About Lorelle VanFossen

Lorelle VanFossen is a trainer and consultant in WordPress, User Experience (UX), blogging, social media, and online business. She is currently teaching WordPress at Clark College in Vancouver, Washington, and other colleges, in addition to private training and various public workshops. Author of Lorelle on WordPress covering WordPress and blogging tips, help, and advice for beginners to advanced users, she is the author of numerous books and ebooks on blogging, social media, web publishing - you name it. She travels the world speaking at conferences about her passion to help people have their say online.

August 22: Downtown PDX Geology Tour

The Geological Society of the Oregon Country is presenting a special event in downtown Portland, Oregon, on Saturday, August 22, 2015, at 9AM. It is a two-hour walking tour of Downtown PDX Geology.

The outdoor walking tour is open to the public, though children under 12 must be supervised. It’s a fun opportunity to explore the geological mysteries and oddities of downtown Portland and see billion-year old building stones and fossils hidden under your feet.

For more information, check out their event announcement.

Note: This is not a museum sponsored event.

Thanks to Our Summer Festival Sponsors

Summer Festival 2015 is getting closer; August 1-2 is just a few days away. An event this large would not be possible without the generous support of our community friends and sponsors.  We are proud to introduce you to some of those sponsors for our Summer Festival 2015.

Thanks to their generosity, we have great raffle prizes and freebies for participants. These all help support the educational programming at the Rice Northwest Museum.

Be sure and stop by these businesses and thank them for their continued support of the Rice Northwest Museum and rock and mineral community of the Pacific Northwest.

IMPORTANT ROAD CONSTRUCTION ALERT:  Please note that Helvetia Road will be closed August 8, 2015 because of construction.  Not to worry!  Just follow our detour instructions and be alert for detour signs to guide you to the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals and the 2015 Summer Festival.

Fred and Wilma Flintstone Ride the Flintmobile to Summer Fest

Yes, Fred and Wilma will be visiting the Rice Northwest Museum’s popular Summer Festival, August 1-2, 2015. The rumor was uncovered by the Oregonian last week, and we caved.

Ha! Yabba dabba do!

Fred and Wilma will be at the Rice Museum all day Saturday and Sunday for photographs, hugs, and “rides” in the Flintmobile. Both Fred and Wilma Flintstone are expert rockhounds – though Fred mostly likes to break them. Bring your rock treasures and questions to them as well as the other exhibitors and rock experts at the museum this weekend.

Here are a few snaps taken with the Flintstone’s state-of-the-rock Polarock Camera from past events.

Press Release: The Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals Now Affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution

Hillsboro, Oregon, April 17, 2015

The Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals has been named as an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. This mark of distinction signifies the achievement of a goal long held by the Rice Museum’s originators, according to co-founder Sharleen Harvey. Her parents, Richard and Helen Rice, “had great respect for the Smithsonian Institution and used their collections as a high standard for quality and beauty when building the Rice Museum collection,” Mrs. Harvey explained. “Being a Smithsonian Affiliate confirms that our museum has the high caliber required to assist our schools and community in earth science education. It assures that visitors and supporters of the museum can have confidence in the quality and content of the exhibits, plus enjoyment in viewing fine minerals, fossils, meteorites, and lapidary specimens.”

“The Smithsonian is very proud of its new Affiliation with the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals,” stated Harold A. Closter, director of the Smithsonian Affiliations program. “The Museum has a well-deserved reputation for engaging generations in earth sciences through its scholarship, exhibitions, and education programs. Our partnership offers the opportunity to underscore the importance of science as a source of inspiration in our daily lives and in the years ahead.”

Established in 1996, Smithsonian Affiliations is a national outreach program that develops long-term collaborative partnerships with museums and other educational and cultural organizations in order to enrich communities with Smithsonian resources. The long-term goal of Smithsonian Affiliations is to facilitate a mutual relationship among Affiliate organizations and the Smithsonian Institution to increase discovery and inspire lifelong learning in communities across the United States.

The new relationship between the Rice Museum and the Smithsonian will bring great things to museum visitors in the Pacific Northwest. Not only will the Rice Museum be able to borrow objects and exhibits from the Smithsonian’s collections, but the Museum will also gain opportunities to collaborate on research projects and to sponsor exciting programs from renowned visiting scholars.

“We expect the Affiliation to serve our community well,” explains Julian Gray, Rice Museum executive director. “It will help us increase awareness of our excellent museum and attract more visitors to the area, allowing more people to experience our own world-class exhibits, events, and educational programs.”

Board President and Intel Senior Fellow (retired) Gene Meieran hopes that “this association will lead to the creation of next-generation collectors, curators, and scientists who will continue to preserve and understand our fascinating and ever-changing natural history.”

The Rice Museum houses a premier collection of rocks and minerals recognized as the finest in the Pacific Northwest and one of the best in the nation. The museum is located in Hillsboro, Oregon, just west of Portland (exit 61 off highway 26). Its educational programs include organized school field trips as well as ongoing educational outreach throughout the community at large. A variety of public and private events are hosted throughout the year as well. The museum is listed on the National Registry of Historic Homes for its unique architectural style and its use of natural stone and extraordinary native Oregon woodwork throughout the building.

For more information about the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals, call (503) 647-2418. Receive updates on museum events by following the Twitter handle @RiceNWMuseum, on Google+, or the Facebook Page for Rice NW Museum.

More information is available on the Smithsonian Affiliations program and Affiliate activities site.

Volcano in Iceland Stops Air Traffic

National Geographic answers the question, “Why Iceland’s volcanoes have vexed humans for centuries?”

Witze says that Iceland’s volcanoes have affected human communities for more than a thousand years and that Bárđarbunga is responsible for the largest eruption anywhere on Earth in the last 10,000 years.

Some of the most famous ones in the last couple of decades have been Surtsey, a brand-new island that rose from the waves off the southern coast in 1963, and Heimaey, another island where in 1973 an eruption began in the middle of the night, in the middle of a town.

But if you go further back in time you can find much more devastating examples. In the year 1104, the volcano Hekla covered more than half the island with pumice. And in 1783, Laki erupted for eight months, pouring out the biggest lava flow in recorded history. Laki also emitted more than 100 million tons of sulfur dioxide, which drifted over Europe to form a choking fog that damaged crops and changed the climate for years.

Iceland has approximately 30 volcanoes, and Bárđarbunga, the largest volcano in that part of the planet, is threatening to erupt. Air traffic over the area is currently suspended.

The Iceland Meteorological Office features a live webcam of the glacier covered volcano.

We recently covered volcanoes and the havoc they cause in our story on the Mt. St. Helens Volcano.