Upcoming Programs

Museum educational programs include workshops, lectures, movies, and field trips on natural and environmental topics throughout the year.

 

Click here to sign up for our email list. You will receive a monthly listing of upcoming programs and exhibits, plus occasional announcements about special events.

Date

Time Program Title & Description

Location

Thursday, March 26 7:oo p.m.

UI Explorers Seminar:

Dr. Craig Kletzing, UI Physics and Astronomy

“Hawkeyes in Space: Space Research at the University of Iowa”

 

Professor James Van Allen and the University of Iowa played a pioneering role in space exploration by the United States of America, and the University continues to play an active role in our nation's continued exploration of the Solar System and beyond, to the far reaches of the Universe. The UI's Department of Physics and Astronomy has contributed to more than 100 spacecraft missions since the 1950's, and this exhibit highlights three major events in that history: Explorer 1 in 1958, Voyager 1 in 1977, and the Van Allen Probes launched in 2013. Dr. Craig Kletzing will discuss the Van Allen Probes in depth and give the audience a sneak-peak at the “Hawkeyes in Space” 2015 Mobile Museum exhibit that will tour the state this year.

Biosphere Discovery Hub
Thursday, April 2 7:oo p.m.

UI Explorers Seminar:

Eric Scott, San Bernardino County Museum

"Evolving Icons: Ice Age Horses of the American West"

 

Horses are icons of the American West. Whether it’s prospectors, cowboys, natives, or settlers in their covered wagons, one can’t help but imagine horses alongside them all. But horses have a connection with the west that goes far deeper than just human history, reaching back to the Pleistocene Epoch – the “Ice Ages” – and beyond. Native to North America, horses have been key players in ancient ecosystems for over fifty million years, and were mainstays of large mammal communities throughout the Ice Ages. Because of this success, Pleistocene horse fossils are extremely abundant throughout the American west. Scott’s research focuses on these remains. His studies have taken him to tar pits, frozen caves, and blistering southwestern deserts. His lecture will showcase some of his recent work at a variety of these sites, notably the Tule Springs site in southern Nevada and Natural Trap Cave in northern Wyoming. He’ll also discuss his research in museum collections throughout the US.

 

 

Biosphere Discovery Hub
Friday, April 3 6:oo-9:00 p.m.

Night at the Museum: Digging Up the Past

[For students in Grades 1-5, Pre-registration is required, $30 fee per child per program]

 

Get your hands dirty and learn how archaeologists explore past cultures!  Try out your excavation skills and discover everything from spear-throwers to potsherds.

 

Explore the Museum of Natural History after dark for a fun evening of pizza and STEM activities! Each month, explore a different area of science, technology and culture with interactive demonstrations, fun activities, and hands-on materials. Each child will receive their own official MNH Miner Helmet with headlamp to keep, and the group will explore the darkened bird and mammal galleries as part of the evening’s activities. Parents will drop the children off at the beginning of the program and pick them up when the program is over, with Museum staff and volunteers leading the program and activities. Night at the Museum is sponsored by Gilbert Street Papa John’s Pizza in Iowa City.

 

Iowa Hall entrance

Sunday,

April 5

3:oo p.m.

Movies@MNH: Dirt! The Movie

 

[86 minutes, No Rating]
A look at man's relationship with Dirt. Dirt and humans couldn't be closer. We started our journey together as stardust, swirled by cosmic forces into our galaxy, solar system, and planet. We are made of the same stuff. Four billion years of evolution created dirt as the living source of all life on Earth including humans. Dirt has given us food, shelter, fuel, medicine, ceramics, flowers, cosmetics and color --everything needed for our survival. For most of the last ten thousand years we humans understood our intimate bond with dirt and the rest of nature. We took care of the soils that took care of us. But, over time, we lost that connection. We still depend on dirt, but now we abuse and ignore it. We are destroying our last natural resource with our agriculture, our mining, and our paving over the planet for cities. We turned dirt into something "dirty”. A millennial shift in consciousness about the environment offers a beacon of hope - and practical solutions. Around the globe, pioneers are coming together to save earth's last natural resource. Scientists discover connections with soil that can balance global warming. Generation X brands organic farming as trendy and children begin to eat from edible school yards. Inmates find inner peace and job skills in a prison horticulture program. Medical researchers explore dirt's capacity to provide solutions to such devastating health crises as AIDS. Major religions are rediscovering the reverence for the natural world that unites them all.

 

Shown as part of the University of Iowa's Food for Thought Theme Semester

 

 

Macbride Auditorium

Wednesday,

April 8

6:00-7:30 p.m.

