Notice any differences between these two sets of botany sheets?
These specimens of spicebush and redbud from the museum’s herbarium were collected on the same day, exactly 100 years apart.
Changing seasonal patterns, thought to be caused by climate change, are causing plants to bloom and flower increasingly earlier in the year. Historical museum collections are helping researchers who are documenting environmental changes caused by humans in the Anthropocene.
The Anthropocene is the current geological era in which humans are making a profound impact on the geological strata. While the term itself is still being debated by geologists, the museum is embracing it as a social and cultural tool for exploring the broad sum effect humans are having on the planet in the exhibition We Are Nature: Living in the Anthropocene—open now through summer 2018.