'Dinosaurs and Disasters' Feb. 6 at University of Nebraska State Museum

Released on 01/21/2010, at 2:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln

WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010

WHERE: University of Nebraska State Museum and Mueller Planetarium, Morrill Hall, south of 14th and Vine Streets

Lincoln, Neb., January 21st, 2010 —
"Dinosaurs and Disasters" logo and poster

The University of Nebraska State Museum and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Geosciences will host the sixth-annual "Dinosaurs and Disasters" family fun day 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Feb. 6, at Morrill Hall, south of 14th and Vine streets on the UNL City Campus.

"Dinosaurs and Disasters" provides a day of discovery and hands-on activities throughout the museum with more than 20 stations staffed by UNL scientists, graduate and undergraduate students. Attendance topped 2,600 last year, and weather permitting, the same turnout is expected this year. This year's theme is "Extinction." Activities and games will help visitors better understand the natural world and explore the reasons behind the extinction of living things. Scientists will explain extinction in Earth's history by interpreting disasters, climate change and other catastrophic events.

The event provides interactive stations that explain the science behind natural disasters and why dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals no longer walk the earth. Visitors will discover more about earthquakes, tsunamis, geysers, clouds, tornadoes and weather radar. Dig for fossils and watch real-life paleontologists as they remove sediment from a giant land tortoise shell that was discovered near Kimball last fall. Look into the mysterious world of plankton, microbes, and invasive species and learn how they affect our planet. Become a "survivor" in an Earth history game, climb a volcano, investigate a 6-foot tornado, decode Antarctica's climate history, or search for clues in the paleontological record of ancient elephants and other mammals.

Visitors are also encouraged to bring rocks or fossils to the museum for scientists to identify. This is one of the museum's most popular stations among visitors and scientists alike.

Mueller Planetarium will present special showings of "Natural Selection," a new fulldome show introducing the ideas of English naturalist Charles Darwin. Audiences go aboard the H.M.S. Beagle and explore the beauty of nature on the Galapagos Islands. The show features stunning imagery of creatures from the ocean to the land. This presentation is a preview of the upcoming full-length feature that will debut later this year. It has a running time of 30 minutes. Show times are 11 a.m., noon, and 1, 2, 3 and 4 p.m.

The University of Nebraska State Museum is open 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Wednesday and Friday-Saturday; 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursdays; and 1:30-4:30 p.m. Sundays. Admission is $5 for adults (19 and over), $3 for children (5-18 years, 4 and under are free), and $10 for families (up to two adults and children). UNL staff, faculty and students are admitted free with valid NU ID. There is an additional charge for planetarium shows. Planetarium tickets are sold at the museum's front gate the day of the show. Parking is free. For more information, contact Dana Ludvik at (402) 472-3779 or by e-mail, or visit www.museum.unl.edu. For more information on Mueller Planetarium, visit www.spacelaser.com.