BAR HARBOR — Tide pool ranger talks, a hydroponic garden, images of shipwrecks, and a mountain lion are just a few of the new exhibits at the George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History, located on the grounds of College of the Atlantic. The permanent pieces in the collection, a tidepool touch-tank, sounds of the wild, and dioramas of native animals in action, also are on display.
Each day at 2 and 2:45 p.m., Acadia National Park rangers offer talks at the museum’s touch tank. During the 30-minute presentation, the rangers discuss some of the habits of the creatures in the touch tank, similar to what one finds on Maine’s rocky coast. The program, developed by alumna and park ranger Sasha Paris, also reviews how to best view tidepools in the wild, what different pools might hold, and how to look at them without disturbing the animals that thrive in the pools.
The museum is offering a host of special exhibits this summer, among them a colorful vertical garden of plants thriving indoors under regular lights. This hydroponic window garden demonstrates a relatively simple way of growing vegetables such as lettuce, basil, peppers, even tomatoes, in one’s home. The lush garden is the senior project of Addams Samuel, a 2011 COA graduate.
All exhibits in the college’s Museum of Natural History are made by COA students who have been trained in taxidermy and diorama-making. Among the prize animals is a mountain lion created by COA senior Jordan Chalfant that cagily watches over the museum, as if ready to pounce on an unsuspecting visitor, a COA spokesman said.
Additionally, Zach Whalen, a 2011 graduate, has mounted a wall of photographs exploring the remains of underwater shipwrecks in the region. Other exhibits include a sound booth created to resemble a London phone booth. Enter the red door to hear the calls of wild creatures from the region and from much further away.
The George B. Dorr Museum is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is by donation. There is also a gift shop at the museum. Call 288-5395, 801-5839 or visit coa.edu/dorr for more information.