Division of Geology and Land Survey
Edward L. Clark Museum of Missouri Geology
Minerals, rocks, fossils, mammoth
tusks, maps and more!
Celebrating 160 years of service to Missourians
One hundred sixty years is not a very long time when speaking in geologic terms. However, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources' Geological Survey is observing this noteworthy milestone this year. Since 1853, the Missouri Geological Survey has provided reliable scientific information to describe and understand Missouri's wealth of natural resources. Plan to visit our museum this year to learn about the geology of Missouri and about contributions staff members have made to both the environmental and economic vitality of Missouri. Read more.
In addition to minerals, rocks, fossils, mammoth tusks and maps, numerous historic items used throughout the long history of the division are now on display for the first time. Tools that were used by staff when the division was created nearly 160 years ago are on display, along with information about past state geologists. Self-guided tours are available to the public weekdays from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Admission is always free!
Space Rocks on Display – See the impressive display of meteorites that have been loaned to us. Did you know that a space rock smaller than approximately one yard across will likely burn up completely during passage through Earth’s atmosphere? This is what we see as meteors (shooting stars) and fireballs. Larger space rocks up to approximately 10 yards across have a good chance of landing intact or in pieces on the Earth as meteorites. Twenty-three confirmed meteorites have been recovered in Missouri.
Missouri's Official Dinosaur -- The museum boasts a small cast of the state dinosaur, Hypsibema missouriensis. Hypsibema missouriensis was first discovered in 1942 when Dan Stewart, one of our geologists was working near the town of Glen Allen in Bollinger County. Dan was investigating clay deposits in the area when a local family told him about clay they had encountered in a recently dug well. When Dan arrived at the location, he was shown several bones that had been found in the clay. These bones were sold to the Smithsonian but it was not until the 1980s that the dinosaur was correctly identified as a hadrosaur or “duck billed” dinosaur. The herbivore (a plant eating dinosaur) had jaws that contained more than 1,000 teeth. Hypsibema had evolved specialized teeth to handle the tough, fibrous vegetation of the time. Hypsibema lived in Missouri during the late Cretaceous period around 75 million years ago and became the state’s official dinosaur on July 9, 2004. Learn more about the official state dinosaur from the Bollinger County Museum of Natural History website. Other state symbols may be found on the Secretary of State’s website. Read more about the official state dinosaur and other state symbols in our Missouri Resources Magazine.
The museum also provides a background for division staff to share with both adults and children the importance of our state's natural resources and highlights the fossils, rocks and minerals that are found in our state and identifies the role that the division plays in the management and protection of these resources. The museum is named for Edward L. Clark, State Geologist from 1944 to 1955.
Want to delight your favorite rock enthusiast? Consider giving a Missouri Rock and Mineral Set. Accompanying the set is a 16-page, full-color booklet that describes each rock and mineral and its uses. This set is available for purchase when visiting the museum (or online). Learn more about this and other educational items from the Missouri Geology Store.
Self-guided tours are available to the public weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission is free! Closed Holidays.
Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Division of Geology and Land Survey
111 Fairgrounds Road, Rolla
Educational Outreach – The work of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources teaches environmental stewardship and wise use of our precious natural resources through a broad understanding and appreciation for Missouri’s natural, cultural and energy resources. Read about recent activities, watch some of our educational videos. Thanks for visiting us during Earth Science Week 2012 to learn about fossils, geologic mapping and more! See our Governor's Proclamation. Read the news release.