Western Science Center

Riverside County's premiere Natural History museum, Western Science Center, is home to both permanent and special exhibits along with educational programming promoting scientific knowledge. With an extensive collection of Ice Age fossils, as well as archaeological artifacts, the Western Science Center is the perfect place to discover the past and explore the future! Follow us on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/WesternCenter Visit Dr. Alton Dooley's Director's Blog at: http://valleyofthemastodon.wordpress.com/

This fossil has been featured for #FossilFriday before, but it turns out it's not a tibia - check out our blog to find o...
04/19/2019
Fossil Friday – Mistaken Identity

This fossil has been featured for #FossilFriday before, but it turns out it's not a tibia - check out our blog to find out what the actual ID is!

On March 8 Fossil Friday, I posted an 80-million-year-old dinosaur bone from New Mexico, which I identified as a tibia (shin bone). At the time, it was only partially prepped, and since then, WSC v…

The museum will be closed to the public on Sunday, 4/21, in observance of the Easter holiday. We'll resume normal busine...
04/19/2019

The museum will be closed to the public on Sunday, 4/21, in observance of the Easter holiday. We'll resume normal business hours on Tuesday, 4/23 at 10AM. Have a lovely weekend everyone!

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04/16/2019

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The Inland Empire Science Festival is underway, and we’re kicking it off with our friends from Gray Fossil Site! The f...
04/13/2019

The Inland Empire Science Festival is underway, and we’re kicking it off with our friends from Gray Fossil Site! The fun continues until 4PM.

We went under the microscope for today's #FossilFriday!
04/13/2019
Fossil Friday – Paralia sulcata

We went under the microscope for today's #FossilFriday!

“Max’s Minions” is the informal name for WSC’s junior research volunteer program. The Minions perform a variety of lab duties for us, including 3D scanning, molding and cast…

Cogstone will be joining us at the Inland Empire Science Festival next week! Discover Southern California fossils from t...
04/06/2019

Cogstone will be joining us at the Inland Empire Science Festival next week! Discover Southern California fossils from the Metro Purple Line Extension and beyond. #IESF2019

Good morning San Diego! We’ve brought the Pacific Mastodon to KUSI Good Morning San Diego Channel 9! Check out our Exe...
04/05/2019

Good morning San Diego! We’ve brought the Pacific Mastodon to KUSI Good Morning San Diego Channel 9! Check out our Executive Director Dr. Alton Dooley speaking on this new species at 7:40 AM.

The Inland Empire Science Festival is almost here, so we want to feature some of the amazing scientists and exhibitors w...
04/04/2019

The Inland Empire Science Festival is almost here, so we want to feature some of the amazing scientists and exhibitors who will be joining us on April 13th! 🔬

First up: Western University of Health Sciences's Dr. Jessie Atterholt! Dr. Atterholt will be teaching the wonder of comparative anatomy with her "Lady Anatomica’s Comparative Anatomy Pop-Up Museum"! #IESF2019

What could we possibly be featuring for #FossilFriday? How about Mammut pacificus? Hopefully all this attention won’t ...
03/29/2019
Fossil Friday – Mammut pacificus

What could we possibly be featuring for #FossilFriday? How about Mammut pacificus? Hopefully all this attention won’t go to Max the mastodon’s head.

The big news this week for Western Science Center was the naming of a new species of mastodon, Mammut pacificus.

A big thank you to our friends over at Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History for their part in the research and story ...
03/29/2019

A big thank you to our friends over at Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History for their part in the research and story of the Pacific mastodon! Many of the teeth in their collections contributed to the data included in Dr. Dooley's paper. Definitely give them and their newly named Pacific mastodons a visit!

The scientific tooth fairy 🧚‍♀️ borrows your teeth and gives you something a lot more interesting than a dollar: a new species! 😮 We’re stoked about new research by Western Science Center’s Executive Director Alton Dooley, Ph.D., who compared the specs on mastodon remains to determine that California mastodons actually formed a unique species, _Mammut pacificus_. 🐘🌊🌊 Dooley measured several mastodon specimens in our collection (among many others) including a jaw with teeth on display in the Earth Science exhibits and these two teeth behind the scenes in our Collections and Research Center. Check out each photo for more details on these gnarly molars, and read the complete paper here: https://peerj.com/articles/6614/ It’s a great example of how museums and researchers cooperate to advance our understanding of the history of life. 🔬💪

A great feature on the Pacific mastodon in Gizmodo today, with interviews with several of the authors of the paper!
03/27/2019
This Newly Discovered Mastodon Species Roamed California for Millions of Years

A great feature on the Pacific mastodon in Gizmodo today, with interviews with several of the authors of the paper!

