LOGAN – Utah State University’s Department of Geology announces the opening of a new museum on the school’s Logan campus, along with the return of the department’s popular ‘Rock and Fossil Day,’ Saturday, Nov. 9, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
All ages are invited to the free event, which features a variety of hands-on educational activities along with admission to museum exhibits.
“We’re excited to show off our new facility, which is a labor of love on the part of our students, faculty and staff,” says Dave Liddell, professor and department head. “Our scholars have put a lot of effort into the museum and we think it will be a great educational resource for the community.”
The new museum is located in Room 203 of the Geology Building, which is situated at the northeast corner of the USU Quad.
Creation of the museum was initiated by a not-so-festive incident that occurred in May 2011, when a burglar broke into the Geology building and stole a number of artifacts, including a mammoth tooth and meteorites.
“We realized we needed to move our valuable specimens into a central, secure location and it also seemed like an optimal opportunity to create a place the community could enjoy,” Liddell says.
Several USU alums rallied to the cause, including Matt Novak MS’93 and Holly Novak ’93, who, along with their employer ExxonMobil, provided financial support, as well as Logan High School teacher Paul Jamison ‘82 and Cache Valley resident Tyson Hunter ‘13, who each provided in-kind donations.
USU undergraduate researcher Michael Strange serves as museum curator and created many of the facility’s exhibits, along with professor Susanne Janecke and classmates A.J. Knight and Shawna Olsen.
Visitors to Nov. 9’s opening are invited to bring their “mystery” rocks and fossils for identification by USU geologists.
Parking for the Saturday event is available in the surface lot south of Old Main and in the university parking terraces at 700 E. 600 North and 850 E. 700 North. The campus is also served by Cache Valley Transit District bus routes 1 and 4, which stop at the Veterinary Science building at 700 North, one block north of the Geology Building.
Following the Nov. 9 celebration, the museum will be open to the public Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
For more information, call 435-797-1273.