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New Media. New Experiences.

It's incredible what a team can pull together with a little bit of passion.

When I started imagining what life as the new Butterfly Pavilion Exhibits Director would be like way back in January, there was no way I could have anticipated what the incredible staff and myself would come up with. We called it Survival—an exhibit that teaches how various terrestrial invertebrates have evolved to survive in their environments.

New Media. New Experiences. One Incredible Team.

Working closely with our super-smart scientists in our Curatorial Department, the brilliant Interpretation team and the support of everyone who works here, we were able to develop a new way to present animals and their stories. We integrated loads of technology into the experience and some really cool critters. The future holds many more exciting and innovative experiences like this for our guests.

I came into this amazing team environment with tons of skills and experience but there are many challenges every day when working to keep our zoo a fun and immersive experience for all—like using interactive media that doesn’t turn a kiddo into a zombie but inspires them to ask about how insect biology works. My approach is to use simple interactive screens to get the conversation going, like using audiovisual (AV) technology to deepen what I call the “Z-axis” of interpretive information–the experience achieved by watching video or being attracted to animations playing on large TVs. If a picture speaks a thousand words then a video speaks volumes. Done correctly, video can be entertaining while educating and designed so it becomes an element that supports the whole exhibit.

Our upcoming projects include an expanded play area and fully immersive virtual reality (VR) experiences in the new Invertebrate World. This popular room will be seeing some big changes starting with a Colorado backyard theme. At my house, my four and five year old daughters are most concerned about pill bugs and lady bugs, but it is a rich world of life in the backyards of Colorado—a state of many biomes. Some invertebrates live here, some pass through. In this new exhibit, kiddos will be able to climb around simulated Colorado habitats and find hidden adventures like chasing aquatic invertebrates or finding hidden inhabitants. The amazing Exhibits team here is brainstorming and planning fun ways for our guests to learn about their closest neighbors, while getting some wiggles out at the same time.

In another part of this new exhibit, there will be an area for VR goggles that transport the viewer to one of our research adventures in some remote part of the world. As we gather scientific data from around the globe, we will seize the opportunity to capture the 360° scenes and look over our scientists shoulders to see what they are working with and the discoveries being made.

Also, in the area now known as “No Bone Zone” on the east side of Invertebrate World, we plan to install an exhibit space that will house temporary exhibits and refresh quarterly or biannually. This space will be home to themed exhibits, travelling exhibits and special attractions.

This re-imagined Invertebrate World will be our practice run for our biggest adventure yet.

I have to share how excited I am about the future we call CIRC, or the Center for Invertebrate Research and Conservation—a brand new facility to make a landmark and truly amazing experience. This is an opportunity for us to take our vision and passion for invertebrates and their stories to a new and expanded platform. There will be so much to see and experience. The world of invertebrates is all around us but we literally step over it and that world is very misunderstood. What kind of experiences can we build to help us connect with their world? How can we better communicate how important they are to all of us? It is an exciting time here at Butterfly Pavilion.

Before all that, though, we have my first Bugtober coming up and I am already thinking about how “Toxic Terrors” is going to be more fun than a barrel full of various black widows. Wait, what?

Stay tuned!

Blog

September 25, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

We Believe in the Power of Invertebrates

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December 4, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

Distance Learning: It’s for Everyone, Near & Far

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December 3, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

Bee Fencing to Protect People and Elephants

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December 3, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

A Cure for Winter Doldrums

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November 28, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

12 Days of Invertebrates Animal Showcase (and Song!) Comes to Colorado’s Butterfly Pavilion This December

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November 2, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

Colorado State University and Butterfly Pavilion Formalize Partnership

CSU and Butterfly Pavilion expand their support of interns and their research impact.
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November 2, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

Inspiring Environmental Stewardship

We're inspiring the next generation of environmental stewards.
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October 17, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

Statement on National Academy of Sciences Study Findings

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October 16, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

Butterfly Pavilion on FOX31 Morning News

Visit Colorado's Invertebrate Zoo to see impressive toxic terrors.
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October 4, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

Butterfly Pavilion in Mongolia: Parnassius Butterfly Conservation

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October 2, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

Environmental Education: Making Magical Connections

Environmental Education: Making Magical Connections
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September 28, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

Colorado’s Butterfly Pavilion Debuts Its New Look

Butterfly Pavilion Launches New Brand and Website
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September 17, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

BUGTOBER Returns to Butterfly Pavilion Oct. 1-31, 2018 for a Month of Toxic Terror!

