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Cal Day 2017

Bill Clemens 2009

Bill Clemens and Eric Holt man the vertebrates table in the Fishbowl at Cal Day 2017


On April 22, 2017, the UCMP and Berkeley Natural History Museums provided another outstanding day of fun scientific and educational activities on Cal Day, the annual campus open house. Departments invite prospective students and the greater Berkeley community to explore new and exciting research on campus. It also provides the public and friends of UCMP the opportunity to become Junior paleontologists, see rare fossils and take special tours to check out the inner workings of the UCMP, not normally open to the public.

Our 2017 t-shirts featured a block out style T. rex and Kossmatia, an ancient ammonite from our collections, illustrated by our very own David K. Smith (Get yours at

The crowds of visitors multiplied exponentially as the day went on. Families enjoyed the activities on display by the BNHM in the Valley Life Sciences courtyard on the second floor. From a live mini kelp forest, to stick bugs, to our Proboscidean fossils, the BNHM offered everyone a peek into the variety of science disciplines here on campus. Our younger friends enjoyed an afternoon of digging for fossils at our Fun with Fossils activity.

Camilla Souto at Fun with Fossils Adiel Klompmaker compares modern shells to fossil shells Mackenzie Kirchner-Smith and Sara ElShafie in the VLSB Courtyard
Camilla Souto helps at Fun with Fossils. Photo credit Jun Lim. Adiel Klompmaker discusses some gastropod shells. Photo credit Jun Lim. Mackenzie Kirchner-Smith with Sara ElShafie in the VLSB Courtyard.

This year, UCMP was determined to show that the paleontological sciences are more alive than ever! The theme for the UCMP was Fascinating Fossils! Charismatic specimens representing the different parts of our collections were on display. These included horned dinosaurs, antlers from ice age megafauna, and even tiny microfossils. Professor Emeritus Bill Clemens, pictured above with a large pachycephalosaur, spent the day inspiring young visitors. Along with many of the UCMP graduate student volunteers, Bill described how paleontologists at UCMP study the fossils in our collections while drawing connections between the fossils and the larger environmental implications. Ken Finger featured microfossils and visitors excitedly examined their elegant symmetry under the microscopes.

Even our Director Charles Marshall joined in the fun, donning a pair of Megaloceros antlers at the Selfie Station. All in all, it was another successful Cal Day.

Dori Contreras at Fun with Fossils Charles Marshall at the Selfie Station Larry Taylor talking molluscs in the Fishbowl Renske Kirsholtes and Trish Roque selling shirts Jun Lim and Rosemary Romero in the VLSB Courtyard

Dori Contreras in the Fun with Fossils room. Photo credit Lucy Chang. Charles Marshall at the Selfie Booth. Photo credit Julia Anderson. Larry Taylor shows off some modern and fossil marine invertebrates. Photo credit Jun Lim. Renske Kirshotles and Trish Roque selling T-shirts in Wallace Atrium, photo credit Helina Chin, Jun Lim and Rosemary Romero in the VLSB Courtyard, photo credit Lucy Chang.