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Upcoming First Friday at the Natural History Museum to feature Dr. Marlene Zuk

3 Apr 2014 2:51 PM
Multitude of interesting exhibitions slated to open at PMCA in January

Although California may be best known for its sizable community of famous actors, renowned musicians and successful artists, it is also home to a number of scholarly institutions and boasts a dynamic scene of academics.

The Golden State enjoys a rich history as well as a diverse population of people, plants and animals, that all help to set it apart from other regions. In particular, its largest metropolitan area, Los Angeles, is often recognized for its dichotomy of natural topography and urban development, which serves to shape the city's unique society. 

This Friday, April 4, residents from all over the City of Angles are invited to visit the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County for the latest installment in the First Fridays Season 2014, which will feature museum tours and a lecture led by Dr. Marlene Zuk. If you have a deep appreciation for this city, as well as all of the organisms that inhabit it and the special way they each cooperate to achieve an equilibrium, you would be remiss to neglect attending this exclusive social event. 

Evening program to commence with informative tour
At either 5 p.m., 5:30 p.m. or 6 p.m., those interested in the many different ways biologists at the NHM evaluate native fauna and flora will have the chance to partake in a curatorial tour, titled "Tracking and Trapping L.A.'s Wildlife."

Led by Beth Werling, collections manager of NHM History Department, this walkabout will aim to highlight the not-so-typical approaches used by the organization's scientists when attempting to study the city's extraordinary and ever-changing biodivesity. Every day, local citizens document native and integrated reptiles with their personal cameras, motion-activated cameras capture images of coyotes and mountain lions in Griffith Park, and museum volunteers sift through  the La Brea Tar Pits to discover the area's past - and predict its future. 

Each group will be limited to just 15 people, so those interested in participating would be wise to reserve their admission as early as possible. Tour tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, and can be obtained through the official event website.

Zuk discussion to follow conclusion of tours
After the final information tour has ended, around 6:30 p.m., individuals in attendance will have the opportunity to listen to Zuk expound on the differences and parallels between innate human nature, advancements in technology and contemporary societal norms.

During her lecture, titled "Paleofantasy: What Evolution Tells Us About Modern Life," she will evaluate the ways in which modern life seems so different from what nature intended - and how individuals respond to these changes. Examining everything from the way children are raised to the food humans typically consume, Zuk will attempt to draw lines between evolutionary habits and how the rate of such changes can be better understood from a scientific point of view. 

A contributing writer to such publications as the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times, Zuk is also a published author and professor within the Ecology, Evolution and Behavior Department at the University of Minnesota. She spent more than two decades as a faculty member at the University of California, Riverside. 

Evening to include musical performances
If you're looking to spend more time within the NHM after the tour and discussion, you might want to also purchase tickets to the evening's concert performances by Mikal Cronin and Tijuana Panthers.

Beginning at 8 p.m., these two bands will entertain those in attendance with their unique musical styling. While these artists are decidedly louder and more spirited than most musicians featured at such intellectual gatherings, they are sure to impress all and provide the soundtrack for a memorable evening.