CSU, Chico News

New Year Brings New Exhibits to Gateway Science Museum

Date: 01-08-2014

Sarah Langford
Renee Renner
Executive Director
Gateway Science Museum

The evolutionary process, the beauty of the Sacramento River and our changing state are explored in an exciting new exhibit season at California State University, Chico’s Gateway Science Museum starting Saturday, Jan. 18.

Located in the Gateway’s North Gallery, “Explore Evolution” investigates evolutionary principles in organisms large and small. The interactive exhibit focuses on seven research projects that have made a major contribution to our understanding of evolution and gives visitors an opportunity to experience how scientists conduct research on evolution.

Work featured in the exhibit includes that of Charles Wood on the rapid evolution of HIV; Sherilyn Fritz and Edward Theriot on the emergence of a new diatom species in the fossil record; Cameron Currie on farmer ants and their coevolving partners; Kenneth Kaneshiro on sexual selection among Hawaiian flies; Rosemary and Peter Grant on Galapagos finches; Svante Paabo and Henrik Kaessmann on the genetic ties between humans and chimps; and Philip Gingerich on fossil discoveries of walking whales. The exhibit has traveled from the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History at the University of Oklahoma.

Tackling a topic close to Chicoans’ hearts, “Sacrament: Homage to a River” exhibits Geoff Fricker’s atmospheric photographs that reveal the geology, history and ecology of the Sacramento River. Photographic topics range from salmon runs and weekend events to dam infrastructure and long-abandoned mining sites. Located in the James W. Cornyn Valley Gallery, the photographs are interwoven with author Rebecca Lawton’s eloquent descriptions of the beauty of the river and the issues that currently surround it.

Fricker, who holds a master’s degree in photography from the San Francisco Art Institute, has received numerous national awards and grants for his documentation of watersheds. His photographs reside in permanent collections throughout the United States, including the Crocker Art Museum, the Library of Congress, the Oakland Museum of California and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Taking a broader view, “Changing California” in the Newberry Gallery will take visitors on a journey through time as they explore geological and ecological transformations in Northern California and investigate the impact of invasive plant and animal life, transferal of disease, species adaptations, implications to our modern ecosystem and more. This is an interactive exhibit for visitors of all ages.

Gateway Science Museum was opened in 2010 to inspire the exploration of science and natural history in the North State and beyond. Located at 625 Esplanade in Chico, the museum is closed for the exhibit change and will reopen to the public on Saturday, Jan. 18. Museum hours are Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults; $3 for seniors, children and students; and free for museum members. For more information, please visit www.gatewayscience.org or visit its Facebook page.