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August Calendar Museum of Natural Sciences

Atomic Brain, Rocaterrania and More at the Museum of Natural Sciences


Renaldo Kuhler

Renaldo Kuhler

The Secret World of Renaldo Kuhler
Movie Screening & Live Music
August 15, 7 p.m.


Renaldo Kuhler has been a scientific illustrator for the NC Museum of Natural
since 1969, drawing hundreds of gorgeously detailed portraits of snakes, spiders, bats and shrews, for display and as illustrations in natural history books. Former Museum media specialist Brett Ingram recently finished his own detailed portrait of Kuhler, titled “Rocaterrania,” a feature-length documentary that will be shown in the Museum auditorium on Saturday, August 15 at 7 p.m.

Doors to the Museum open at 6 p.m. Ingram will be on hand to discuss his inspiration for making “Rocaterrania” and members of Shark Quest, the Triangle-area instrumental band that scored “Rocaterrania” and “Monster Road,” will play a short set prior to the screening. [The movie has a suggested rating of PG-13.]

In addition, several of Kuhler’s illustrations will be on display on the Museum’s main floor August 12-19. Snacks and beverages will be available for purchase the night of the screening.

Seating is limited.

The Nature Art Gallery

serving pieces

Interpreting Nature in Porcelain
Functional Pottery by Silvie Granetelli
August 7 – 30, 2009

Opening reception
August 7, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Science Cafe


NC Snakes: Facts & Fiction
August 18, 6:30 – 8:30 pm

This month’s location: Tir Na Nog, 218 South Blount St, Raleigh

Did you know that North Carolina is home to almost 40 species of native snakes—all but six of which are non-venomous and considered harmless?  Of the six venomous species found in our state, only one, the copperhead occurs statewide and is likely to be encountered in Wake County.

In this café we will discuss topics including the natural history and identification of these animals, current NC legislation about snakes and other exotic reptiles, as well as the challenges involved with keeping snakes in a public Museum.

About the Speakers
Daniel S. Dombrowski, M.S., DVM is currently the Veterinarian and Coordinator of Living Collections at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences.

Phil Bradley is the Assistant Coordinator / Living Collections Herpetologist at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

RSVP to For more information, contact Katey Ahmann at 919-733-7450, ext. 531.

Chocolate Lecture of Chocolate and Kings: The Origins and History of Chocolate in Ancient Mexico

chocolate aztek

Tuesday, September 1, 7 p.m.

Join Dorie Reents-Budet, Curator of the Art of the Ancient Americas collection at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, for a discussion of the origins of chocolate, its social and economic roles, and its myriad recipes among the Olmecs, the May and the Aztecs.
Tickets: $8 for members, $10 for general public

Chocolate Walking Tours

chocolate bnr small

Presented by Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours

Visit Chocolate: The Exhibition, then indulge in an intense chocolate tasting at a unique chocolate shop that grinds and hand makes its own chocolates.  Enjoy cupcakes and even taste chocolate in stout and soda! A ticket to the exhibit is included in the ticket price.

Gourmet Chocolate Tour-August 22


11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Fee: $30  For chocolate fans age 8 and older.

Chocolate: The Exhibition; yummy lunch outside the Museum; Escazu Artisan Chocolates for chocolate tasting and education; The Cupcake Shoppe for cupcakes; and Busy Bee for choice of chocolate soda, chocolate stout, chocolate milk, hot chocolate, mocha drink or chocolate tea.

Gourmet Chocolate Tour-August 22
3:00 p.m.
Fee: $37  For chocolate fans 21 and older.

Chocolate: The Exhibition; Escazu Artisan Chocolates for chocolate tasting and education; The Cupcake Shoppe for cupcakes; fancy chocolate tasting at The Mint; and Busy Bee for choice of chocolate soda, chocolate stout, chocolate milk, hot chocolate, mocha drink or chocolate tea.

Rent the Museum

ncmuseumofnaturalsciencesDid you know you could rent the Museum? We offer a very unique venue for your special occasion or meeting.  Day and evening space is available.  To enhance your event, consider a program presented by our fabulous educators!  We offer programs with live animals, team building activities and much more!

