Washington State Rocks and Minerals Exhibit at WWU in Bellingham

If you are heading north into Washington State, way far north towards the Canadian border, take time to drop by Western Washington University in Bellingham for their free and open to the public exhibit of the minerals, fossils of Washington state, reports the Bellingham Herald. The exhibit is on the ground floor and part of the first and second floors of the Environmental Studies Building.

It’s like a mini-museum, with displays that include mineral crystals, mammoth teeth and fossilized plant leaves, along with interpretive exhibits that highlight coal mining in Whatcom County and show some of the tools and equipment that scientists use to study the Earth. There’s even a seismograph and seismometer.

…Possibly the most fascinating display is a four-foot slab of sedimentary rock containing the three-toed footprint of a diatryma, a giant flightless bird from the Eocene Period, some 34 million to 56 million years ago. It was discovered in sedimentary rock that shook loose in a landslide several years ago near Racehorse Creek in the Mount Baker foothills. The slab was airlifted by helicopter to WWU.

As our members know well, Washington (as well as Oregon) is one of the most geologically dynamic areas in the world. This exhibit is designed to showcase what they are calling “Northwest Origins” going back more than 1 billion years old.

If you head up there, please let us know and consider writing a report about the exhibit for the website and newsletter.

Field Trip: Hall Museum of Minerals, La Center, Washington

May 4, 2013, we will be having a field trip to the Hall Museum of Minerals in La Center, Washington.

The field trip includes a tour of the museum and potluck, so bring food to share with everyone.

We will be meeting at the Forest Grove Senior and Community Center in Forest Grove, Oregon, and leaving by 9:15AM. We expect to arrive at the museum at 10:30AM if you are driving on your own. Let’s try to carpool to make this more fun.

The museum houses more than 40 years of collecting by Richard and Bernice Hall. They have an amazingly diverse collection of rock slabs, petrified wood, crystals, and polished slabs, spheres, and even rock carvings.

Richard and Bernice Hall have won hundreds of awards for their work in rock collecting and exhibits.

Richard has promised a tour of his machine shops, demonstrating how to cut, drill, polish, sand, grind, and do everything to various rocks and minerals.

This is a very special treat and we look forward to having a fun and educational day.

If you want to come with us, please contact us and let us know so we have an estimate of how many will be attending.