Spotlight Science: Uncovering Ancient Climate

Included in the cost of regular admission

Recommended for all ages

Spotlight Science is a regular program connecting you to current science conducted at the University of Minnesota and in our community. Join researchers, students, and special guests for conversations and unique interactive experiences.

While the Cretaceous period may best be known for its dinosaurs like T. rex and Triceratops, it also included a period of rapid landscape and climate change here in North America that paleontologists are studying today to help us better understand the effects of current climate change. 

The transition from the Early to Late Cretaceous time period (~130 to 90 million years ago) saw the rise of mountains that are ancestral to the present-day Rockies, massive volcanic eruptions, sea level rise that flooded the North American interior with a north-south seaway, and rapid climate warming. These changes to the land impacted the plants and animals that lived there – including increasing diversity in flowering plants, pollinating insects, and mammals.

Meet UMN paleontologist Dr. Pete Makovicky and his research students who are studying North America’s past environment today.  Learn about their field work in Montana, Wyoming, and Utah. See how they are using clues from fossils and rocks collected at these sites to understand how climates changed over time and what impacts that had on ancient floras and faunas. Explore fossils and maps to understand how Earth’s changes are preserved in the rocks we can observe today.

Thanks to special guest and partner:

This is an in-person event at the Bell Museum. Activities and events will be held throughout the museum and are included in the cost of regular admission.

Start date
Saturday, March 25, 2023, 10 a.m.
End date
Saturday, March 25, 2023, 2 p.m.