The physical geography of New Brunswick is one of the main areas of documentation for the New Brunswick Museum. Artifacts, specimens and written documents record those forces that have an effect on the landscape, or are affected by the landscape, whether they are natural events, plants, animals or humans. In order to understand and appreciate the landscape in which we live, a variety of approaches are employed. Through scientific methods, specimens and artifacts are collected, examined and quantified in an effort to more accurately comprehend their context. Archaeological material may be excavated and analyzed to shed light on past human activities in the landscape. Aesthetic approaches to the landscape are studied by viewing the way that people incorporate their experience with their environment into their works of craft, art and language.
Wolastoq (Saint John River) and its tributaries have been the ancestral home of the Wolastoqiyik for thousands of years. Surviving and flourishing in this topography demands an intimate knowledge of plants, animals, other people and weather conditions. Familiarity with particular locales also informs Wolastoqiyik about how the landscape was shaped and moulded by forces both natural and supernatural.