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Student Tracks Butterfly Flower Preferences

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When 12-year-old Katelyn took a field trip to a butterfly exhibit, she wondered why butterflies chose certain flowers over others when it came time to feed.

The question led Katelyn to conduct an experiment that tracked painted lady butterflies’ flower preferences. Her project, which earned her a 2011 Young Naturalist Award, is described in the essay Butterfly Buffet: The Feeding Preferences of Painted Ladies.

Tags: Butterflies, Young Naturalist Awards

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Margaret Mead Film Festival Celebrates 35-Year Anniversary With Exciting Program

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Much has changed in documentary filmmaking since the American Museum of Natural History organized the first Margaret Mead Film Festival in 1977 as a celebration of the pioneering anthropologist and longtime Museum curator.

A still from We Still Live Here, featured in this year's Margaret Mead Film Festival. Photo by J. Reed.

But the one constant has been the Mead Festival’s enduring distinction for bringing the public the best in innovative nonfiction films, a legacy that will be celebrated at this year’s 35th-anniversary program held from Thursday, November 10, through Sunday, November 13.

“Since I first began working in film, the Mead Festival had a legendary place among film festivals,” says Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky, who is leading the jury selection for this year’s Margaret Mead Filmmaker Award. “The films are always amazing.”

Tags: Margaret Mead Film Festival

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Brooklyn Brewery Brewmaster Garrett Oliver Talks Beer

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Beer and cheese have long been two of America’s favorite things. On October 19, Brooklyn Brewery Brewmaster Garrett Oliver and Aaron Foster of Murray’s Cheese will lead the Museum’s Adventures in the Global Kitchen: Beer and Cheese, an exploration of how carefully crafted pairings can bring out the best in both, complete with tastings of multiple seasonal beers and cheese. Oliver, who recently edited The Oxford Companion to Beer, answered a few questions about the popular beverage.

Tags: Food

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California Student Investigates Effects of Plastic Debris on Ocean Insects

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Growing up near coastal California, 17-year-old Marci watched plastic litter enter the ocean at an alarming rate. After reading about how this debris affected large vertebrates, she wondered how animals lower on the food chain fared.

Marci decided the water strider species Halobates sericeus would be the ideal subject for her experiment. “Since these fully pelagic water striders live solely at the sea-air interface, their life is played out completely on the two-dimensional surface of the ocean,” where most plastic debris collects, wrote Marci in her essay Effect of Neustonic Microplastic Debris on the Pelagic Insect Halobates sericeus. Her experiment earned her a 2011 Young Naturalist Award.

Tags: Young Naturalist Awards

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