UI Press book release reception: Archaeological Guide to Iowa and Dubuque's Forgotten Cemetery

 

Celebrate the release of two new books on Iowa archaeology from the University of Iowa Press, “Archaeological Guide to Iowa” and “Dubuque’s Forgotten Cemetery”, with a public reception from 6:00-7:30pm on Wednesday, April 8th in the Museum of Natural History's Iowa Hall gallery. The books will be available for purchase from the MNH gift shop, and authors from the UI Office of the State Archaeologist will be on hand to sign copies. Refreshments will be served.

 

 

Iowa Hall
Friday, April 10 6:oo-9:00 p.m.

Night at the Museum: Digging Up the Past

[For students in Grades 1-5, Pre-registration is required, $30 fee per child per program]

 

Get your hands dirty and learn how archaeologists explore past cultures!  Try out your excavation skills and discover everything from spear-throwers to potsherds.

 

Explore the Museum of Natural History after dark for a fun evening of pizza and STEM activities! Each month, explore a different area of science, technology and culture with interactive demonstrations, fun activities, and hands-on materials. Each child will receive their own official MNH Miner Helmet with headlamp to keep, and the group will explore the darkened bird and mammal galleries as part of the evening’s activities. Parents will drop the children off at the beginning of the program and pick them up when the program is over, with Museum staff and volunteers leading the program and activities. Night at the Museum is sponsored by Gilbert Street Papa John’s Pizza in Iowa City.

 

Iowa Hall entrance
Saturday, April 11  

Iowa Climate Festival

 

Iowa Climate Symposium (9 AM - 12 PM)
Session 1: The basics of climate science
Join local experts as they discuss the climate effects of greenhouse gases and particles in the air. Bring your questions! Featured presenters include:

  • Betsy Stone (UI Department of Chemistry)
  • Vicki Grassian (UI Department of Chemistry)
  • Scott Spak (UI Public Policy Center)


Session 2: What does the future hold for climate in Iowa?
Distinguished speakers will discuss how a changing climate affects your health and Iowa’s agriculture.

  • Gene Takle (Iowa State University, Atmospheric Science)
  • Peter Thorne (UI Public Health)
  • Wanda Reiter-Kintz (State Hygienic Laboratory)

 

Climate Science Fair (1:30-4 PM)

  • Explore climate science through hands-on experiments!
  • Why do some gases warm the atmosphere?
  • How do particles cool the earth? How do clouds form?
  • Why are the oceans becoming more acidic?
  • What is albedo? And how does it affect climate?
  • Learn how to reduce your environmental impact, bring your questions, and join us for an ice cream social!

 

Iowa City Recycling Logo Competition
The City of Iowa City is working with local students to bring a new recycling logo to our recycling trucks. All entries will be on display at the Museum. Judging will begin at 3pm and the winning entry will be announced at the event!

All events are free and open to the public. For details, visit The Iowa Climate Festival website.

 

 

Macbride Auditorium
Saturday, April 18 2:oo p.m.

The Fossil Guy

“Duck-billed Dinosaurs: Pretty Faces of the Cretaceous”

 

Don Johnson, "The Fossil Guy," returns this spring with hands-on children’s programs on paleontology at 2:00pm on Saturday afternoons at the University Of Iowa Museum Of Natural History. All "Fossil Guy" programs are free and open to the public and will be held in Macbride Hall auditorium. Each program consists of a 30-minute talk by Johnson, a local avocational paleontologist, followed by 30 minutes of hands-on interactive time with Don’s collection of fossils and replicas. Presentations are geared toward elementary-age children.

 

 

Macbride Auditorium

Saturday, April 25 & Sunday,

April 26

 

Pentacrest Museums Family Weekend

 

Check back soon for more details!

 

 

Macbride Hall
Saturday, April 25 11:00 a.m.

Professor KW Therm

"All About Energy"

 

Doug Litwiller (aka “Professor KW Therm”) is the associate director of Energy Conservation in Facilities Management at the University of Iowa, and is one of many individuals at the university focused on reducing the University of Iowa’s energy consumption. The “Professor” will give the

audience members a light-hearted look at “all things energy” including information on how the university is reducing its carbon footprint and how you can reduce energy consump- tion at home. The “Professor” will be answering questions such as:

  • How much energy does the university consume?
  • What is the university’s energy bill?
    What is a Kilowatt-hour and why should I care?
  • What does an LED light bulb look like?
  • What is that large building with tall stacks sticking out of it?
  • What is coal?
  • How do I make sense of my energy bill?

 

Bring in a copy of your most recent energy bill so the Professor can explain what it means!

 

 

Biosphere Discovery Hub
Saturday, April 25 2:oo p.m.

