Mastodon Musings

Discover Natural Disasters at our 52nd Annual Open House!

Earthquake ImageAs the end of January quickly approaches, we are busily preparing for the Rutgers Geology Museum’s 52nd Annual Open House Event.


For the 52nd year, science-enthusiasts, rock and mineral-hounds, and children young and old will converge on Rutgers’ College Avenue Campus on the last Saturday in January to spend the day learning about Natural Disasters. Visitors will be able to participate in a lecture series, mineral sale, mineral identification station, arts and crafts stations, hands-on children’s lectures, and special appearances by other local science centers.

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Microscopic Worms May be the Key to Understanding the Inheritance of Acquired Characteristics

3D rendition of DNA strandFrom introductory science classes to general biology, we have been taught that all organisms are coded by deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA).


Our grandparents gave a portion of their genetic code to our parents, our parents gave a portion of it to us, and we will provide some of that genetic code to our kids. Nothing more, nothing less; after all, Lamarck’s theory on passing down acquired characteristics has been shunned for nearly as long as it existed.

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Learning that is Out of this World!

Photo of Pleiades Star Cluster. photo taken by Ethan CatalanelloObservatories provide a wealth of knowledge that can help us understand the science of astronomy on a whole new level.

During the Spring of 2019, I went to two Public Observatory Nights at the Robert A. Schommer Astronomical Observatory on Busch campus of Rutgers University. Although cloudy skies prevented me from viewing the sky from the telescope, I was able to attend a lecture presented by a member of the Rutgers Astronomical Society about the Mars rovers. The lecture explored topics such as the four terrestrial planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars) and provided an in-depth look at the mission objectives and discoveries of the Mars rovers to date.

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New Exhibit on Meteorites and Planetary Science!

Meteorite Blog Cover showing planetary layer samplesUnveiled at our Annual Open House in January, the Rutgers Geology Museum’s newest exhibit shows visitors how tiny space rocks, or meteorites, tell the big story of the formation of the stars and planets.

Through the guidance of Rutgers University’s own resident meteorite expert, Dr. Juliane Gross of the Earth and Planetary Sciences Department, this three-part exhibit details the formation history of our Solar System, describes the origin and differences between the types of meteorites, and describes the formation of layered planets, like our own.

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Mineral Identification


Ever wonder what that rock, fossil or mineral laying around your house is? Bring it to the Rutgers Geology Museum and find out! Fossil and Mineral Identification is open to the public at our Annual Open House and during our Late Night Events.

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