During the 2015-16 academic year, the Museum hosted almost 10,000 vistors, including many community members, pK-12 school groups, scouts, families, and Virginia Tech faculty and students.

Virginia Tech faculty and students also benefit:  51 course sections from 3 VT Colleges used Museum exhibits and materials.

Education and Public Outreach served over 1,528 K-12 youth and 170 teachers.  

There were 9903 visitors through the door (this number has been adjusted to remove staff and event in-out traffic).

Academic use: 1025 students from 51 course sections, representing 12 different courses, from 3 Colleges.

Programmatic use (education and public outreach): 4237 people total. 898 adults, 1528 pK-12 youth, 170 educators, 1818 VT students/faculty/staff,  46 loans of teaching kits or materials.

The VT MoGs is a favorite study and review space for students in Geoscience labs, providing access to course-specific materials as well as a wide range of high quality minerals, rocks, and fossils on exhibit to help students develop identification skills and an appreciation for these remarkable natural forms.  Other exhibits clarify complex geoscience topics and highlight Departmental research programs.  

There are 25+ teaching kits on various geoscience topics available for loan to local educators.

Most programs are free and open to the public, with the suggested audience noted. VT Parking passes are needed only during 8-5, M-F, available free at the VT Visitor Center. Parking lots and garage nearby.
Handicap spaces are located immediately next to the building on both N and S sides.
No parking pass needed after 5 or weekends.
For more info see other parts of this website, call 540-231-6894, or email vt-mogs@vt.edu.

Fall 2015 VT Museum of Geosciences (MoGs) Public Programs

Paleo Unwrapping Party! Wednesday August 26, 2015 5:00-7:30pm
Museum Public Event     see flyer
Help VT paleontologists unpack their discoveries from their field work this summer. Dr. Sterling Nesbitt and Dr. Michelle Stocker will host this event for the public to learn more about field collection of fossils and how they are transported and prepared for research in the lab. 

Dr. Sterling Nesbitt, Dr. Michelle Stocker, and Dr. Ben Gill will give presentations on their fieldwork and a brief training at the beginning of the work session, starting at 5:20.
Students from the Paleo Research Group will be on hand to assist volunteers with proper techniques. These are REAL FOSSILS from The Age of Dinosaurs collected in Africa, Alberta,and Arizona.
**Kids should be over 7 and accompanied by an adult** 
Due to audience size the group met in 4069 Derring for the introduction, then broke into work groups in the Museum of Geosciences, 2062 Derring Hall, and associated lab rooms. The Roanoke Times did a nice feature article with pictures. Over 100 people attended this event, including President Sands!

Communicating Science with the Public. Carrie Kroehler, VT Graduate School
Research a la Mode
September 9, 2015, Wednesday from 5-6 pm in the Museum, 2062 Derring. 
Training session for graduate students and others interested in learning techniques that can help communicate the work of scientists effectively to people outside the specialty. Free, open to all. (12 VT)

Why did Pangaea Break Up? Lisa Whalen
Geosciences Research a la Mode
October 14, 2015, Wednesday, from 5:30-6:30 pm in the Museum, 2062 Derring
This program series targets the need for "communicating science with the public" and gives graduate students a chance to share their research interests with grad students from other disciplines in a friendly setting. Also appropriate for K-12 teachers. Enjoy ice cream and Llyn's hot fudge sauce after the presentation! (14, 2 kids, 1 teacher)

The Dan River Coal Ash Spill of February 2014:  
Science during a Rapid Response
Dr. Madeline Schreiber, VT Geosciences
Museum Public Lecture (adult) during Earth Science Week!
Thursday October 15, 2015  7-8:30
4069 and 2062 Derring Hall

In February 2014 a drainage pipe broke at a coal ash slurry pond in Eden NC, releasing coal ash and contaminated water into the Dan River.  Dr. Schreiber and colleagues at Virginia Tech and Cornell obtained a “rapid response” grant to study the impact of this spill on the water quality and sediments of the river system.  They used a variety of methods, from field work to analysis using some of VT’s state-of-the-art analytic equipment at the Nanoscale Characterization and Fabrication Laboratory.  This talk will address the timeline of the coal ash spill, the efforts to remove ash from the river, the physical and chemical characterization of the ash, and water quality impacts in the Dan River.

In the Museum there will be a chance for discussion with the scientists, stations to see coal and coal ash under different magnification, and the opportunity to visit the Scanning Electron Microscope Lab to see images of coal ash on this analytical instrument.

