History on the Rocks

History on the Rocks is made possible by generous funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF EAR-0645504).  

Recent Activities
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June 22-24, 2010 UNL-4H Geology Camp: History on the Rocks

Twelve high-school students traveled from across Nebraska to Lincoln to learn about Nebraska's geologic history. A major highlight of the camp was an all-day field trip to southeast Nebraska and into northeastern Kansas to examine outcrops and collect fossils from 90 - 100 million year old rocks that record the presence of a vast seaway when dinosaurs roamed the earth. The photo at right was taken after the discovery of fossil shark teeth by two of the campers.

4H group

February 6, 2010 Dinosaurs and Disasters and the UN State Museum

The History on the Rocks team participated in another Dinosaurs and Disasters day at the UNL State Musuem. The theme for 2010 was "Extinction." We revamped our board game, "Earth History Survivor." As in 2009, only a lucky few survived the catastrophic events that have shaped our planet's long history.

July 8-9, 2009 History on the Rocks for Girls, Inc

A two-day geology program was provided for 9 girls from Girls Incorporated of Omaha. The first day, spent on the UNL campus, included education activities at the UN State Museum and the Cook Pavilion football field. On the second day, the group traveled to southeast Nebraska to examine outcrops and collect fossils around Fairbury, NE.

See related news article here.

February 7, 2009 Dinosaurs and Disasters!

The History on the Rocks team participated in Dinosaurs and Disasters, an annual event designed to teach the public about the geosciences.  The theme for 2009 was “Evolution and Change Through Time,” in honor of Charles Darwin.  The team designed a new board game for the event:  “Earth History Survivor.”  The objective for players was to navigate the geologic record without going extinct.  As in the fossil record, few players made it to the end of the game. 

July 21-24, 2008 History on the Rocks for Teachers

Twelve high school science teachers from across Nebraska participated on a 5-day field excursion to key geological sites in eastern Nebraska. The trip formed part of a University of Nebraska-Lincoln course for high school teachers, History on the Rocks for Teachers. The course focused on interpreting the sedimentary rock record, the major archive of Earth history.

Teachers worked in groups to collect evidence from outcrops that allowed them to interpret the environment at the time of deposition.  Fieldwork was supplemented by ad hoc lectures that provided insight into global conditions at key times in the deep past.  Discussions of the day’s work continued informally each evening around the campfire. Teachers used field observations to construct timelines that summarized the geologic and climatic history of Nebraska. They also developed lesson plans and collected samples for use in the classroom.

Click here to view and download lesson plans constructed by teachers.

Click here to see a summary of the field trip.

Group photo, taken at Ashfall State Historical Park. Front row (kneeling) UNL course instructors Jesse Koch, Becky Schmeisser, Zi Gui, and Tracy Frank. Back (left to right) Dustin Roth (camp coordinator), Sheri Plumtree, Shelly Avery, Craig Ford, Nicole Flynn, Mark Shearer, Jeremy Strong, Marcus Schmidt, Ray Lemoine, Kim Vogt, Ed Planansky, Jennifer Northouse, and Dudley Friskopp.