The members of the Carnegie Discoverers share a passion for discovery and adventure and are enthusiastic supporters of Carnegie Museum of Natural History.
“Founded in 2006, the principal purpose of the Carnegie Discoverers is to assist and support Carnegie Museum of Natural History in promoting its scientific, educational, and cultural missions and in the development of new and larger audiences for the institution.
Through a number of special events each year, Carnegie Discoverers explore and learn about many amazing facets of natural history. These opportunities afford our members a unique relationship with, and a keener appreciation of, Carnegie Museum of Natural History.”
Richard Moriarty, president
Past Events › Carnegie Discoverers
Archaeology under the Fairmont: Pittsburgh’s Hotel MuseumIn 2007, archaeologists discovered 16 sites buried beneath the location planned for the Fairmont Hotel. The site once comprised homes, boarding houses, a botanical shop, a furniture maker, Pittsburgh’s first department store, and Andrew Carnegie’s first office. For 160 years, over 25,000 artifacts lay beneath 22 feet of dirt, brick, and stone. Discovering the relationships among these artifacts, the archaeological data and written history provided a new perspective about a time when Pittsburgh began to shape a frontier town into a great city. Christine Davis, Archaeologist
What Does “Good” Look Like? A New Model for Human and Ecological Health
Climate change, food and water security crises, declines in human and ecological health, and loss of biodiversity and habitats are all serious symptoms caused and intensified by the lifestyles we lead in the West–lifestyles that set a standard for the rest of the world. Many of us are focused on addressing these symptoms, which is important in the short run; but, it is more important in the long run that we address the cause, which is the way we live. Being less bad is not good enough anymore. Follow the journey of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in search of a regenerative way to build and
operate. Learn how this public garden seeks to create a new model for living that improves the health of people and the planet.
Richard Piacentini, PhD, Executive Director, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Hello from the Anthropocene: An Ant’s Eye View on Global Change
Can a tiny, brown ant from one river basin in Argentina tell us about the Anthropocene? Come and find out how a humble, local perspective can be useful to scale up to understand the Anthropocene. A term that describes the current geological epoch, a cultural zeitgeist, and a major new theme for engagement and research at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Heller will share some of her research background and emerging plans for curation.
Nicole Heller, PhD, Museum Fellow and Curator of the Anthropocene, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
A City Built for a God: Archaeology at Antinoupolis
The Roman emperor Hadrian’s trip down the Nile in 130 CE is infamous, not least because his companion–the Greek youth, Antinous–supposedly fell from their boat and drowned. Because of Egyptian beliefs, Antinous was deified after death, and Hadrian founded a city for the cult of the new god at Antinoupolis (city of Antinous). An overview of the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities and Italian Archaeological Mission of the University of Florence’s ongoing archaeological fieldwork at the site will be given. One of the Mission’s main goals is to make a complete archaeological and architectural picture of the Hadrianic city. New finds from February 2017 and 2018 investigations of the city’s sacred landscape will be highlighted.
Erin Peters, PhD, Assistant Curator of Science and Research, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Lecturer, University of Pittsburgh
Ancient Techniques, New Friends: Working in the Cherokee Revival
Teaching the ancient art of making feather capes and the 18th century style of fingerweaving to members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina has led to the rebirth of traditional craft techniques, long lost through the exigencies of history, and a growing source of revenue.
Deborah Harding, MA, Collection Manager, Anthropology, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Carnegie Living Collection: The Benefits of Using Live Animals in Educational Programming
Utilizing live animals from the Museum’s Living Collection in educational offerings allows our Lifelong Learning Department to conduct research on such programs. Learn more about the care, training, and day-to-day management of such an institutional animal collection.
Mallory Vopal, Gallery Experience Manager, Lifelong Learning, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Studying the Impact of the 66 Million-Year-Old Asteroid Strike on Mammal Evolution
Armed with four years of National Science Foundation funding, John Wible and an international team of collaborators are attacking the mystery of what effect the asteroid strike, which resulted in the demise of non-avian dinosaurs, had on mammal evolution. Their goal is to choose between the competing theories that the impact had no appreciable effect or that the impact was the principal driver of subsequent mammal evolution. The team’s approach to the problem will be explained, and an update on the progress of the project’s first year will be provided.
