2017 Northwest Fossil Fest at the Rice Northwest Museum

The Northwest Fossil Fest sponsored by the North America Research Group (NARG) will take place at the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals on Saturday, August 12, 2017, from 10 AM to 5 PM.

The theme for the 12th Annual Northwest Fossil Fest is “Fishing the Past!”

The event is free for families to learn about fossils, fossil collecting, preparation, identification, hands on demonstrations, and educational displays. Dr. Edward Davis, University of Oregon will talk on fossil fish from Oregon, including the sabertooth salmon.

Paleontologists will be on hand identify fossils and to show kids of all ages how to clean and prepare fossils.  There will be lots of hands on activities and this is a great event for families and fossil fans.  Attendance for the Fossil Fest includes free admission to the museum.

For more information and up-to-the-minute information see Northwest Fossil Fest.

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Summer Festival is Back!

Our 14th annual Summer Fest 2017 will be at the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals Saturday and Sunday, August 5-6, 2017. The hours are 10 AM – 5 PM. Admission is $5 for everyone ages 5 and up!

Summer Festival Full Page Flyer

Geodes and other minerals and rocks for sale at vendor booths. The outdoor festival features a wide variety of rock, mineral, gem, jewelry, and fossil dealers. We will have food for purchase, live music, and plenty of fun family activities.

Rock clubs from around the region will be offering wonderful educational displays, demonstrations, and activities.

Come early and stay the whole day. The entire museum will be open during this event, so you can explore all our displays after browsing vendors’ tents and creating a “pet rock.” Bring a picnic lunch or enjoy the refreshments at the museum.

It’s a perfect event to spend with friends and family. Bring them all!

 

Bring the museum to your classroom free on January 12

Hey teachers–would you like your students to experience the Rice Museum for free from the comfort of your own classroom?

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On Thursday, January 12, we will be participating in an interactive livestream event through FieldTripZoom. Curator Leslie Moclock will take your students on a tour of our phenomenal collection of petrified wood. You’ll learn all about how wood fossils form and what they can tell us about Earth’s history, from ancient life to modern mountain building.

This presentation addresses topics including ancient life, fossilization, regional geography, climate, and volcanoes. It’s geared for earth science students in grades 4-6 but those who are a little younger or a little older can appreciate it as well.

Join us next Thursday to delve deeper into Earth Science!

What: Phenomenal Petrified Wood (Grades 4-6)

Where: Your classroom, tuning into the Rice Museum via Field Trip Zoom

When: Thursday, Jan 12. Live sessions at 8:10 AM, 9:10 AM, and 12:10 PM (Pacific time)

How: If your district, classroom, or homeschool group is not subscribed to FieldTripZoom, you can access this program via a free trial. Simply send an email to freetrial@fieldtripzoom.com and request the Rice Museum’s program for January 12. (After following the link, you will have to scroll down to find our museum’s program details.)

If you are already subscribed, just log in to your account and select our program from the Zone Calendar.

FieldTripZoom partners with museums and other educational institutions all over the US to facilitate unique live and interactive educational experiences between educational content providers and K-12 educators, students and homeschoolers. We are pleased to host this opportunity on their platform.

2016 Northwest Fossil Fest at the Rice Northwest Museum

2016 NW FOssil Fest PosterThe Northwest Fossil Fest sponsored by the North America Research Group (NARG) will take place at the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals on Saturday, August 13, 2016, from 10 AM to 5 PM.

The Theme for the 11th Annual Northwest Fossil Fest Fossil Teeth!

The event is free for families to learn about fossils, fossil collecting, preparation, identification, hands on demonstrations, and educational displays. There will also be two great talks.  The first will be Dr. John Bershaw of the Geology Department at Portland State University. He will be talking about how he uses fossil teeth to measure changes in chemistry that tell us something about how the past environment changed.  Victor Perez of the University of Florida will present a talk entitled “The Giant Megalodon and what we know about it from Teeth.”

Paleontologists will be on hand identify fossils and to show kids of all ages how to clean and prepare fossils.  There will be lots of hands on activities and this is a great event for families and fossil fans.  Attendance for the Fossil Fest includes free admission to the museum.

For more information and up-to-the-minute information see Northwest Fossil Fest.

Summer Fest August 6-7, 2016

Our annual Summer Fest 2016 will be at the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals Saturday and Sunday, August 6-7, 2016. This year will be bigger than ever! The hours are 10 AM – 5 PM. Admission is only $5, and kids 17 and under are FREE.

Geodes and other minerals and rocks for sale at vendor booth.The outdoor festival features a wide variety of rock, mineral, gem, and fossil dealers. We will have food, music, and plenty of fun family activities. Of course, our favorites Fred and Wilma Flintstone will be rolling in on the famous Flintmobile to give “rides” to children and adults.

Rock clubs from around the region will be offering wonderful educational displays, demonstrations, and activities.

The road construction is complete so you will have no problem finding your way through the new interchange at Highway 26 and Helvetia.

Come early and stay the whole day. The entire museum will be open during this event, so you can explore all our displays after browsing vendors’ tents and creating a “pet rock.” Bring a picnic lunch or enjoy the refreshments at the museum. It’s a perfect event to spend with friends and family. Bring them all!