If you ponder mammoths, certain species of which died out a mere 3,000 or so years ago, their existence is but a breath away from our own. Echoes of their lives can be seen in today’s elephants, which lumber across our world in ways that might not be so different than their ancient relatives. Mamm...

Join us tomorrow at 10AM PDT for a special Ice Age announcement! Tune in either on Facebook or Instagram - we'll see you...
03/26/2019

Join us tomorrow at 10AM PDT for a special Ice Age announcement! Tune in either on Facebook or Instagram - we'll see you there.

A new collection has arrived to WSC! 🎉We're proud to now be the official repository for Joshua Tree National Park. In...
03/22/2019
Fossil Friday – mammoth molar

A new collection has arrived to WSC! 🎉

We're proud to now be the official repository for Joshua Tree National Park. In celebration, for today's #FossilFriday we're featuring a mammoth molar from the collection.

Today’s Fossil Friday specimen comes from a location we’ve never before featured on this blog, Joshua Tree National Park.

On your way to see the #superbloom at Diamond Valley Lake? Stop by the Western Science Center for bird and flower field ...
03/19/2019

On your way to see the #superbloom at Diamond Valley Lake? Stop by the Western Science Center for bird and flower field guides! Learn about the Ice Age fauna that roamed Diamond Valley Lake thousands of years ago before your hike. 🌼
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Please note that the Diamond Valley Lake Marina is only open Wed-Sun. We recommend calling ahead to the Marina before making your trek!

How about another mystery bone for #FossilFriday? Our staff and volunteers are still preparing the many fossils we broug...
03/08/2019
Fossil Friday – dinosaur tibia

How about another mystery bone for #FossilFriday? Our staff and volunteers are still preparing the many fossils we brought back from the Menefee Formation, including this dinosaur tibia (shin bone).

We have discovered many isolated dinosaur limb bones in the Upper Cretaceous Menefee Formation of New Mexico. Although it’s difficult to infer the full appearance of a dinosaur from a single …

The superbloom is nearly here!The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California wildflower trails near the museum a...
03/06/2019
Wildflower Trail Opens as Potential Superbloom Nears

The superbloom is nearly here!

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California wildflower trails near the museum are now open Wednesdays through Sundays. Please visit DVLake.com for any questions regarding trail prices, policies, etc.

Stop by our museum to see the Ice Age fossils found during the excavation of Diamond Valley Lake, and to purchase flower and bird guides for your hike!

The seasonal trail, which winds near Diamond Valley Lake in Riverside County, is the place to see poppies and lots more.

It’s here! Our new mobile museum (currently dubbed Max’s Mobile Museum, thanks to a certain mastodon) has arrived. T...
03/05/2019

It’s here! Our new mobile museum (currently dubbed Max’s Mobile Museum, thanks to a certain mastodon) has arrived. Thanks to the generous support of our #ScienceUndertheStars donors, we’ll be able to bring science to schools and events across Southern California! Stay tuned for more sneak peaks and information on you can book WSC’s Mobile Museum.

Visitors (and Max) learned how to be detectives at today’s #ScienceSaturday!
03/02/2019

Visitors (and Max) learned how to be detectives at today’s #ScienceSaturday!

We’re all set up the Dino Stomp and Sip Valley Wide Water Park! Stop by and say hello, then head on over across the st...
03/02/2019

We’re all set up the Dino Stomp and Sip Valley Wide Water Park! Stop by and say hello, then head on over across the street to Science Saturday at the museum!

A mysterious dinosaur bone for #FossilFriday!
03/01/2019
Fossil Friday – dinosaur limb bone

A mysterious dinosaur bone for #FossilFriday!

