How Biomimicry is Inspiring Human Innovation

Creative minds are increasingly turning to nature—banyan tree leaves, butterfly wings, a bird's beak— for fresh design solutions

By Tom Vanderbilt
Smithsonian magazine, September 2012,

The first thing you notice about the entomology collections department, Lepidoptera division, at the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History is a faint, elusively familiar odor. Mothballs. I briefly contemplated the cosmic irony of mothballs in a room full of moths (and butterflies, a lineage of moths evolved to fly during the day) before turning to Bob Robbins, a research entomologist. “There are many insects that will eat dried insects,” he said, “so traditionally you kept those pests out using naphthalene, or mothballs.”

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National Butterfly Center Announces New Executive Director

The North American Butterfly Association (NABA) is pleased to announce Marianna Trevino Wright has joined the organization as Executive Director of the National Butterfly Center. The National Butterfly Center is a flagship project of NABA, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation and study of wild butterflies in their native habitats.

Ms. Wright brings extensive experience in organizational development, operations, marketing, and fundraising to the National Butterfly Center. Prior to becoming the Center's Executive Director, Ms. Wright was the Executive Director of The Foundation at Mission Regional Medical Center, and the Texas Project Manager for the worldwide Christian Children's Fund.

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Inside the National Butterfly Center

Hours of Operation

September - March
8:00 - 5:00

April - August
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National Butterfly Center
3333 Butterfly Park Drive
Mission, TX 78572
GPS Coordinates:
26.180243 -98.364973

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