JOHNSON CITY — Tours, presentations and activities for everyone will be part of an Earth Day celebration on Saturday, April 20, at the East Tennessee State University and General Shale Brick Natural History Museum and Visitor Center at the Gray Fossil Site.
Visitors will be invited to paint fossil casts made by ETSU paleontologists and participate in such activities as watershed model and habitat puzzles. In addition, paleontologists, archaeologists, geologists and biologists will display and discuss fossils, artifacts, rocks and wildlife.
Other presentations will address such topics as archaeological dig sites, climate change and extinction, local environmental efforts and more. Workshops focusing on raised-bed gardening and herb gardening will also be offered.
“To me, Earth Day is about understanding and conserving our natural environment, which is central to my work as a scientist,” said Dr. Blaine Schubert, museum director and professor of geosciences at ETSU. “As paleontologists and archaeologists, we study how things like climate change have impacted the evolution of life on Earth. Through our understanding of the past, we help inform conservation efforts today and in the future.”
Visitors can watch as paleontologists excavate at the Gray Fossil Site, weather permitting.
A silent auction will also be held featuring minerals, rocks, fossil casts, natural history prints and more. All proceeds from the Earth Day event will go toward museum development and educational planning.
All-access admission to the museum is $9 for children and $15 for adults. The museum is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday and is located 1.8 miles off Exit 13 on Interstate 26. For more information, call (866) 202-6223 or visit www.etsu.edu/naturalhistorymuseum.