In the Western Science Center lab, we’re making steady progress through several field seasons’ worth of fossils from the Menefee Formation in New Mexico. We’re working on fossils …

Whoops! Our mastodons got loose and our website is currently down - we are currently working to restore services as soon...
02/26/2019

Whoops! Our mastodons got loose and our website is currently down - we are currently working to restore services as soon as possible. Please reach us at 951-791-0033 if you have any questions.

Archaeologist and Mt. San Jacinto College professor John Torres led another successful flintknapping workshop this weeke...
02/25/2019

Archaeologist and Mt. San Jacinto College professor John Torres led another successful flintknapping workshop this weekend, where participants learned how to make their own tools! We’ll be hosting more workshops in the future - stay tuned.

It's a beautiful #FossilFriday here at the Western Science Center - the sun is shining, the rains have cleared, and we'r...
02/22/2019
Fossil Friday – ceratopsian vertebra

It's a beautiful #FossilFriday here at the Western Science Center - the sun is shining, the rains have cleared, and we're learning all about this ceratopsian vertebra from our latest field jacket!

On January 25, I showed you a horned dinosaur vertebra that was still partially encased in its plaster field jacket.

Our Western Center Academy volunteer Sianna is making a photogrammetric model of a Pleistocene horse! Photogrammetry inv...
02/21/2019

Our Western Center Academy volunteer Sianna is making a photogrammetric model of a Pleistocene horse! Photogrammetry involves taking photos of the subject from every angle and then stitching those photos together in a computer program to make a 3D model.

Have you registered for NAPC 2019 yet? Be sure to sign up for our post-meeting field trip of the Western Science Center ...
02/21/2019
Field Trips & Workshops

Have you registered for NAPC 2019 yet? Be sure to sign up for our post-meeting field trip of the Western Science Center museum and collections on June 28!

PRE-MEETING - June 18 to 22 MID-MEETING POST-MEETING - June 28 to July 2 There will be pre-meeting field trips beginning June 22 to June 23. Mid-meeting will offer the largest selection of activities to choose from on June 25. Choose between a workshop or field-trip. After the conference, there are....

Roses are red,Proboscideans aren't blue.Max loves museums,And we hope you do too!Happy Valentines Day from the Western S...
02/14/2019

Roses are red,
Proboscideans aren't blue.
Max loves museums,
And we hope you do too!

Happy Valentines Day from the Western Science Center!

A huge thank you to our friends at the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology for inviting us to participate in Discovery...
02/11/2019

A huge thank you to our friends at the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology for inviting us to participate in Discovery Day: Fossil Fest! Be sure to visit our partner museum in Claremont for amazing fossils and science education!

What a fantastic start to the Discovery Day season! Thank you so much to everyone that attended Fossil Fest. Our favorite part was seeing all of our friends and colleagues at the museum to talk about paleontology. What was your favorite part of Fossil Fest? Let us know in the comments.

Special thanks to all of our guests from Western Science Center, Western University of Health Sciences, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Fossils of L.A., La Brea Tar Pits and Museum, University of Southern California PaleoSciences, Cogstone, and Paleo Solutions for taking the time to join us at the museum!

02/09/2019
Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology

Marketing & Events Specialist Brittney Stoneburg and Educator Brett Dooley share the various 3D-printed fossils at the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology’s Fossil Fest!

Fossil Fest: Western Science Center

We’re visiting our friends at the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology celebrating #FossilFest and showing off the pa...
02/09/2019

We’re visiting our friends at the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology celebrating #FossilFest and showing off the paleontology of Southern California!

Happy #FossilFriday! Today’s blog is all about a crocodile skull! 🐊
02/08/2019
Fossil Friday -crocodile skull

Happy #FossilFriday! Today’s blog is all about a crocodile skull! 🐊

For Fossil Friday today, I want to give you an update on one of the fossils we collected in New Mexico last year. On December 14, 2018, I posted the smashed up skull of a small crocodile from the M…

Happy Lunar New Year from the Western Science Center! This year is the Year of the Pig, and it’s a common misconceptio...
02/05/2019

Happy Lunar New Year from the Western Science Center! This year is the Year of the Pig, and it’s a common misconception that peccaries like this one (also known as javelinas) are pigs! 🐷🚫 They’re actually a different family entirely that are native to the New World.