The Fossil Guy

“The Rise of the Tyrannosaurs”

 

Don Johnson, "The Fossil Guy," returns this spring with hands-on children’s programs on paleontology at 2:00pm on Saturday afternoons at the University Of Iowa Museum Of Natural History. All "Fossil Guy" programs are free and open to the public and will be held in Macbride Hall auditorium. Each program consists of a 30-minute talk by Johnson, a local avocational paleontologist, followed by 30 minutes of hands-on interactive time with Don’s collection of fossils and replicas. Presentations are geared toward elementary-age children.

 

 

Macbride Auditorium
Friday, May 1 6:oo-9:00 p.m.

Night at the Museum: Engineering & Innovation

[For students in Grades 1-5, Pre-registration is required, $30 fee per child per program]

 

Ever wondered what it takes to design a bridge or create a hovercraft?  Put your brainpower to the test and see what amazing things you can invent and discover!

 

Explore the Museum of Natural History after dark for a fun evening of pizza and STEM activities! Each month, explore a different area of science, technology and culture with interactive demonstrations, fun activities, and hands-on materials. Each child will receive their own official MNH Miner Helmet with headlamp to keep, and the group will explore the darkened bird and mammal galleries as part of the evening’s activities. Parents will drop the children off at the beginning of the program and pick them up when the program is over, with Museum staff and volunteers leading the program and activities. Night at the Museum is sponsored by Gilbert Street Papa John’s Pizza in Iowa City.

 

Iowa Hall entrance
Saturday, May 2 2:oo p.m.

The Fossil Guy

“Feathered Dinosaurs Yesterday & Today”

 

Don Johnson, "The Fossil Guy," returns this spring with hands-on children’s programs on paleontology at 2:00pm on Saturday afternoons at the University Of Iowa Museum Of Natural History. All "Fossil Guy" programs are free and open to the public and will be held in Macbride Hall auditorium. Each program consists of a 30-minute talk by Johnson, a local avocational paleontologist, followed by 30 minutes of hands-on interactive time with Don’s collection of fossils and replicas. Presentations are geared toward elementary-age children.

 

 

Macbride Auditorium

Sunday,

May 3

3:oo p.m.

Movies@MNH: Earth Flight: North America

 

[61 minutes, No Rating]
David Tennant narrates this awe-inspiring journey across six continents, filmed over four years with help from camera-carrying birds, drones, paragliders and remote-control microflight planes. What would it be like to see the world from a bird’s perspective? To experience riding on the backs of bald eagles and snow geese or flying alongside a flock of brown pelicans as they scan and dive for fish in the ocean below. State-of-the-art technology and sophisticated camera techniques have now made it possible to do just that and more as ‘Earthflight” takes viewers on a breathtaking aerial adventure over six continents. It took “Earthflight” series producer John Downer and his team four years to film more than 100 bird species in 40 different countries. Using strategically placed cameras, including tiny HD cameras placed on the backs of trained birds, this six-part series captures amazing viewpoints that have never been seen before.

 

 

Macbride Auditorium
Thursday, May 7 7:oo p.m.

UI Explorers Seminar:

Speaker/Title TBA

 

The University of Iowa Museum of Natural History hosts the monthly Explorers Seminars Series on Thursday evenings, featuring interdisciplinary public lectures by researchers from the University of Iowa and beyond who explore science, the environment, prehistory, culture and the interactions of such topics. A cross-section of UI departments are represented in the series each semester, including Anthropology, Geoscience, Environmental Science, Geography, Biological Sciences, and Engineering. The seminars take place monthly on Thursday evenings at 7:00 p.m. in the Museum’s Biosphere Discovery Hub. Each program involves an approximately 45 minute lecture, followed by discussion and refreshments from Molly’s Cupcakes in Iowa City.

 

 

Biosphere Discovery Hub
Friday, May 8 6:oo-9:00 p.m.

Night at the Museum: Engineering & Innovation

[For students in Grades 1-5, Pre-registration is required, $30 fee per child per program]

 

Ever wondered what it takes to design a bridge or create a hovercraft?  Put your brainpower to the test and see what amazing things you can invent and discover!

 

Explore the Museum of Natural History after dark for a fun evening of pizza and STEM activities! Each month, explore a different area of science, technology and culture with interactive demonstrations, fun activities, and hands-on materials. Each child will receive their own official MNH Miner Helmet with headlamp to keep, and the group will explore the darkened bird and mammal galleries as part of the evening’s activities. Parents will drop the children off at the beginning of the program and pick them up when the program is over, with Museum staff and volunteers leading the program and activities. Night at the Museum is sponsored by Gilbert Street Papa John’s Pizza in Iowa City.

 

Iowa Hall entrance