For more information, contact or 919.733.7459, ext. 315.

Charles Darwin Lecture Series


Islands in the Cosmos: The Evolution of Life on Land
Tuesday, September 29, 7 p.m.

Dale Russell, the Museum’s senior curator of paleontology, will present a talk on his new book, Islands in the Cosmos, which traces a path from the dawn of the universe to speculations about our future on this planet.  Signed copies of his book will be available.

To Attend This Event
RSVP to  Admission is free. Seating is on a first come, first served basis.

About the Series
The Museum, in collaboration with the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) and the W.M. Keck Center for Behavioral Biology at N.C. State University, is presenting this lecture series throughout 2009 to commemorate the bicentennial of Charles Darwin’s birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of “The Origin of Species.”

On November 24, the final lecture in the series will feature Museum paleontologist Paul Brinkman speaking on “Charles Darwin’s Beagle Voyage and the Origin of ‘The Origin’.”

Chocolate: The Exhibition

A gift for the gods. A symbol of wealth and luxury. An economic livelihood. Bonbons. Hot fudge. Candy bars. Get the complete story behind the tasty treat that we crave in “Chocolate,” an exciting new exhibition at the Museum open through September 7!

Tickets Prices:
$7 for adults
$5 for seniors/students/military
$4 for children (5-11)

FREE for members of Friends of the Museum.

Chocolate and its national tour were developed by The Field Museum, Chicago.
This project was supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation.

Prairie Ridge: Ecostation for Wildlife & Learning


Citizen Science Days: Monarch Larva Monitoring Project
September 15

You and your family can learn to be citizen scientists at Prairie Ridge Ecostation.
You can help researchers learn more about this amazing journey by learning how to identify monarch caterpillars and how to report your observations via the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project.

Free.  Minimum age is 8.  Pre-registration is required.  To register, or for more information, contact or 919.733.7450 x672.

Tuesday Walks at Prairie Ridge

Sept 1 & 15
8:30-10:30 a.m.
Fee: $4 ($2 for members)
Minimum age: 8
For information or to register, contact Cathy Fergen at 919.733.7450 x671 or

First Friday

August 7, 5-9 p.m., 6 p.m.

Live Museum with The Foyer

atomic brain

7 p.m.  Natural Horror Picture Show

The Atomic Brain (1964)

A rich but unscrupulous old woman plots with a scientist to have her brain implanted in the skull of a sexy young woman.

Free tickets for film are available at front desk beginning at 5 p.m. on a first come, first served basis.

First Friday Discount

Chocolate: The Exhibition. After 5 p.m., all tickets $4 (free for members).  Last ticket sold at 7 p.m.

6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
The Nature Art Gallery Opening Reception
for Interpreting Nature in Porcelein by Silvie Granatelli

Museum exhibits open until 9 p.m.

Arthropod Zoo Programs

Urban Insects – August 8
Join us on a walk around town searching for and learning to identify many of the insects in our own backyards.  Minimum age: 10.  Minors must be accompanied by a registered adult.

Cicadas – August 24
Take a walk around town searching for and learning to identify many of the cicadas in your own backyards.  Minimum age: 10. Minors must be accompanied by a registered adult.

The Forestry Museum

Monday at the Museum presents “How Trees Benefit Our Community”
August 17, 6:30 p.m.

A special presentation by Alan D. Moore, Urban Forestry Specialist

The North Carolina Forestry Museum is a satellite facility of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and is located in Whiteville, NC.

Workshops & Trips

Green Swamp/Lake Waccamaw Adventure
Dark Sky Weekend
Fall Plant Propagation
Black River Paddle

Nature Fun For The Very Young and  Family Science Investigations

Educator Treks
Discover ways to integrate outdoor experiences into your curricula.


Ecology of an Island

Got Elk?

Birthday Parties

Celebrate a fun-filled, hands-on birthday party at the Museum complete with live animals, crafts, and games.

Chocolate: The Indulgence

After visiting Chocolate: The Exhibition come by the Acro Cafe to sample Chocolate: The Indulgence.  Featuring a variety of chocolate cakes, cookies, and pies along with traditional chocolate mousse.

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