Geology & Paleontology

The Geology Department at MNA has a long tradition of field-based research on the extraordinary geological history of the Colorado Plateau and surrounding areas. Nearby exposures range from two billion year old Precambrian beds in the Grand Canyon, just 70 miles north of campus, to Quaternary (Ice Age) deposits scattered throughout the American West that represent the last two million years. Department personnel have a long tradition of interest in other parts of the globe as well: Antarctica, India, Mexico, Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand are examples. The department has accumulated a fine collection of fossils that have been the heart of MNA research on the evolution of the earth and the evolution of life on earth in local, regional, and global context. Most of the fossils in the collection are the products of active research by MNA curators, themselves, and collaborators from around the world including students at Northern Arizona University. The Geology collection at MNA is a jewel of our holdings and a veritable geology museum unto itself.

Meet the Curator

Meet the Researchers

Therizinosaur: Mystery of the Sickle Claw Dinosaur

Plesiosaur: A Terror of the Cretaceous Sea

History of Geology at MNA

Geology and Paleontology Collections