John Wible, PhD, Curator and Head, Mammals, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Beyond the Forest and the Trees
In recent years, our Powdermill Nature Reserve facility has initiated a number of programs relating to plant ecology that complement its famous avian research programs. These range from cutting-edge basic research to public outreach designed for general accessibility. Some of these programs are accompanied by web-based technology to extend the reserve’s reach worldwide. Its 3D virtual reality program will be incorporated into the museum’s galleries in 2018.
John Wenzel, PhD, Director, Powdermill Nature Reserve
Speaker: Chase Mendenhall, Curator of Birds, Carnegie Museum of Natural History In recent decades, plants and animals have revealed far more body and behavior diversity than Darwin ever imagined, especially with coopering to make and raise offspring. From bacteria to bonobos, the fundamental questions of why sex evolved, how bodies are built, and how gender develops from sex will be explored. Using the science of cooperation and natural history evidence, what it means to be an individual, a male, a…Find out more »
Speaker: Matt Lamanna, Assistant Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology, Carnegie Museum of Natural History In the late 1980s, Early Cretaceous-aged (~130 million-year-old) dinosaur fossils were discovered in shallow waters of the Adriatic Sea on the coast of Istria, Croatia. Approximately 200 bones, teeth, and bone fragments from at least three distinct dinosaur species were found. Since then, however, little paleontological work has been conducted at the site. During the Early Cretaceous, this region of Croatia is thought to have been part…Find out more »
Speaker: Kaylin Martin, Curatorial Assistant of Amphibians and Reptiles, Carnegie Museum of Natural History Funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, our historic and beloved Alcohol House is undergoing a much needed renovation through a series of ongoing collection projects, including the mystery of the Ewert Turtle Collection, taxonomic updating, and the press for digitization.Find out more »
Speaker: Bonnie Isaac, Collection Manager of Botany, Carnegie Museum of Natural History Many things have changed due to the effects of humans on the natural history world. Learn what a herbarium is, how the roles of herbaria are changing and what Anthropocene related projects are presently underway in our Museum’s herbarium. This is a Carnegie Discoverers meeting.Find out more »
Speaker: Andy Turner, Professor of Biology and Geoscience, Clarion University Pennsylvania holds more than 80,000 miles of flowing water, ranging from small streams to large rivers. These systems are buffeted by an array of environmental challenges. An overview of the research aimed at understanding the consequences of these perturbations will be provided. The approaches span a variety of spatial scales and the need for multiple methodologies in studying ecological systems. The results show that streams and rivers are resilient to…Find out more »
Speaker: Laurie Giarratani, Director of Education, Carnegie Museum of Natural History Anthropocene problem-solving presents an urgent need for creative, community-minded, multidisciplinary thinkers and doers. Addressing concerns like climate change, habitat alteration, and biodiversity loss requires understanding of nature, science and technology, and the ability to examine how these systems are interconnected. With funding from the Spencer Foundation, a team of CMNH scientists, Learning Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh, and community partners have been working together to find new ways…Find out more »
Speaker: Eric Dorfman, Director, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) is an exciting update on traditional teaching methods that fosters innovation through cross-pollinating the minds of scientists with those of artists. For museums, which engage in both formal and informal learning, STEAM offers a compelling model for future development. This event will explore opportunities for STEAM across the Carnegie and cover some exciting recent and upcoming initiatives that integrate both the arts and sciences.
This is a Carnegie Discoverers meeting. Learn more about Carnegie Discoverers and how to join.
Speaker: Luke DeGroote, Avian Research Coordinator, Powdermill Nature Preserve, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Studies of natural history are increasingly rare, yet they underpin the questions that are asked, the validity of tests performed, and the efforts to conserve biodiversity in a rapidly changing world. How these time-honored techniques are mixed with new technology to build research and education programs for the 21st Century at Powdermill’s Avian Research Center will be presented.