Discover the Naturalist Within, Journey with Edson Fichter is a new collaborative public exhibition by the Idaho Museum of Natural History (IMNH). The exhibit's narrative framework focuses on creating a new generation of nature enthusiasts from Dr. Edson Fichter's past work as an Idaho naturalist. Fichter was a well-known Pocatello artist and biologist and an extremely talented wildlife illustrator, photographer, and writer. He still lives in the hearts of many as admirers of his art and for his numerous contributions to science. The IMNH has over 40 pieces in a collection of Fichter’s drawings, pictures, poetry, and research documents generated from his studies in the Pahsimoroi Valley, Idaho.
Like Fichter’s work from the past, today, anyone interested can become a citizen scientist naturalist and contribute to the base of current knowledge in biology, zoology, ornithology, etc. Naturalists today, also referred to as citizen scientists, contribute to science through the mobile application iNaturalist. Visitors to the IMNH will learn how they too can be on a bike ride in the foothills, see a flower, take a picture, and learn what the plant is. The data collected is placed into a global database, identified by experts, and the location is GPS’d for future use in conservation and species research.
Exhibit collaborators include Ryan Babcock; ISU Arts Dept., Stan Gates; Gate City Fine Arts, Dr. Peterson, ISU Biology Dept., Dr. Rick Williams, ISU Affiliate Faculty, Jennifer Jackson; Idaho Fish and Game, and others that knew Edson personally.
Education is fundamental at the IMNH. Two ISU graduate students are working to develop this exhibit in preparation for their chosen fields of Art and Museum studies. Additionally, the IMNH is preparing Discover the Naturalist Within: Journey with Edson Fichter as one of our future traveling exhibit in conjunction with the Idaho Library Association to be shared across the State to currently geographically underserved populations.