Join us....if you dare!
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September 6, 2018
By Mary Ann Colley

The Business of “Bugs”: Leading Environmental Action for Sustainability

A Business of “Bugs”: Leading Environmental Action for Sustainability
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September 4, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

Protecting Spiders with the SWARM Program

We work to protect the species others overlook.
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August 17, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

Colorado Celebrates World Honey Bee Day at Butterfly Pavilion

Celebrate World Honey Bee Day at Butterfly Pavilion
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August 3, 2018
By Marissa Copan

The Importance of Nature Play & Family Adventures

Nature is essential to our well-being as humans.
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July 13, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

Summer Events in Full Bloom

Summer Events and Exhibits are in Full Bloom at Colorado's Butterfly Pavilion
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July 2, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

Dragonfly Research at High Altitude

Loving Dragonflies at High Altitude
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July 2, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

New Media. New Experiences.

It's incredible what a team can pull together with a little bit of passion.
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June 20, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

Colorado’s Butterfly Pavilion And Denver’s Edible Beats Restaurant Group Announce New Beehive Partnership

We are proud to establish and manage a beehive in the Edible Beats Restaurant Group's urban garden. We are incredibly happy that honey from our bees, locally sourced will be served at some of Denver's best restaurants like, Root Down, Linger, Ophelia's, Vital Root and El Five.
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June 4, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

Monarchs & Magical Cities: A Journey to Mexico’s Monarch Sanctuaries

Monarchs & Magical Cities: A Journey to Mexico's Monarch Sanctuaries
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May 25, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

Butterfly Pavilion Statement on Poisoned Bees

As a leader in pollinator conservation, Butterfly Pavilion has a responsibility as stewards of invertebrates and their habitats to find sustainable solutions to the pollinator crisis, through habitat restoration, research, and responsible conscientious pest management practices.
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May 7, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

Telling the Untold Story: The Value of Interpreting Invertebrates

The Value of Interpreting Invertebrates
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May 7, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

Beekeeping, Pollinator Awareness through Conservation and Education, and Rice’s Honey

Beekeeping, PACE, and Rice's Honey
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April 17, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

Butterfly Pavilion Announces Naming Contest for Our New Octopus

Can you come up with the winning name for our Octoups Vulgaris, the common octopus?
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April 5, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

Saving Coastal Dunes, One Bug at a Time

Did you ever think bugs could save a beach? Well, they can!
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March 23, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

New Survival Exhibit Opens at Butterfly Pavilion on March 24, 2018

Colorado’s only invertebrate zoo, will debut its newest interactive exhibit, Survival, beginning March 24, 2018.
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March 22, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

The Mystery of Colorado’s Butterfly Populations

“Where have all the butterflies gone?” is a common question I get when I tell people I study butterflies for a living.
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March 6, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

World Spider Day Comes to Butterfly Pavilion March 17, 2018

World Spider Day Spins a Fascinating Web at Butterfly Pavilion on March 17, 2018
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March 2, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

The Value of Citizen Science

Picture a scientist. What is the person wearing? What are they doing? Do you they look anything like you?
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February 1, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

Entomophagy: Could Eating Insects Save the World?

Entomophagy is the technical term for eating insects...
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February 1, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

The Urban Prairies Project: Habitat Conservation and Community Wellness

Sometimes, conservation and habitat restoration wind up building community.
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January 22, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

A Message from our President and CEO

Science and education can change the world.
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January 22, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

Keeping PACE with Butterfly Pavilion’s Conservation Efforts

The Science and Conservation department at Butterfly Pavilion is excited to make important strides for pollinators.
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January 22, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

Two Colorado Companies Join Forces to Promote Pollinator Awareness Worldwide

Rice’s® Honey to partner with Butterfly Pavilion’s PACE Initiative to inform consumers about the importance of pollination.
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November 1, 2017
By Butterfly Pavilion

Butterfly Pavilion to participate in the Colorado Pollinator Summit at the Denver Botanic Gardens, Nov. 2, 2017

One of every three bites of food eaten worldwide depends on pollinators like bees, butterflies and beetles and without them, there would be no fruits, nuts, vegetables, oils or most flowers!
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September 26, 2017
By Butterfly Pavilion

Butterfly Pavilion’s New Facility in Broomfield, Colo. to be the Global Hub for Invertebrate Research, Conservation and Education

New, $30M, 60,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art invertebrate zoo and research center will be the jewel of the global invertebrate community – inspiring a new way of connecting to environmental conservation.
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