Montshire Profile

Emily O’Hara, June 2011

How are you connected to the Montshire?
I am the Exhibits Assistant.

Can you describe your role in more detail?
I am responsible for designing and maintaining exhibit and navigational signs, managing the aquariums, booking traveling exhibitions, assisting with new exhibit development, and managing state and federal permits for the animals we have at the Museum.

What is your favorite exhibit?
Aeolian Landscape is mesmerizing. I love to watch the sand dunes slowly shift in the moving air.

What do you wish everyone knew about the Museum?
We have miles of trails to explore with exhibit offshoots, like secret treasures, to discover. My favorites include listening to the frog calls at the Wood Frog Pool in the early spring and standing at The Bluff on the River Loop in the winter watching the calm, cold Connecticut River flow by.

Is there one word you would use to describe the Museum?
Vibrant!

When was the first time you came to the Montshire?
On a visit to the Upper Valley in the spring of 2008.

What do you wish we could do that we aren't doing now?
Expand the accessibility of our exhibits and trails. We have made strides in that direction, but there is still more to do.

What do you find most rewarding about working at the Montshire?
Seeing a sour-faced adult light up with excitement because something surprised them. I always see children running or skipping to the front doors and I wish I saw more adults doing this too; it's a fun place to be.

How long have you worked for the Museum?
Just over two years. I started an intern in the exhibits department, then worked part-time in both the education and marketing departments, then moved back to the exhibits department.

What is the best kept secret at the Montshire?
If you put your head near the Leafcutter ant colony on a quiet day you can hear them; thousands of little beings at work.

What is your favorite Montshire story to tell?
I was one of the van drivers for the Observing Snow Geese trip last fall and traveling with a group of birders we enjoyed identifying what we saw along the way. As I was driving I didn't have much time to focus on details and so instead of naming off "LBJ" ("Little brown job"—a generic phrase for a bird, usually a sparrow, that looks like a lot of other sparrows, and is hard to identify) for everything I saw, my co-pilot Anne Charron and I started naming "Anne and Emily birds" that were recorded on our final birding list for the trip. You may not find them in your Sibley guide, but trust me; they're real (we saw them!).
 

 
 

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