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Cal Day 2010

Snakes, tarantulas, and centipedes, oh my! These were just some of the live animals—and there were even more extinct or preserved ones—to be seen at "The Biodiversity Roadshow" on Saturday, April 17, the campus's annual Cal Day open house.

The Roadshow, held outside in the Valley Life Sciences Building (VLSB) courtyard, was a Berkeley Natural History Museums collaborative event. The Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, the Essig Museum of Entomology, the University and Jepson Herbaria, and UCMP exhibited specimens of animals, insects, plants, and fossils that are commonly found in the Bay Area. Through fliers distributed to local schools and ads placed in several online Bay Area events schedules, Cal Day visitors were encouraged to bring in their found objects for identification by representatives from the museums. The Hearst Museum of Anthropology was also on hand to show visitors how to preserve their natural treasures.

'The Biodiversity Roadshow' was a busy place all day Teams of undergrads staffed UCMP's Roadshow table Theresa Grieco stamps a Science@Cal passport

From left: "The Biodiversity Roadshow" was a busy place all day. Teams of undergrads staffed UCMP's Roadshow table. Theresa Grieco stamps a Science@Cal passport.

Elsewhere in the building, UCMP was busy with several other events. After a two-year hiatus, "Fun with Fossils" returned and was as popular as ever. In this activity, amateur paleontologists use microscopes to look through matrix for microfossils such as fish scales and small bones.

Kaitlin Maguire and Jenna Judge talk mammoths with visitors Fossil hunters flock to 'Fun With Fossils' A future Cal Bear looks for microfossils

From left: Kaitlin Maguire and Jenna Judge talk mammoths with visitors. Fossil hunters, young and old, flock to "Fun With Fossils." A future Cal Bear looks for microfossils.

Students from the labs of Integrative Biology professors Leslea Hlusko and Tim White explained to visitors how evolution figures into our everyday lives … and encouraged people to have their pictures taken with Ardipithecus!

On the ground floor, hundreds of people passed through UCMP's exhibit highlighting fossils that were discovered during construction projects. They also revisited "Lupé," the mammoth discovered in San Jose in 2007 and which is now the focus of a new exhibit coming to the San Jose Children's Discovery Museum.

Cal Day visitors stop to admire the HERC/UCMP exhibit Emily Lindsey and Alan Shabel are ready for another wave of people at 'Fun With Fossils' Diane Erwin expounds upon plant fossils found at Bay Area construction sites Sarah Werning shows off some vertebrate fossils found locally

From left: Cal Day visitors stop to admire the HERC/UCMP exhibit on the second floor. Emily Lindsey and Alan Shabel are ready for another wave of people at "Fun With Fossils." Diane Erwin expounds upon plant fossils found at Bay Area construction sites. Sarah Werning shows off some vertebrate fossils found locally.

UCMP also sponsored or cosponsored three well-attended talks dealing with the research of UCMP director Charles Marshall, paleobotany postdoc Lenny Kouwenberg, and assistant director Mark Goodwin.

And it wouldn't be Cal Day without the "behind the scenes" tours of the UCMP research collections and sales of t-shirts — these kept our Museum Scientists and outreach staff busy the entire day.

It was a beautiful day outside and just as sunny inside as the VLSB was full of energy, curiosity, smiles, and lots of opportunities for learning something about the natural world — past, present, and future!
 

Photos by Mariska Batavia, Maya deVries, and Jennifer Skene