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Go Places While Volunteering!

The VLM is one of the volunteering programs in the Hampton Roads area that’s based on educational development and enrichment.  Each activity-oriented program is presented in a relaxed, hands-on format and includes classroom instruction combined with opportunities to examine specimens from the Museum’s extensive collections and up close encounters with live animals, and information from educators and experts.

This past spring, we held our Naturally Speaking Series, a series of talks by renowned educators and scientists after hours at the museum. Of the few that I attended, the one on February 15, 2018 by lifelong learner and educator Marjorie Güisao-Wallace was very empowering spoke on her passion for where art and science meet in her presentation “From STEM to STEAM in the Twenty-first Century.”


Marjorie Güisao-Wallace and several guests and staff members putting together one of her interactive, hand painted wild life puzzles that she uses for her grade school kids. As it turns out, it’s fun for all ages! 

Marjorie Güisao-Wallace engaging her audience.



It was a very exciting presentation that put things into perspective for me personally. In high school, I had in interest in fine art but fell out of it as I went from art job to art job. Once I went back to school, I explored my love for environmental science and geology. Marjorie’s belief that art and science intersect inspired me to pursue a degree in geoscience without abandoning my lifelong passion for fine art. Art and science go hand in hand, and enhance the significance of both.

Dr. Ryan Carney with one of his archeopteryx skull replicas.

Dr. Ryan Carney demonstrating his Virtual Reality headset, giving a guest an augmented reality experience.













Dr. Ryan Carney is proof of this! On May 17, 2018 National Geographic Emerging Explorer, Evolutionary Biologist and Epidemiologist Dr. Ryan Carney gave his presentation on “Digital Dinosaurs,” where he told his tale on how recreating the flight pattern of the archaeopteryx was made possible by animation software.

It was inspiring to see an artist with a passion for paleontology use both science and art to contribute to the scientific community. That’s what was so great about the VLM’s Naturally Speaking Series and other events like these. Not only was it a free program for volunteers, but it gave volunteers as well as members of the public an opportunity to learn after hours. That’s probably my favorite thing about the VLM—the fact that there’s so much to immerse yourself in! You never know what will be around the corner.

So, if you have an interest in learning the natural world around us, apply now! We process applications year round and would love to get you involved with our many opportunities.


September 9th, 2018
By Mahina Robbins

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