Cal Day Events – Biodiversity Roadshow

The UC Berkeley Natural History Museums invite you to the Valley Life Sciences Building (VLSB) for the Biodiversity Roadshow!

Bring your curiosity! Come talk to the experts! See live animals! Be dazzled by rare artifacts and natural objects!

Bring a small item to our tables in the courtyard and let us tell you more about it!

WHEN: April 17th, 2010 9am-4pm

WHERE: the courtyard of the VLSB, on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley

Have you ever found a feather and wondered what bird it was from? Or discovered a shell or fossil on the beach and wanted to know more about it? Would you like to know what environments it came from and what conditions are destructive to its preservation?

Scientists and experts will be at each table to identify these things, strange plants and more. Bring in your live or dead plants, bugs in a jar, skulls, bones, feathers, eggs, fossils, seashells and other natural materials washed up on the beach, or your printed photographs* of animals or plants, or examples from your collection (stamps, coins, patches, marbles, etc.)

Our experts are especially knowledgeable about local natural objects and living things. Please note, we are not appraising your items or assigning a value to them!  We are only helping to identify them for scientific appreciation.

Tables include representatives from:

  • The Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology – learn how to protect and preserve your item as if it were a museum treasure. See samples of professional conservation materials and archival techniques featured in an upcoming exhibition “The Conservator’s Art: Preserving Egypt’s Past.” Get a behind the scenes preview from the conservation blog featured on the museum’s website.
  • The Museum of Vertebrate Zoology – identify and learn about local vertebrate animals including amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. See examples of some of the local animals you may see in your backyard.
  • The University and Jepson Herbaria – identify and learn about local plants of all types, and exotic plants from your yard.
  • The University of California Museum of Paleontology– experts will be on hand to help you identify fossils, and may even be able to identify certain types of rocks and minerals.
  • The Essig Museum of Entomology – get bugs and spiders identified by experts on local and invasive species.

Other participants and displays include The Department of Integrative Biology, where you can get marine wash-ups identified, and UC Press books with featured books on local flora, fauna, and other related roadshow topics. In addition there will be live animals of all sorts, some of which you will be able to touch! Live animals will include marine dwellers, insects, spiders, reptiles and more!

Get your Passport to Science@Cal stamped here.

* For printed photographs – the more information you have the better. It’s best if the photo has something in it to give it a sense of scale (a ruler, a pencil, a hand, etc.) and if you remember where and when you took the photo.