Saturday, July 7, 2012
Touching Iowa's Glacial Past
Iowa is a land shaped by glaciers that receded some 13,000 years ago. Two of the more unique examples of what glaciers influence can be found at MacBride Hall's Natural History Museum on the University of Iowa campus in downtown Iowa City. One item is a hunk of native copper that was glacially transported here from northern Minnesota, Wisconsin or Canada. The other artifact is glacial grooved limestone where parallel scratches made from pressure and movement can be seen and felt. These items provide an ongoing opportunity for anyone to touch something created by glacial forces long ago.
The copper and limestone are positioned side by side as part of a short narrative slideshow. Yes, an old fashion, 35mm slideshow complete with tray and audio components. This particular display has been present for some thirty years and seems positively glacier-like in its ability to tell a story compared to modern audio-visual aids. Still, you get the message and can feel the history.