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Milstein Science Series


May 19, 2013

Whales Preview Homepage Slide

The oceans are home to about 80 species of whales, and over the centuries cultures from around the world have both hunted and revered them. But what is the plight of these unique creatures? Go inside a 45-foot, life-size replica of a humpback whale; explore hands-on activities; meet scientists, and more, in this family program.


Performance | Noon and 3 pm - The Kahurangi Maori Dance Theatre of New Zealand.

Meet the Experts | 1 pm - Join scientists Howard Rosenbaum and Christopher Clark as they discuss current whale research and issues surrounding the protection of whales. Followed by an audience Q&A.

Istar | 11 am – 4 pm - Hear from the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine about Istar, a real humpback whale who lives in the Atlantic Ocean. Learn about Istar’s daily routine, including what she eats, the places she travels, and who she spends her time with. After learning about this famous whale’s life, go inside an inflated 45-foot, life-size replica of her body.

Exploration Stations | 11 am –4 pm

Behind the Scenes | Take a look at related Museum collections of fish, artifacts, and more with Museum scientists.

Flukes and Fins | At this game station, see if you can match up the flukes and fins and win a whale of a prize.

Blubber Lover | Place your hands in “blubber”-filled gloves and find out how whales stay insulated in the cold ocean temperatures.

Raven | Listen to the sounds of whales and learn about the importance of animal sound and communication with the Cornell Bioacoustics Research Program.


Howard Rosenbaum, director of Ocean Giants Program, Wildlife Conservation Society and American Museum of Natural History. He has conducted marine mammal research and conservation activities for 25 years on projects that integrate a variety of approaches to better understand and protect endangered whale populations.  The application of current techniques in molecular biology to the conservation of wildlife is central to Dr. Rosenbaum’s research, which includes population genetics, systematics, biogeography, and conservation of cetaceans, ranging from large baleen whales to small cetaceans.

Christopher Clark, an engineer and biologist, is the I.P. Johnson Director of the Bioacoustics Research Program at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology and senior scientist in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at Cornell University. Chris’s research concentrates on animal vocal communication with a particular interest in the application of advanced acoustic methods for scientific conservation of endangered species, from birds to whales. The Bioacoustics Research Program develops and applies engineered systems to understand the natural acoustic behaviors of animals in order to enable responsible decisions regarding the potential impacts of human activities on individuals and populations.

Kahurangi (Cloak from Heaven) is New Zealand’s only full-time Maori dance company of professional caliber to maintain a consistent presence in North America for the past eighteen years. Kahurangi was formed to provide cultural, recreational, educational, and employment opportunities for graduates of Takitimu Performing Arts School, based in Hastings, New Zealand, which has established itself as a pioneer in the field of Maori performing arts and was the first tertiary institution to offer a full-time undergraduate degree in traditional Maori performing arts. Since 1985, Kahurangi has presented over 5,000 performances in New Zealand, Australia, China, Singapore, Mexico, India, Malaysia, the United States, and Canada.

The Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine, located in downtown Portland’s arts district, was recently named one of the 12 Best Children’s Museums in the U.S. by Four floors of exhibits include a child-size town, indoor woodland environment with a working stream, an interactive video exhibit highlighting Maine families with diverse cultural backgrounds, and one of New England’s only Camera Obscuras (profiled in AAA New England Magazine and The Boston Globe). Fun educational programs in the areas of science, art, and global culture are offered every half hour. Most are free with admission, including star shows in a mini-planetarium, touch tank programs with live creatures native to Casco Bay, and a wide range of arts and crafts.


The Milstein Science Series is proudly sponsored by the Irma and Paul Milstein Family.

Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life

American Museum of Natural History

Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY 10024-5192
Phone: 212-769-5100

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