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Black Mesa exhibit opens Saturday at Sam Noble museum in Norman

A new permanent exhibit showcasing Black Mesa in far northwestern Oklahoma opens to the public Saturday at the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History in Norman.
BY JANE GLENN CANNON Published: March 2, 2011

Chase Studio, which has designed exhibits for more than 250 museums and nature centers around the world, also constructed the Paleozoic gallery in the museum's Hall of Ancient Life, as well as other nature dioramas in the museum's Hall of Natural Wonders.

The Black Mesa exhibit is one of the most interactive of the museum's exhibits, Tirrell said.

Touch-screen computers allow visitors to test their knowledge, answer questions and dig deeper for more information. The computer interactives include recordings of bird songs and frog calls, photos of animals and habitats, and maps of where species are found.

Other exhibits in the Hall of Natural Wonders include the mixed-grass prairie, the oak-hickory forest, a walk-through limestone cave and an Ozark mountain stream.

“When I originally envisioned the gallery, I saw a single place where people could instantly experience the wealth of nature in Oklahoma,” museum Director Michael Mares said. “With the completion of the Black Mesa exhibit, the vision is complete.”

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The Black Mesa exhibit is funded by Whitten-Newman Foundation. Opening day Saturday will be celebrated with free admission, also provided by Whitten-Newman Foundation. The museum, 2401 Chautauqua Ave. in Norman, is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays.

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