Climate change, the power of photography and the intricate balance of ocean life take center stage in the newest exhibits at the Gateway Science Museum starting Saturday, May 26.
“Climate change is a big and difficult topic to learn about,” said Gateway Science Museum executive director Adrienne McGraw. “However, if we look at its impacts through tangible and familiar topics, it can be more easily understood.”
Staged in the North Gallery will be “Climate Change Oceans: Acid vs. Life,” exploring the effects of acidity on our oceans. Potentially the greatest environmental threat we currently face, it has impacted fish behavior, harmed coral reefs and upset the ecological balance of our oceans. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about acidification at live-action and computer-animated video stations as well as several activity stations.
The photography of Bay Area-based Rob Badger and Nita Winter will also be on display in “Beauty and the Beast: California Wildflowers and Climate Change” in the Newberry Gallery through September 9. This exhibit features photos from all of California’s geographic regions, including its high alpine “rock gardens,” its colorful coastal beauty and below-sea-level Badwater Basin in Death Valley National Monument, while underscoring the delicately balanced ecosystems of each.
“In addition to the photography,” McGraw said, “the exhibit will have hands-on elements including opportunities for visitors to create their own plant images similar to how Bob and Nita make their stunning photos.”
Additional exhibits inside the James W. Cornyn Valley Gallery are “Coral Reefs: Nurseries of the Sea” and “Diary of a Hammerhead,” both of which will run through September 9. Both exhibits will focus on the busy, intricate lives of two of the oldest and most important contributors to the underwater ecosystem: coral reefs and hammerhead sharks.
Adding to the summer fun, the Gateway will host Investigation Station exhibits from 1 to 3 p.m. most Saturdays through September. These fun, interactive science explorations will range from traveling through the water cycle and studying volcanos to the effects of the climate on microfossils and how oil spills affect ecosystems and habitats. All Investigation Station activities are included with museum admission and can be found on the museum’s calendar of events.
The Gateway Science Museum is located at 625 Esplanade. Admissions is $7 for adults, $5 for children and students, and free for museum members. It’s open Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, call 530-898-5130 or visit www.csuchico.edu/gateway.