The Design Team
The "REPTILES" Brain Trust
The creative team, Michael Field, exhibit designer, Nancy Owens Renner, graphic designer, and Jim Melli, exhibit preparator, spent about six months researching, writing and designing the exhibit in partnership with Kokoro, Inc., the company that created and built the accompanying robotic reptiles. Others that contributed to the exhibit include: Exhibits Director, Tim Murray; SDSU herpetologist Dr. Richard Etheridge; Museum Director of Collections Care and Conservation, Sally Shelton; Curator of Paleontology, Dr. Tom Deméré; and Phillip Unitt, collections manager of birds and mammals. Brad Hollingsworth, SDNHM Herpetology Research Associate, is curator for additions to the exhibit.
Guided by Laurence Klauber
In addition to an undying fascination and passion for reptiles, the creative team was influenced by the legacy of Laurence Klauber, the former president of SDG&E, whose lifelong passion for herpetology culminated in the reference volume "Rattlesnakes: Their Habits, Life Histories and Influence on Man," which remains the premier reference for rattlesnakes in the world.
Klauber was a longtime supporter of the Museum who, upon his death in 1969, left his world-renowned collection of 30,000 preserved reptiles and amphibians and more than 20,000 books, pamphlets and journals to create the Klauber Herpetological Library in the Biodiversity Research Center of the Californias. His son, Philip, and granddaughter, Janet, are still actively involved with the Museum.
A section in the exhibition will tell the Laurence Klauber story, including his research and scientific contributions. Specimens, journals, books and photos will guide visitors through his fascinating life.
"Given the history of the Museum and the legacy of Mr. Klauber, it was natural for us to design a reptiles exhibit," said Melli. "It was like Laurence Klauber was guiding us through this process. We dedicate this exhibition to him."
When its stay at the Museum ends on September 7, 1998,