Science Saturday begins! We’re partnering with Savvy the Water Drop EMWD Education to bring you free activities all ab...
02/02/2019

Science Saturday begins! We’re partnering with Savvy the Water Drop EMWD Education to bring you free activities all about the science of water - the fun continues until 1PM!

's cover photo
02/01/2019

's cover photo

Share your love of science at the largest natural history museum in Riverside county - the Western Science Center is loo...
01/30/2019
Volunteer at WSC

Share your love of science at the largest natural history museum in Riverside county - the Western Science Center is looking for volunteers to assist with field trips and to answer question from guests on the exhibit floor! Our volunteers log thousands of hours a year to help us further our mission to inspire our community to discover the past, explore the present, and promote a sustainable future.

Apply online and join our amazing and generous team of volunteers!

Apply with our new online volunteer application! Want to share your love of science and nature at Riverside County's largest natural history museum? Join us at

Happy #FossilFriday! Today on the blog we’re featuring a ceratopsian vertebra.
01/25/2019
Fossil Friday – ceratopsian vertebra

Happy #FossilFriday! Today on the blog we’re featuring a ceratopsian vertebra.

Identifying fossil bones can be quite the challenge. Fossils might be broken, scattered, or distorted from the weight of the rock encasing them. This dinosaur bone was collected in June 2018 by the…

Our Executive Director Dr. Alton Dooley spent some time at the Exploration Station working fossil material from the Mene...
01/24/2019

Our Executive Director Dr. Alton Dooley spent some time at the Exploration Station working fossil material from the Menefee Formation! There’s still plenty of bones our team of dedicated staff and volunteers are still working on from last year’s field season.

Happy #FossilFriday! Learn more about our new permanent exhibit based on Executive Director Dr. Alton Dooley's research ...
01/18/2019
Fossil Friday – fox squirrels and vampire’s disease

Happy #FossilFriday! Learn more about our new permanent exhibit based on Executive Director Dr. Alton Dooley's research on eastern fox squirrels and why they glow pink under UV light.

This week we opened a new permanent exhibit at Western Science Center on eastern fox squirrels. This is based on research that I did in 2011-2013 in collaboration with Dr. Nancy Moncrief, Curator o…

Our 2019 Science Lecture Series begins with College of the Desert geology instructor Edith C. Rojas, with her talk “Ca...
01/18/2019

Our 2019 Science Lecture Series begins with College of the Desert geology instructor Edith C. Rojas, with her talk “California Volcanoes: Not the San Andreas Fault”! 🌋

On Wednesdays we glow pink. We have a new permanent exhibit - learn about eastern fox squirrels and “vampire’s disea...
01/17/2019

On Wednesdays we glow pink. We have a new permanent exhibit - learn about eastern fox squirrels and “vampire’s disease”, which causes their bones to glow pink under UV! #scicomm

Did you miss our episode of Uncovered in the Archives last night on Empire PBS? Click the link below to watch and learn ...
01/16/2019
Uncovered In The Archives

Did you miss our episode of Uncovered in the Archives last night on Empire PBS? Click the link below to watch and learn more about the museum and the Valley of the Mastodons!

On “Uncovered in the Archives,” host Brad Pomerance travels to various institutions throughout the Inland Empire.

Longtime WSC volunteer John Deleon has been working on prepping a dinosaur bone in our labs - and it's a hadrosaur metat...
01/11/2019
Fossil Friday – hadrosaur metatarsal

Longtime WSC volunteer John Deleon has been working on prepping a dinosaur bone in our labs - and it's a hadrosaur metatarsal, a large foot bone. #FossilFriday

Discovering a dinosaur skeleton is a rare and special event.

Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology
01/10/2019

Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology

We're one month away from the Alf Museum's first ever Fossil Fest! Bring your friends and family to the museum on Saturday, February 9th to meet our special guest paleontologists from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Fossils of L.A., La Brea Tarpits, Western Science Center, USC, and Western University!

https://www.facebook.com/events/1724260431013839/

Address

2345 Searl Pkwy Bldg 2
Hemet, CA
92543

Opening Hours

Tuesday 10:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 17:00
Thursday 10:00 - 17:00
Friday 10:00 - 17:00
Saturday 10:00 - 17:00
Sunday 10:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(951) 791-0033

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