Morrill Hall's 'Sunday Scientist' offers fossil fun Oct. 16

Gregory Brown works in the Hubbard Rhino Barn at Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park.
Gregory Brown works in the Hubbard Rhino Barn at Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park.

The University of Nebraska State Museum's next Sunday with a Scientist program will give children and families a chance to interact with paleontologists and bone up on fossils.

The event is 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., Oct. 16 at Morrill Hall and is held in conjunction with the American Geological Institute’s National Earth Science Week (Oct. 9-15) and National Fossil Day (Oct. 12).

Paleontologists from the University of Nebraska State Museum's Division of Vertebrate Paleontology will provide fossil fun through demonstrations and hands-on activities in Elephant Hall. Visitors will learn about Nebraska fossils, along with how scientists identify, prepare and study them. Children may also sort gravel for microfossils and investigate them through a microscope. Visitors are encouraged to bring in fossils to be identified.

The State Museum's collection of vertebrate fossils is internationally recognized as a resource for understanding our prehistoric past, as well as some of today's most important scientific concerns, such as climate change. More than 1 million rare and irreplaceable specimens have been added to the collection since 1891 when director Erwin H. Barbour (1891-1941) made his first fossil expedition to the Badlands of Nebraska and South Dakota. The division continues to make new discoveries today, applying modern field and laboratory techniques and conservation principles to fossil preparation, collections care, preservation and data recovery.

Sunday with a Scientist is a series of presentations that highlight the work of State Museum scientists and those from other UNL departments and institutions, while educating children and families on a variety of topics related to science and natural history. Presenters share scientific information in a fun and informal way through demonstrations, activities, or by conducting their science on site.

Upcoming Sunday with a Scientist Topics are Nov. 20, Viruses, and Dec. 18, Minerals.

- Dana Ludvik, NU State Museum

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