March 18, 2004

Museum sponsoring fossil hunts for kids

by Paula M. Davenport

CARBONDALE, Ill. - Calling all young fossil hounds: Grab a hammer and a tote sack and get ready for two field trips back in time and a subsequent workshop on preserving and displaying the fossils you will find.

The events are part of the Learning Adventures series, sponsored and conducted by the University Museum at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.


The series is for kids ages 6 to 14 accompanied by an adult. Cost is $20 per pair - and $8 for an additional child in that family group. Single adults pay $12. Group rates are available.There will be two Saturday field trips in spring followed on a successive Saturday by a separate workshop on fossil preservation. SIUC geologist and veteran fossil finder Harvey Henson will lead the activities.

Dress for the weather and wear long pants. Bring a hammer and a small sturdy bag for your finds. And pack a sack lunch, too.

For more information, call Robert DeHoet, museum education coordinator, at 618/453-5388.

Here's the run-down of upcoming events:

  • 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday, April 17: "Fossil Hunt: Enter the Prehistoric Jungle!" Meet at the University Museum for an hour of lab study before heading into the field for the afternoon search for plant fossils created hundreds of millions of years ago.
  • 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday, April 24: "Fossil Hunt: Return to the Inland Ocean." Starts with fascinating fossil facts, taught at the museum, followed by an afternoon field trip to a fossil-laden previous marine environment.
  • 10 a.m.-noon, Saturday, May 1: "Keeping Fossils Fantastic: How to Preserve, Organize and Display Your Fossils." Learn how to showcase your finds. Bring your own fossils or practice with samples available at the museum. Admission is $5 for first-timers and free for those who've already taken the museum's fossil hunting field trips.

Enhancing community outreach efforts is among the goals of Southern@150, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.