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Zircons are Forever at OMSI SciPub

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Zoned zircon at 200x magnification. Image courtesy Union College.

Curator Leslie Moclock will be giving this month’s OMSI Science Pub lecture at the Venetian Theatre & Bistro in Hillsboro, OR.

Everyone knows that dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago. But have you ever wondered how we figured out that number? Come discover the secrets of geochronology and learn how scientists determine the age of rocks and fossils. From maps and sledgehammers to radioactive crystals and cutting-edge electronics, this talk illuminates the tools and techniques used to investigate the history of our Earth.

Date: Monday, June 27

Time: 7-9 PM

$5 suggested cover charge

Venetian Theatre  & Bistro
253 E. Main St., Hillsboro, Oregon

What’s in the Box: You’re ripped, Eurypterid!

Just back from Tucson, this little fellow is an extinct critter called a eurypterid. It’s one of the acquisitions from this year’s enormous Tucson Gem & Mineral Show, where we join other national and international museums annually to show off our specimens, make new purchases, and talk shop.

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The long tail spike has led some to call the eurypterid a “sea scorpion,” though we don’t know whether it was venomous. This specimen has one of two distinctive paddle-like arms remaining, and the frilly appendages sprouting off the head are its walking feet. These creatures lived in Silurian seas over 415 million years ago.

This specimen is headed to a box for now, but we should be putting it out on display before long! Anyone have any good ideas for a nice nickname?

2015 Fossil Fest Speakers and Activities

The 10th Annual Northwest Fossil Fest at the Rice Northwest Museum is this weekend, sponsored by NARG, the North American Research Group. The Theme this year is The Pleistocene Epoch and they have a round of amazing speakers and presentations that will tickle your fossil fancy.

The lecture schedule for Saturday is:

11:00am – “The Beringia Land Mass of the Ice Age” by Greg Carr/NARG member

12:30pm – “The Yamhill Pleistocene Project” by Mike Full, Director of the Yamhill River Pleistocene Project

2:00pm – “Ice Age Fossils in Woodburn, Oregon” by Dave Ellingson, Educator, Woodburn High School, Oregon

David Ellingson, Willamette Valley Pleistocene Project

Odulia Flores and Woodburn Science Teacher David Ellingston with school fossil projectDavid Ellingson will be speaking on the Pleistocene peat bog found on the campus of Woodburn High School, and founded the Willamette Valley Pleistocene Project. The project has gained national recognition and acclaim with articles like “Biology teacher has a bone to pick with awareness” and “Digging Up Dirt on the Past” in the Woodburn News locally.

The high school science teacher is lucky to have an Ice Age dig site right on the school campus, and Ellingson uses it to bring to life their archaeology and geology studies. He leads fossil hunt field trips throughout the Willamette Valley. The students have found mammoth tracks, evidence of baby mammoths, possible horn core of a Bison latrifons, sloth, horse, and mastodon, and other animal fossils, as well as evidence of an animal with a seven-foot horn span.

The following is a 30 second, time-lapse video of a dig in 2013 called the Woodburn Fossil Rescue Dig by NARG.

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Northwest Fossil Fest at the Rice Northwest Museum

2015 NW Fossil Fest FlierThe Northwest Fossil Fest sponsored by the North America Research Group (NARG) will take place at the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals on Saturday, August 8, 2015, from 10 AM to 5 PM.

The Theme for the 10th Annual Northwest Fossil Fest is The Pleistocene Epoch!

The event is free for families to learn about fossils, fossil collecting, preparation, identification, and display. The event includes lectures and demonstrations, including presentations by Mike Full and Dave Ellingson.  Mike will discuss some of his recent important discoveries from the Yamhill River Pleistocene Project and will have some of his Ice Age mammal bone discoveries on display.  Dave, a science teacher at Woodburn High School, will talk about major fossil discoveries from a bog deposit on grounds of the Woodburn Campus.  The Woodburn discoveries are part of the exciting Willamette Valley Pleistocene Project.  The lecture schedule will be published soon.

Paleontologists will be on hand identify fossils and to show kids of all ages how to clean and prepare fossils.  There will be lots of hands on activities and this is a great event for families and fossil fans.  Attendance for the Fossil Fest includes free admission to the museum.

For more information and up-to-the-minute information see Northwest Fossil Fest.

IMPORTANT ROAD CONSTRUCTION ALERT:  Please note that Helvetia Road will be closed August 8, 2015 because of construction.  Please 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 NW Fossil Fest.

What’s in the Box? Clammy Hands

What do you think the object on the left has in common with the three objects on the right? This question isn’t too hard to answer: they’re all fossilized clams. But why do they look so different?

Agatized Clams

The clam on the left is the mineralized shell of a clam from Coal Creek, Washington. After the clam died, its shell was encased in sedimentary rock; while that rock was forming, foreign minerals grew and replaced the original calcium carbonate the shell was created from when the clam was alive. (These replacement minerals are responsible for the dark color.)

The clams on the right, on the other hand, are agate molds of clam shell insides. They come from Green Creek in Washington. Their tops have been polished a bit to give them a nice shine, but the shapes are natural. After these clams died, agate filled in the insides of their shells, and the shells themselves dissolved away.

These fossil clams show just two of the many different modes of fossil preservation!