Life in One Cubic Foot

Composite photo: David Liittschwager, Steve Haddock, Karen Osborn and Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Composite photo: David Liittschwager, Steve Haddock, Karen Osborn and Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Burke Member Preview
Friday, February 11, 2022

Exhibit open to the public
Saturday, February 12, 2022

From Seattle’s Seward Park to a coral reef in the South Pacific, Life in One Cubic Foot reveals the diversity of nature and inspires visitors to become community scientists. 

Opens February 12, 2022
Floor 2, Special Exhibit Gallery

The exhibition reveals the amazing variety of life that can be found using “biocubes”—one-cubic-foot frames used to survey the animals and plants living in an ecosystem. Featuring stunning photographs by David Liittschwager, the exhibition includes biocube-related objects and tools, animal models, hands-on interactives, and videos. 

What can you discover in just one cubic foot? As it turns out, a whole lot! Biocube samples—the life within one cubic foot of soil or water over one day—capture enough variation to explore the complexity of entire ecosystems. Most of the world’s biodiversity occurs at small scales: organisms hidden in leaf litter, under river rocks, and in the nooks and crannies of environments. 

Life in One Cubic Foot beautifully conveys the incredible diversity of natural life around the world.

The exhibition is organized by the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Service in collaboration with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and is supplemented with Burke Museum research, stories, and collections. 

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