop Planetarium. Each month, we’ll take a look at the upcoming month’s night skies, then enjoy a discussion about current events in astronomy. Past topics include the Higgs Boson, the search for extrasolar planets and the future of space exploration. 


Stelliferous Live costs $2 for Museum Members, $4 for Non-members. Paid reservations are required.


 Click Here to Purchase Tickets or call 941-746-4131, ext. 13.


Beach Season is Here!
Do you have your manatee accessories ready to hit the sand?


The Museum Store offers unique manatee beach towels and beach bags to prepare you to get your toes sandy this summer. Stop by to pick up these fun and fitting accessories for your next day at the beach!


And of course, don’t forget to browse all of the great adult and children’s apparel, games, toys, and astronomy, history and science accessories that you’ve come to love. 


The Museum Store is open during all normal Museum hours (see above), no admission required.


For more information or to place an order, call the Store at 941-746-4131, ext. 28, email [email protected] or visit 


Volunteer Central

The Museum is grateful to the people who donate their time and talent to make our operations possible. At the South Florida Museum, volunteers play an integral role in helping the staff and Board achieve our mission, “To engage and inspire learners of all ages; we protect, interpret and communicate scientific and cultural knowledge of Florida, the world, and our universe.” 


Current Volunteer Needs:


Museum Docents – Would you like to lead curious learners across time and place to reveal the secrets of early Florida? No experience necessary. We will train you in Museum content, learning techniques and crowd control. Must have desire to work with children and adults and be able to climb stairs and stand for extended periods of time. Hours are generally M-F 9:45 am to 12:30 pm. Volunteers may choose any days and times that fit their schedule.


Aquarium Manatee Care – Volunteer manatee handlers assist staff with general husbandry care and support for the Aquarium’s resident (Snooty) and rehabilitation manatees. Duties include food prep, creating environmental enrichment devices, assisting the dive spotter and feeding the manatees. May include participation in animal transportation and physical exams as well as plant collection.


Office Support – Assist in the fulfillment of Museum memberships or in the archiving and organization of marketing materials and data. The desire to work with computer-based programs or paper filing and archiving, attention to process and detail are needed. Available days and times range Monday through Friday, 9 am to 4 pm. Volunteers may choose the days and times that fit their schedule. 


For more info, contact 941-746-4131, ext. 13 or [email protected].


For more information about volunteer opportunities at the Museum, click here


Now Hiring!
museum building
The South Florida Museum is currently hiring.. Please see information below. Contact [email protected] for general employment inquiries.
Manatee Care and Aquarium Specialist

The South Florida Museum is looking for a part-time manatee care and aquarium specialist to help take care of Snooty, our rehabilitation manatees, and aquariums. Qualifications: All candidates must have SCUBA dive certifications with at least 25 recent open water dives (non-certification dives) logged. Background in marine biology, animal care associated with aquariums or zoos, and public presentation experience preferred. Courses in marine mammal training an asset. Candidates should be able bodied and capable of lifting heavy objects (50 lbs) and traversing flights of stairs. Please contact Director of Living Collections Marilyn Margold directly for more information: 
[email protected] or 941-746-4131 extension 20.


Snooty Cam graphic
Watch Snooty via the Snooty Cam

Check on wild manatees released from the South Florida Museum and other rehabilitation facilities at


South Florida Museum Memberships and Affiliations:






Staff List – 
Click name to email or call us at (941) 746-4131
Brynne Anne Besio  

Executive Director, ext. 18

Marilyn Margold

Director of Living Collections,  
ext. 20 

Jeff Rodgers

Planetarium/Education Director,  
ext. 22 

Matt Woodside

Director of Exhibitions and Chief Curator, ext. 37 

Jack Balkan
Facility Director, ext. 26  


Tiffany Birakis

Assistant Curator of Exhibitions & Collections, ext. 16


Ellen Ferraro 

Visitor Services Manager, ext. 29 

Martha Wells

Development Director, ext. 35

Curator of Education, ext. 31

Jessica Schubick
Communications Manager, ext. 14 

Annual Fund Manager, ext. 11
Administrative and Development Coordinator, ext. 17
Program Coordinator, ext. 13
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The South Florida Museum’s Mission: To engage and inspire learners of all ages; we protect, interpret and communicate scientific and cultural knowledge of Florida, the world, and our universe.

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