Public lecture in 4069 Derring, followed by a hands-on, meet-the-scientists session in the Museum of Geosciences, 2062 Derring.   Small groups rotate to visit the SEM lab. 
Free event appropriate for science-interested adults, VT students, and especially K-12 teachers and other educators who would like to gain a better understanding of environmental impacts.  Free parking available north of the construction site in the West Campus Drive lots and Perry St. garage.  Handicap spaces located adjacent to Derring on the back (south) side. (27, 2 kids, 2 teachers)

GeoFair and Mineral Sale
October 17, 2015, Saturday from 10-4pm, 2062 Derring- Museum Public Program (all ages) 
This Geology Club and Museum of Geosciences annual event is part of the VIRGINIA SCIENCE FESTIVAL and Earth Science Week! The Hokie BugFest is the same day just across the street!
Family-friendly activities presented by Geoscience students, as well as affordable teaching samples and collector-quality items for sale. VT alums Don Dalton, Frank Smith, and the Geology Club host a mineral sale to benefit the Museum. Specimens are appropriate for gifts, teachers, kids, and serious collectors. The Museum of Geosciences student volunteers present family friendly activities about Earth Science topics highlighting VT research. These hands-on, kid-friendly Geoscience activities are at stations throughout the Museum, including Mineral Identification (bring your "unknowns"), the OmniGlobe and EmRiver Stream simulator. (550, 200 kids, 10 teachers, 20 volunteers)

Earth Science Week: "Visualizing Earth Systems" October 11-17, 2015
Oct. 11, Sunday- EarthCache Day.
Oct. 12, Monday - Earth Science Literacy Day: follow @hokiesaurus on Twitter.
Oct. 13, Tuesday - No Child Left Inside Day. Go outside and find a rock! 
Oct.14, Wednesday - National Fossil Day: come visit the Hokiesaurus. Also the Research a la Mode program on Volcanoes at 5:30. (described above)
Oct. 15*, Thursday - The Great ShakeOUT! VA Earthquake Safety Drill 10:15am. Also the Museum's Public Lecture on the Dan River Spill at 7:00. (described above)
Oct. 16, Friday - Geologic Map Day: see the second floor hallway display showing the geology of some of the famous hiking spots and landmarks around VT.
Oct. 17, Saturday - the GEOFAIR! (described above)

Southwest Virginia Geology Rocks! Sarah Windes, Museum of Geosciences
October 22, 2015, Thursday, 6-7pm. Blacksburg Public Library Nature Series.
Co-sponsored with the New River Valley Master Naturalists. Learn more about rocks found in our local area of the Appalachians, including Hokie Stone! Appropriate for homeschoolers, students in 4th grade and above, teens, and adults. Free. Blacksburg Public Library, 200 Miller Street. (8, 1 kid)

Geological Society of America National Meeting
November 1-4, 2015. Baltimore. 
Many of our faculty and students attend this conference, sharing their discoveries, and learning more about geoscience!

When did the carnivorous dinosaurs first become giants? Chris Griffin, Geosciences
Geosciences Research a la Mode 
November 12, 2015, Thursday, from 5:30-6:30 pm in the Museum, 2062 Derring 
When dinosaurs originated 230 million years ago they were small-bodied and minor ecological players. However, by at least 30 million years later they had evolved the massive body sizes for which they are famous. A common hypothesis connects this shift in body size to a mass extinction 200 million years ago, which cleared the way for dinosaur dominance, but this idea may not hold up to scrutiny. In this talk graduate student Chris Griffin will discuss how to integrate footprint fossils, the worldwide fossil record, and the evolution of growth to understand when the carnivorous dinosaurs first became giants. 

The Research a la Mode program series targets the need for "communicating science with the public" and gives graduate students a chance to share their research interests with grad students from other disciplines in a friendly setting. Also appropriate for K-12 teachers and other educators. Free, served with Chris's favorite ice cream!

Winter-Spring 2016 Museum of Geosciences (VT MoGs) Public Programs

Project WET Teacher Workshop for EDCI 5204. 
Llyn Sharp
Feb. 1, 2016, Monday, 4:00-7:00 pm.

WET, Water Education for Teachers, is an international Environmental Education curriculum enhancement program focused on water and water resources. These activities are useful for teachers to bring field-tested, active, science-based lessons to their students. This workshop introduces the Project WET 2.0 webportal and several of the iconic activities that make WET an easy choice for school divisions and teachers. (25 teachers)

Volcanoes of the Galapagos and the Evolution of Life. 
Dr. Esteban Gazel, VT Geosciences 
Feb. 11, 2016, Thursday, 7:00-8:30 pm, Museum Public Lecture

Dr. Gazel studies volcanic activity and associated magma plumes. This talk will focus on how volcanoes from the Galapagos plume closed the isthmus in Central America, made a new continental mass, triggered glaciations, and affected the evolution of life (even human evolution) on the whole planet!

