Western Science Center

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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/

🎼Something something our ceratopsian's hips don't lie happy #FossilFriday!🎼
05/17/2019
Fossil Friday – ceratopsid illium

🎼Something something our ceratopsian's hips don't lie happy #FossilFriday!🎼

Last week for Fossil Friday, I posted the sacrum of a ceratopsid, a large horned dinosaur related to Triceratops. The sacrum is a series of fused vertebrae to which the hip bones attach. Today, I w…

Here a vertebra, there a vertebra, everywhere a Pacific mastodon vertebra! All Pacific mastodons have 6 sacral vertebrae...
05/13/2019

Here a vertebra, there a vertebra, everywhere a Pacific mastodon vertebra! All Pacific mastodons have 6 sacral vertebrae; American mastodons can have anywhere from 4-6. Sacral vertebrae fuse together to form the sacrum, which connects to the pelvis.

Learn more about the Pacific mastodon by reading our open access paper published in PeerJ! https://peerj.com/articles/6614/

#MastodonMonday

Looking for a Mother’s Day gift? #ShopSmall at the Western Science Center gift shop! We have fine jewelry and more ins...
05/11/2019

Looking for a Mother’s Day gift? #ShopSmall at the Western Science Center gift shop! We have fine jewelry and more inspired by the beauty of natural history. #MothersDay2019

Happy #FossilFriday from a ceratopsian sacrum from our field site in the Menefee Formation of New Mexico
05/10/2019
Fossil Friday – ceratopsian sacrum

Happy #FossilFriday from a ceratopsian sacrum from our field site in the Menefee Formation of New Mexico

Horned dinosaurs were one of the most successful groups of dinosaurs in the Late Cretaceous of western North America. Known as ceratopsids, these rhino- to elephant-sized beasts brandished horns, s…

We would’ve said goodbye to Ghost, especially when you realize how much bigger a real life dire wolf (left) was compar...
05/08/2019

We would’ve said goodbye to Ghost, especially when you realize how much bigger a real life dire wolf (left) was compared to the modern gray wolf (right). #wolfwednesday #GameofThrones 🐺

Our popular summer camps are now open for registration, and space is limited!We have science and art based camps availab...
05/06/2019

Our popular summer camps are now open for registration, and space is limited!

We have science and art based camps available for grades K - 8th! From paleontology to engineering, kids will have the chance to learn in a unique museum setting.

Go to WesternScienceCenter.org today to register - the first camps begin on June 10th!

Happy #MastodonMonday from the Western Science Center! Here's another example of a Pacific Mastodon tooth - this molar i...
05/06/2019

Happy #MastodonMonday from the Western Science Center! Here's another example of a Pacific Mastodon tooth - this molar is from La Brea Tar Pits and Museum.

How about a little paleobotany for #FossilFriday? 🌿🌱Fossil plants can tell us a huge amount of information about t...
05/03/2019
Fossil Friday – fern

How about a little paleobotany for #FossilFriday? 🌿🌱

Fossil plants can tell us a huge amount of information about the environments dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals lived in! This little fern gives us huge insight into the home of dinosaurs like Dynamoterror dynastes and Invictarx zephyri.

Over the last year or so, I’ve posted many bones from large herbivorous dinosaurs that lived in New Mexico around 79 million years ago, such as duck-billed hadrosaurs, horned ceratopsids, and…

Max’s Mobile Museum is now at the Tamale Express Festival at the Southern California Railway Museum! Stop by to learn ...
04/27/2019

Max’s Mobile Museum is now at the Tamale Express Festival at the Southern California Railway Museum! Stop by to learn all about the Pacific Mastodon found at Diamond Valley Lake.

‪We’re at the Redlands Dino-Mite book fair with our friends from Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology! Learn about ...
04/26/2019

‪We’re at the Redlands Dino-Mite book fair with our friends from Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology! Learn about dinosaurs and Ice Age mammals all in one night! #scicomm‬

Ready to see a mastodon rolling down the highway? 🐘🚛Today we officially introduce Max’s Mobile Museum! Thanks to...
04/22/2019

Ready to see a mastodon rolling down the highway? 🐘🚛

Today we officially introduce Max’s Mobile Museum! Thanks to the generosity of our 2018 Science Under the Stars founding sponsors, we’ll be bringing this mobile exhibit trailer to events and schools across Southern California. Can’t come to the museum? We’ll bring it to you! This is just one part of our continuing efforts to bring natural history and science education to the Inland Empire.

All art by Brian Engh Paleoart.

Happy #MastodonMonday + #EarthDay from WSC! As the natural history museum of the #InlandEmpire, we endeavor every day to...
04/22/2019

Happy #MastodonMonday + #EarthDay from WSC! As the natural history museum of the #InlandEmpire, we endeavor every day to discover more about our region and beyond. This photo is a throwback to the original excavation of Diamond Valley Lake - this mastodon might be familiar! 🐘

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!

's cover photo
04/16/2019

's cover photo

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

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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