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Fryxell Geology Museum

Earth's history as told by its rocks, minerals and fossils!

The museum, named after Dr. Fritiof Fryxell, has become one of the largest and finest collections of rocks, minerals and fossils in the Midwest. Begun in the late 1880s with a modest natural history collection, the museum now boasts over 1,500 rock, mineral, and fossil specimens. Here's a recent blog about the museum by John Gnida.

On display are a complete skeleton of a Platecarpus "sea serpent", skulls of Parasaurolophus, Ankylosaurus, Apatosaurus, Allosaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex and a 2-billion-year-old fossil!

Of particular interest is a state-of-the-art fluorescent mineral display and an exhibit of the complete 22-foot long skeleton of Cryolophosaurus, a large crested carnivorous dinosaur discovered in Antarctica in 1991 by Augustana paleontologist Dr. William Hammer.

The Fryxell Geology Museum gratefully thanks the Lasco Family for their generous gift!
Stop in to see a recent donation of a rare amphibian fossil from the famous Mazon Creek area.
Discovered and donated by the family of Zada Adell and Leonard A. Lasco, the fine specimen shows nice preservation of the skull, body and limb material.

Newly on display, is a piece of the Chelyabinsk meteor that exploded over Russia on February 15, 2013.

The museum is open to the public and free-of-charge. We also offer free school fieldtrip programs and geology discovery kits.

Questions about meteorites? Click here for information.

Available in the College bookstore: the posthumous publication of Dr. Fryxell's book Ferdinand Hayden: A Young Scientist in the Great West 1853-1855, a stirring narrative that chronicles Hayden's scientific expeditions before he advocated the creation of Yellowstone National Park in 1872.

 Like us on facebook  Fryxell Geology Museum Facebook page       

Geotourism MapGuide Plan your trip to the Quad Cities and visit us by exploring the new National Geographic Mississippi River Map Guide. Click the icon to get started on your itinerary.

Hours and location

Admission is free.

The Fryxell Geology Museum is located in the Swenson Hall of Geosciences (near the Admissions Office). Use the 38th Street campus entrance. Click here for directions and a campus map (The museum and building are listed as 40 and 85 on the campus map.)

The museum is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, and from 1-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday during the academic school year. The museum will be closed for Augustana's Thanksgiving Break from November 24- November 27, 2016.

Free school field trips generally are scheduled between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Monday through Friday during the academic year.

For specific times and dates to schedule field trips, please call (309) 794-7318 or email ElizabethPlumb@Augustana.edu in advance.

Join Us for an Arctic and Antarctic Performance and Art Exhibit

Cheryl Leonard
​POLAR SOUNDSCAPE PERFORMANCE by 
composer, performer and instrument-builder Cheryl Leonard
    with video by visual artist and designer Oona Stern
Wednesday, January 11th @ 7 pm.
Denkmann Memorial building, Wallenberg Hall, Augustana College (map)


"Over the last decade Chery Leonard  has focused on investigating sounds, structures, and objects from the natural world. Many of her recent works cultivate stones, wood, water, ice, sand, shells, feathers, and bones as musical instruments. Leonard uses microphones to explore the micro-aural worlds contained within her sound sources and develops compositions that highlight the unique voices they contain. Her projects often involve constructing one-of-a-kind sculptural instruments that are played live on stage.Oona Stern has been exhibiting drawings and installations internationally since receiving a MFA from The School of Visual Arts in the late '90's. In 2009, Stern spent a month at the Palmer Station in Antarctica, part of the National Science Foundation's Artists and Writers Program. While there, she created 100+ drawings, as well as photographs and videos, thinking of ice and her surroundings as an architectural space. Also on this residency, Stern met and began collaborating with the composer  Leonard. This performance will present the fruits of their collaborations."  
Leonard's and Stern's work can be seen and heard in a special exhibit, Art above 66° 33' now on display at the Augustana Teaching Museum of Art .

Join Us for the Planetarium and Museum Christmas Open House

Join us for Augustana's John Deere Planetarium annual holiday "Season of Light" program, December 10 through 16, 2016.  The planetarium show "Season of Light" will be offered weeknight (Dec 12-16) evenings at 7 p.m. and Saturday(Dec.10) and Sunday (Dec. 11) at 2 p.m.  Admission is free, but reservations are requested and the program is not recommended for children ages seven and under.  The John Deere Planetarium is located at 820 38th Street, Rock Island.

"Season of Light" is a multimedia planetarium show that uses the planetarium sky projector, astronomical images, music and narration, all projected onto a 30-foot dome to tell the story of how our holiday traditions are connected to the sky above.  December is the darkest month of the year and people all over the world have held festivals, lit candles and tried to bring light to the darkness of the winter sky.  Our show also explains the seasons, the winter constellations and speculates about the Star of Bethlehem. In addition, Augustana's Fryxell Geology Museum, just adjacent to the planetarium, will be open for visitors weeknights (Dec. 12-16) from 7:30-8:30 p.m. and Saturday (Dec. 10) and Sunday (Dec.11) afternoon 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.          

For reservations (recommended) call 309/794-7318 during weekday business hours.  Doors will open 15 minutes before each program.  Late-comers will not be admitted.Click HERE for details.