Please join the Museum of Geosciences for this public event in recognition of International Darwin Day. Lecture in 4069 Derring Hall, followed by a hands-on, meet-the-scientists session in the Museum 2062 Derring. This event will be of value to K-12 teachers and other educators, as well as our many community members interested in geology. (51, 2 teachers. 22 at MoGs session)

Ancient volcanic events of the Pacific Plate: messages from the Earth's mantle. Pilar Madrigal, VT Geosciences
Research a la Mode
Feb. 17, 2016, Wednesday, from 5:30-6:30 pm in the Museum, 2062 Derring
This program series targets the need for "communicating science with the public" and gives graduate students a chance to share their research interests with grad students from other disciplines in a friendly setting. Also appropriate for K-12 teachers. Enjoy ice cream before the presentation! (8 adults)

Geosciences Student Research Symposium GSRS.
February 25-26, 2016, Thursday-Friday 8-5pm.

Earth's Heat is Leaking out into the Oceans! 
Kannikha Kolandaivelu
, VT Geosciences
Research a la Mode
March 16, 2016, Wednesday, from 5:30-6:30 pm in the Museum, 2062 Derring

Earth has abundant heat that is dissipating ever since its formation. One mode of heat flow is through the oceans, especially at the spreading mid-ocean ridges. This talk will be about how measurements are made and what it means.
This program series targets the need for "communicating science with the public" and gives graduate students a chance to share their research interests with grad students from other disciplines in a friendly setting. Also appropriate for K-12 teachers. Enjoy ice cream, too! (xx)

Hands-on exhibit at Kids Tech University
March 19, 2016, Saturday from 1:30-3:30. 
Leigh Shannon from the Museum staff and student volunteers lead an activity about crystallization including examples of mineral crystals from the collection.

K2C Kindergarten-to-College: March 18, 21, April 1, 8, and 15
Coordinated by VT-STEM over several weeks, 5th grade students from school districts across Virginia visit campus. 5th grade has many geoscience-related Standards of Learning goals. Our Geoscience students lead tours and hands-on STEM activities for K2C groups at the Museum of Geosciences.

Earth Science Teacher Workshop for EDCI 5204. 
Dr. Philip Prince, Llyn Sharp, Lisa Whalen, Candice Stefanic
March 21, 2016, Monday, 4:00-7:00 pm.

This workshop shares hands-on earth science activities and current information about Virginia Geology and Natural Resources. In addition, an introduction to GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Enviroment) offers Earth System Science, datasets, and observational STEM lesson plans available free at www.globe.gov. (?24 teachers)

Southeastern Section Geological Society of America meeting, March 31-April 1, 2016.

Geology of Appalachian Whitewater, Dr. Philip Prince, VT Geosciences
April 7 Thursday, 7-8:30pm, Museum Public Lecture

Many Appalachian rivers have developed outstanding whitewater rapids as they carve through a wide variety of rock types and fold structures. Dr. Prince will use geologic maps, Google Earth, and on-the-water videos to show what Appalachian whitewater says about our region's geologic past and future. The New River and its tributaries will provide a jumping-off point for a discussion that will stretch from West Virginia "big water" to the small, steep creeks of the Blue Ridge Escarpment. After the lecture, we will go to the museum to look at stream features using the EmRiver stream simulator.

Please join the Museum of Geosciences for this free public lecture in 4069 Derring Hall, followed by a hands-on, meet-the-scientists session in the Museum 2062 Derring. This event will be of value to K-12 teachers and other educators, as well as our many community members interested in rivers and geology. (59 at lecture, 45 also in MoGs)

Food Safety 101. Lily Yang, Food Science and Technology
Research a la Mode
April 13, 2016, Wednesday, from 5:30-6:30 pm in the Museum, 2062 Derring
This program series targets the need for "communicating science with the public" and gives graduate students a chance to share their research interests with grad students from other disciplines in a friendly setting. Also appropriate for K-12 teachers. Enjoy ice cream before the presentation! (16 VT)

Geosciences Alumni Luncheon
April 15, 2016, Friday, Noon. Department Head Nancy Ross welcomes our alumni back to meet new faculty members and visit labs and facilities.

Geosciences International Potluck
May 5, 2016, Thursday, Noon. Maddy Schreiber hosting.