FEBRUARY’S LECTURE TOPIC: “In the Shadow of Volcanoes”  by Dr. Nicholas Famoso, Chief of Paleontology and Museum Curator at John Day Fossil Beds. 

It is clear that ecosystems are devastated after a volcanic eruption coats the landscape with a layer of ash; however, the ecological recovery of the local groups of mammals after eruptions is poorly understood. Volcanic eruptions vary with magnitude and type and only a fraction of them have been analyzed for effects on the groups of mammals that live in the area of devastation. To better understand the recovery of these affected communities, we will look at ecological changes across modern volcanic boundaries in the 1980 Mount St. Helens (MSH), Washington, and 1914-1917 Mount Lassen, California, eruptions. We will then then investigate the fossil record specifically focusing on the extremely volcanically perturbated Oligocene record at John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in central and eastern Oregon. We will also look at some other examples of volcanically perturbated ecosystems throughout the Cenozoic and how mammals have adapted to volcanism across the globe.

Date: Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Time: 6:30 PM (MST)

Join the meeting here

Upcoming Talks:

April 13 at 6:30pm MTN
Smithsonian National Ore and Rock Collections
by Leslie Hale, Collections Manager


Become a Friend of Mines Museum!

The purpose of the Friends organization is to promote and support the Museum through financial contributions, by organizing and hosting a variety of events, and by creating a community of Museum advocates.

Membership Benefits

Friends of Mines Museum Members receive the following benefits:

  • A 20% discount at Mines Museum’s Store
  • Annual field trips
  • Lecture series
  • Biannual newsletter
  • Special access to exclusive museum events


Student: $10.00
Individual: $30.00
Family: $50.00

Pay for dues online here or mail your application and check

2021 Board Members

President: Pete Modreski

Vice President: Lesley Sebol

Treasurer: Bill Jones

Secretary: John Schmidt

Bob Carnein, Board Member

Dan Zellner, Board Member

Peyton Jackson, Board Member

Sherm Marsh, Board Member

Past Events

Friends’ Lecture Series:


JANUARY – Various Mineral Types (virtual talk)
Presenter: Pete Modreski 


DECEMBER – Friends Annual Meeting (virtual talk)
Presenter: Renata Lafler, Executive Director, and Daniel Schlegel, Operations Director

NOVEMBER – “Luminescence Dating of Cave Trap Sediments in Wyoming(virtual talk)
Presenter: Shannon Mahan, Research Geologist, USGS 

OCTOBER – “The Lost Quarries of Arthur Lakes” (virtual talk)
Presenter: Matthew Mossbrucker, Director & Chief Curator at the Morrison Museum

Matthew showed amazing pieces from the Morrison Museum collections and told great stories of the collections from Arthur Lakes.

SEPTEMBER – “How the Ice Age Can Be Used to Teach Science to K-12 Students” (virtual talk)
Presented by Seth Vandanberg, Education Coordinator, Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, South Dakota. 

Seth talked about how an Ice Age site could be used to reach out K-12 students on many levels with the mammoth site.



JULY – “Exploring for Diamonds in the Sahara Desert of Algeria” (virtual talk)
Presented by Steven Smith, USGS

Steven talked about his experiences of exploring for diamonds and gave good humored advice gained from his experiences.

JUNE – “Badlands National Park Paleontology & Geology” (virtual talk)
Presented by Ed Welsh, Badlands National Park Ranger

Ed spoke about the geologic history of the Badlands and some of the new paleontology research and discoveries at the park.

MAY – “The Permian-Triassic Transition in Colorado” (virtual talk)
Presented by Dr. James Hagadorn

Dr. James Hagadorn is the Tim & Kathryn Ryan Curator of Geology at the Denver Museum of nature and Science

MARCH – “The Last Mammoths: Holocene Extinction on St. Paul Island, Alaska” 
Presented by Dr. Russ Graham 

Dr. Graham was the former Director of the Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum at Penn State University and former Curator at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.  He is currently an Adjunct Faculty member in the Geology Department at the Colorado School of Mines and a volunteer at Mines Museum of Earth Science.

Friends’ Newsletters