This video introduces “The Legacy of a Lifetime of Collecting: The Carl & Marian Rettenmeyer Story,” an interactive exhibit inspired by a remarkable natural history collection of army ants and their hundreds of closely associated organisms, or "guests." The collection was assembled over the course of 50 years of fieldwork in South and Central America by the late Carl and Marian Rettenmeyer.
Visitors to the exhibit journey from collecting army ants in the jungle to preserving specimens in the Biodiversity Research Collection facility. Through experiences designed for touch-interactive screens, visitors can observe army ant swarm raids in the jungle, notate field card observations, examine slides in the collection with a digital microscope, study specimens in Cornell drawers, and explore the life-work of Carl and Marian Rettenmeyer through an interactive timeline.
The exhibit was created through a close collaboration between the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History (mnh.uconn.edu) and the University of Connecticut’s Departments of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (biodiversity.uconn.edu) and Digital Media & Design (dmd.uconn.edu), which came together as one of a number of multi-disciplinary endeavors across our campus, now known as “AntU” (antu.uconn.edu). The exhibit was designed to travel to multiple locations to share the wonders of the complex biological system of army ants and their guests with as broad a spectrum of audiences as possible.
For additional information about this exhibit email CSMNHinfo@uconn.edu.
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Biodiversity Research Collections : Jane O’Donnell, Geert Goemans, Elizabeth Barbeau, Janine Caira, Bernard Goffinet
Connecticut State Museum of Natural History : Collin Harty, Leanne Kennedy Harty, Janine Caira
Department of Digital Media & Design AntU Traveling Exhibit Course :
Instructors : Anna Lindemann, Michael Toomey
Students : Ali Betlej, Thomas Carter, Nini Constable, Rae Enzie, Corlis Fraga, Allie Marsh, Jacob Rodier, Ali Sailer, Sarah Shattuck, Helena Sirken
Exhibit Fabrication : Collin Harty
Exhibit Digital Media Art Direction : Anna Lindemann
Exhibit Coding : Michael Toomey
Carl and Marian Rettenmeyer Illustrations : Helena Sirken
Exhibit Photography : Paul Bertner, Elizabeth Barbeau, Charlene Fuller
Video : Christian Partenio, Tyler Shuster, Rebecca Rosen, Anna Lindemann
Special thanks to the National Science Foundation Collections in Support of Biological Research Program and the University of Connecticut Provost’s Office Academic Plan Competition.