Tyler Prest '16 describing organisms that live in the touch tank at the George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History at College of the Atlantic.Tyler Prest '16 describing organisms that live in the touch tank at the George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History at College of the Atlantic.

Tide pools—windows into the fascinating beauty of the intertidal zone—offer Acadia National Park visitors the opportunity to explore the mysteries of the ocean. Within tide pools, visitors can find marine creatures like sea stars, barnacles, dog whelks, anemones, and sea cucumbers. Due to the harmful impacts people can have on this marine habitat, the alluring beauty of the intertidal zone must be regarded with care. Acadia National Park grapples with the ethical dilemma of finding a balance between preserving the ecological integrity of the intertidal zone and allowing park visitors to explore and discover the beauty of tide pools.

Sea stars are among the many intertidal creatures living in the touch tank exhibit at the George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History designed by Tyler Prest '16.Sea stars are among the many intertidal creatures living in the touch tank exhibit at the George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History designed by Tyler Prest '16.Tyler Prest ’16 worked extensively with Acadia National Park scientists to create an exhibit at the George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History to explore the ethical dilemmas of the intertidal zone. His exhibit, developed as part of his senior project, encourages park visitors to explore tide pools with caution and care in order to prevent negative impacts to existing marine life. In addition to addressing the ethical dilemmas involved in the intertidal zone, Prest’s exhibit will include a touch tank full of marine organisms commonly found in the intertidal zone with safety information on how to treat these organisms properly. The exhibit will be imbedded in a series of educational exhibits celebrating the Acadia Centennial: the 100 year anniversary of Acadia National Park and the National Park Service.

“If we allow everyone to explore freely, we risk the preservation of organisms in the intertidal zone” - Tyler Prest ’16.

Prest describes the importance of encouraging people to explore tide pools: “I explored tide pools as a kid and was inspired to pursue marine biology as a result,” he said. But, he also explains, “If we allow everyone to explore freely, we risk the preservation of organisms in the intertidal zone.”

The exhibit will teach park visitors how to explore tide pools without posing harm to these sensitive natural environments.

Tyler Prest '16 worked with Acadia National Park scientists and others to design an interactive exhibit exploring the intertidal zone at the George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History at College of the Atlantic.Tyler Prest '16 worked with Acadia National Park scientists and others to design an interactive exhibit exploring the intertidal zone at the George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History at College of the Atlantic.

Prest studied marine biology extensively at College of the Atlantic, developing his appreciation for tide pools through classes like marine biology and invertebrate zoology. Despite initially pursuing scientific research, Prest found that “you can find many ways to do what you love,”and used his knowledge of marine life to pursue museum work. With project directors Helen Hess,Logo designed by Tyler Prest '16 for "Exploring Acadia: Our Best Classroom," an exhibit at the George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History celebrating the Acadia National Park Centennial and the collaborative relationship between the park and College of the Atlantic.Logo designed by Tyler Prest '16 for "Exploring Acadia: Our Best Classroom," an exhibit at the George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History celebrating the Acadia National Park Centennial and the collaborative relationship between the park and College of the Atlantic. Ken Cline, and Dru Colbert, Prest’s interdisciplinary senior project allows him to combine three of his primary interests: marine biology, environmental policy, and graphic design. His interest in design aesthetics prepared him for crafting an alluring exhibit at the Dorr Museum.

In order to continue exploring his interest in invertebrate zoology and museum work, Tyler Prest will work as a crustacean collections assistant at the Smithsonian Museum starting in August . Prest says, “I will catalog their crustacean collection as new specimens come in, preserving, accessioning, and identifying the crustaceans to become part of the invertebrate collection.”