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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — University of Florida faculty and staff are invited to explore the Florida Museum of Natural History free of charge from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

The museum mailed postcards to UF employees that may be presented for free admission to the temporary exhibit “CSI: Crime Scene Insects” and the “Butterfly Rainforest” exhibit. UF employees who did not receive a postcard may still receive free admission Saturday Dec. 4, 2010, with a valid Gator 1 card.

UF employees who show their Gator 1 card Dec. 4 also will receive a 10 percent discount in the museum gift shops and on butterfly-friendly plant sale purchases.

“The Florida Museum is one of UF’s hidden treasures, and we hope faculty and staff will take this opportunity to visit and enjoy our exhibits free of charge,” said Doug Jones, museum director and curator of invertebrate paleontology. “We’ve discussed doing something like this in appreciation of university employees for some time, and are looking forward to this special day in their honor.”

Other museum exhibits are free and open to the public.

The Florida Museum, located in UF Cultural Plaza on Hull Road across from the SW Recreation Center, has five permanent exhibits: the “Butterfly Rainforest” and other indoor butterfly exhibits, “Florida Fossils: Evolution of Life & Land,” “Northwest Florida: Waterways & Wildlife,” “South Florida People & Environments” and the newly opened “Museum Collections are the Library of Life.”

The museum is also displaying five temporary exhibits: “CSI: Crime Scene Insects,” “The Blue Path: Protecting Florida’s Springs,” “The Beetles: A Skeleton Crew,” “Symbiosis: Butterflies and Plants,” and “Dugout Canoes: Paddling through the Americas,” which opened Nov. 13 with the “Museum Collections are the Library of Life” exhibit.

The Butterfly Rainforest is a 6,400-square-foot screened, outdoor enclosure that supports tropical plants and hundreds of living butterflies from around the world. Rainforest employees conduct butterfly releases with a brief presentation in the exhibit on Saturdays and Sundays, weather permitting, at 2, 3 and 4 p.m.

“CSI: Crime Scene Insects” explores the fascinating world of forensic entomology, including its origin, and explains how criminal investigators use insects to help solve crimes. The exhibit is on display through Jan. 17 and suitable for children ages 8 and older. “CSI Crime Scene Insects” is sponsored by UF Student Government.

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Source: Doug Jones, 352-273-1902,
Writer: Leeann Bright
Media contact: Paul Ramey, 352-273-2054,