Wonder awaits at MSU's 'Science Night at the Museum'


"Mississippi Cretaceous Panorama," a 50-plus-foot mural created by Mississippi State senior art majors Moesha Wright and Todd Rowan, will be unveiled Wednesday during the university's Science Night at the Museum. Photo by: Courtesy photo


MSU Office of Public Affairs



For the third consecutive year, Mississippi State's Museums and Galleries Committee is presenting "Science Night at the Museum" on the Starkville campus. 


Free to all, the 5:30-8 p.m. program takes place Wednesday, Feb. 13 at various locations in Hilbun Hall and nearby Cobb Institute of Archaeology, both administered by the College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Geosciences. 


Amy Moe Hoffman, geology instructor and committee chair, said "Science Night at the Museum" is growing in popularity each year. 


"This program involves people from multiple colleges and galleries across campus, and our goal is to appeal to a broad audience, from scientists and researchers to artists and members of the general public," said Hoffman, who also serves as collections manager for the geosciences department's Dunn-Seiler Museum. 


Through demonstrations, activities and tours, "Science Night at the Museum" participants of all ages can learn more about MSU's academic programs and resources in a variety of fields, including anthropology, archaeology, astronomy, biology, chemistry, entomology, forestry, geology, meteorology, paleontology and physics. 


Weather permitting, those in attendance will have an opportunity to see an International Space Station flyover at 5:57 p.m. 


At 6:30 p.m., a public reception will take place in Hilbun Hall to celebrate the unveiling of "Mississippi Cretaceous Panorama." Created by MSU senior art majors Moesha S. Wright of Booneville and Todd M. Rowan of Starkville and under the direction of MSU Professor Emeritus of Art Brent Funderburk, the 50-plus-foot mural in the Dunn-Seiler Museum depicts the geological history of the Starkville/Mississippi State area some 65 million years ago. 


"Starkville/Oktibbeha County features the exposure of the famed K-Pg Boundary (formerly KT Boundary), wherewith we see the border between the Age of Dinosaurs (Mesozoic Era) and the Age of Mammals (Cenozoic Era). You can find fossils of both, very distinctively different worlds right here," Funderburk said. 


In addition to the geosciences department and the College of Architecture, Art and Design's Department of Art, the mural was made possible with support from MSU's Office of Research and Economic Development. 


Hoffman said a recently discovered Mosasaur donated by the E. Montgomery family of Starkville also will be showcased during the event. 


"Mosasaurs were marine reptiles that lived during the Cretaceous Period at the same time that dinosaurs roamed the Earth," she said. "They were apex predators of the ocean, and it is not uncommon to find individual pieces of them in sediments in and around Oktibbeha County. This particular specimen, however, is especially exciting both visually and with respect to research opportunities because it was found nearly intact." 


For more information on current events and collections at MSU's museums and galleries, visit museums.msstate.edu and spark.adobe.com/page/noblr9EaS5h2c, or follow the Mississippi State Museums and Galleries on Facebook. Moe Hoffman also can be contacted at 662-325-3915 or amhoffman@geosci.msstate.edu.



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