Carnegie Discoverers

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Upcoming Events for 2017

November 2, 2017
José Padial, PhD, Research Associate, Amphibians and Reptiles, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
By Foot into Peru’s Lost World: The Carnegie Discoverers Expedition to Vilcabamba
Funded by the Carnegie Discoverers, a herpetological expedition to one of the most remote regions of the Amazon topical forests now represents a milestone in the exploration of one of the most endangered and diverse ecosystems on Earth. The process and challenges of organizing and undertaking such a modern zoological expedition, the spectacular discoveries achieved and how they help us preserve and understand complex ecosystems, and how the expedition fit into the frail socioeconomic conditions of a region where conservationists, the military, drug traffickers, oil companies, millenarian indigenous cultures, and newcomers seeking modern versions of “El Dorado” collide will be analyzed.


Please RSVP to 412.622.3280 or  

Select Past Events

September 7, 2017
Matt Lamanna, Assistant Curator, Vertebrate Paleontology, Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Director, Antarctic Peninsula Paleontology Project
New Fossil Discoveries from the End of the Age of Dinosaurs in Antarctica
The Antarctic Peninsula Paleontology Project (AP3), an international, multidisciplinary team of scientists, is studying the end of the Age of Dinosaurs in Antarctica. The most recent of the AP3 team’s expeditions occurred in early 2016. The numerous discoveries of important Late Cretaceous-aged fossils (approximately 70 million years old) include bones of some of Antarctica’s only know non-avian dinosaurs, extraordinary fossils of birds that are closely related to modern species, and a “death-horizon” of fish skeletons that may have accumulated as a direct consequence of the end-Cretaceous extinction event will be presented.

May 18, 2017
David K. Brezinski, PhD, Invertebrate Paleontology and Maryland Geological Survey
The Geology of Western Pennsylvania’s Ice Ages
Western Pennsylvania has experienced ice ages, occurring 600, 360, and 300 million years ago (mya), that controlled climate events that resulted in major impacts on the region’s coal, oil, and gas deposits. Our most recent ice ages, from 2.5mya to 10,000 years ago, left signs that still are visible today. Learn how these ice ages affected the geologic and topographic features of western Pennsylvania as well as its economic history.

June 8, 2017
Laurie Giarrantani, Director of Education, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Local Impacts and Innovative Solutions: How Pittsburgh is Responding to Climate Change
The Climate & Urban Partnership (CUSP) is a network of informal educators, climate scientists, learning scientists, and community organizations dedicated to improving local engagement with climate change issues. CUSP creates entertaining, interactive opportunities that are local, relevant, and solution-based. Learn how our museum coordinates this effort by convening diverse expertise, building organizational capacity, and inspiring community engagement. Try your hand at some playful climate change games prior to the presentation.

April 13, 2017
Christine Davis, Archaeologist
Native American Heritage in Western Pennsylvania
Discoveries by archaeologists in our own backyard have revealed new ways to understand and interpret Native American life in western Pennsylvania. Hundreds of villages, camps, earthen monuments, and petroglyphs reveal a significant and fascinating occupation lasting for thousands of years. Connecting archaeological excavations with Native American oral history has enriched our understanding of the past, creating a view far different from long held myths and legends of American history.

March 23, 2017
Chris Mason, Founder and Director of Spinning Goat Productions and Assistant to Dr. Jo Ellen Parker, President, Carnegie Museums
3 Rivers to Cuba, a Documentary Presentation
As relations between Cuba and the United States improve, knowledge of today’s Cuba is needed. 3 Rivers to Cuba is a locally produced indie documentary short film that explores Afro-Cuban music, culture, history, and contemporary issues through the storytelling, work, and performances of people in Pittsburgh and in Cuba. The film, shot in 2016, features Cuban music, dance, life, and the ongoing struggle to create space for Afro-Cubans in a modern and changing country. Existing ties between Pittsburgh and Cuba are featured in this hybrid music and social issue documentary.

November 10, 2016
Jacob Slyder, Powdermill
Geographic Information Systems—Finding Our Way in the World
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are a powerful toolset for better navigating and understanding our world. Anyone who has ever looked for travel directions or googled a map has benefited from a GIS. Learn how our GIS Lab utilizes these technologies to facilitate ecological research with a focus on utilizing emerging technologies, such as unmanned aerial vehicles, to get a bird’s eye view on forest regeneration and change.

October 20, 2016
Suzanne B. McLaren, MS, Mammals
The Childs Frick Abyssinian Expedition of 1911-1912 and a whole lot more!
Discover how Childs Frick, son of Pittsburgh industrialist Henry Clay Frick, provided the foundation for Carnegie Museum of Natural History's world-class collection of African mammals. A fascinating story of the rewards and hardships of fieldwork before cell phones and automobiles.

September 15, 2016
Stephen Tonsor, PhD, Director, Science and Research
The Advent of the Anthropocene
Evidence is incontrovertible that we have entered a new era in the earth’s history, one in which humans strongly influence nearly every aspect of earth’s ecosystems, its atmosphere and geological processes without accepting responsibility for that power. Explore the evidence of our influence and the positioning of our museum to bring the arts, humanities and the sciences together for the development of a sustainable culture.

June 16, 2016
Eric Dorfman, PhD, Director
Carnegie Museum of Natural History: The Future of Carnegie Museum of Natural History
This is your opportunity to meet the man and to hear his plan. Learn about an exciting strategy that embodies the best of the museum’s past coupled with a clear and concise understanding of what is needed to move the museum to a position of scientific and educational leadership in the 21st century and beyond.
Find out about the improvements that already have been made to core galleries and what is planned for the near future. Understand why the museum is undergoing an institution-wide review of its collections and how it applies to a revised vision and mission for the museum, and most importantly, hear how and where the Discoverers can fit into his plan.

May 19, 2016
David K. Brezinski, PhD
Invertebrate Paleontology and Maryland Geological Survey: The Geologic History of Western Pennsylvania
The geologic history of Western Pennsylvania is one of mountain-building and basin formation. Immense faults were created when Rodinia was torn apart by tectonic forces followed by the development of the Cambrian continental shelf and the origination of the Appalachian Basin where continuous subsidence led to the formation of Western Pennsylvania’s prolific fossil fuel deposits.

April 21, 2016
Elizabeth Castonguay, Artist
ENDANGERED/ Between the Lines
This artist’s works has sought to break down barriers between diverse groups of people. It has evolved to speak not only about the fragile interrelationships between humanity but between humanity and our ENDANGERED natural history world.

March 17, 2016
Richard Pell, Director, Center for PostNatural History
The Missing Museum: PostNatural History
Over the centuries, a vast array of living organisms have been intentionally and heritably altered by human beings through domestication, selective breeding and genetic engineering. Learn about the Center for PostNatural History, the world’s first and only museum dedicated to this phenomenon.