Georgia Southern University Museum reopens to celebrate Earth Sciences Week
After nearly three years and after extensive architectural renovations, the Georgia Southern Museum, one of the oldest educational centers on the University’s Statesboro campus, reopens to visitors on October 10.
“It was a long project, but it was worth it,” said Georgia Southern Museum director Brent Tharp, Ph.D. “The modernized facility and newly designed galleries represent a new era for the museum. Visitors will always reunite with old friends, like the mosasaur, but exhibited in new and more exciting ways, and make new discoveries with artifacts never before exhibited in expanded permanent exhibits preserving the culture of the region. We are really delighted to be open to the public again.
The Georgia Southern Museum is the first institution to interpret the natural and cultural history of the Georgia Coastal Plain. The museum features permanent and temporary exhibitions curated by the faculty and students of the University, and provides a place where researchers can explore its collections and students of all ages can learn.
As part of its reopening celebration, the museum will recognize Earth Science Week with events featuring social media videos and interactive exhibits by Georgia Southern students, faculty and alumni. Earth Sciences Week highlights include:
Earthcache Day and reopening of the museum
October 10, 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.
The museum will open to visitors at 2 p.m. and the museum will launch a week-long geocache scavenger hunt on the Statesboro campus.
October 11, virtual
Follow the museum on social media for a video on Georgia’s Economic Minerals featuring Professor Kelly Vance, Ph.D., Department of Geology and Geography.
Earth observation day
October 12, virtual
Follow the Museum on social media to hear Reilly Corkran, senior at Georgia Southern, as he discusses how geographers are using remote sensing in a video that will appear on our social media feeds.
National Fossil Day
October 13 virtual
Paleontology Curator Kathlyn Smith, Ph.D., to Discuss Extinct Whale Brain, Georgiacetus, and How it Compare to Living Whales in Exclusive Social Media Video
Rotonde: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Explore the fossils with paleontologists Smith and Stephanie Lukowski, Curator of the Education Museum, at the Russell Union Rotunda.
Museum: 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Georgia Southern student Lauren Vieth to teach visitors what is and isn’t a dinosaur
Geosciences day for all
October 14, virtual
Find out about the geoscientists here at Georgia Southern and what they do via a video on the museum’s social media
Museum, 9 a.m. to 11:10 a.m., 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Student Autumn Arnold to host rock and mineral identification table
Geological Map Day
October 15, virtual
Nick Radko, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Geology and Geography, will explain how geological maps work and what they can tell us, highlighting the geological map of Georgia.
Museum, 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Student Josey Kearns to teach visitors what is and isn’t a dinosaur
International Archeology Day
The museum is closed on Saturdays, but look for a video featuring Georgia Southern alumnus Rhianna Bennett (’18) (2018) speaking about her work as an archaeologist and the relationship between archeology and museums.
Outside of Earth Science Week events, museum visitors can explore redesigned permanent exhibits in two new galleries – the Delma and Beverly Presley Gallery and the Jack and Addie D. Averitt Gallery – which feature objects from the permanent collection of the museum such as the impressive mosasaur exhibition of fossil skeletons and extensive cultural history collections. Highlights of the museum’s permanent collection include a rare pre-Civil War cotton gin, artifacts from Gullah Geechee, and other significant collections documenting the interplay of the unique environment and cultures of southern Georgia.
The exhibit “Uncharted Worlds: The Natural History of Georgia’s Coastal Plain” explores the dramatic changes in Georgia’s landscape, the arrival of humans, and the coastal plain we know today. A companion exhibit, “Mapped Worlds: The Cultural History of the Georgia Coastal Plain,” features important stories about the interactions between cultures and the environment that created the distinct traditions and heritage of the Georgia Coastal Plain. .
The gallery of changing exhibits allows the museum to display fascinating artefacts and stories. “Saints and Sinners: Salvation and Damnation in Latin American Folk Art,” the museum’s first bilingual exhibit, will remain on view until early next year. Curated by Michael Van Wagenen, Ph.D., Associate Professor of History, the exhibition features over 100 extraordinary works of art spanning 1,000 years of history. Georgia Southern students helped create an experience that examines how Europeans, Americans, Africans, and their common descendants struggled with the existential questions of life, death, and the afterlife in a way only Latin American.
“The museum strives to ensure that our students and the faculty they work with are more than just visitors,” Tharp said. “Together with the museum, they develop exhibits and programs as curators, designers and educators, and the community benefits from these unique learning experiences.”
Located on the Sweetheart Circle of the Statesboro Campus in the Rosenwald Building, the Georgia Southern Museum will be open every week Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed on Mondays, Saturdays and university holidays.
Admission to the museum is $ 4 per person; however, for a limited time, the museum will also accept donations for admission. Children 3 and under, museum members, and Georgia Southern students receive free admission.
For more information, visit GeorgiaSouthern.edu/museum.