USGS in Menlo Park holds free, family-friendly open house May 19 and 20

by Contributed Content on May 16, 2012

panning for gold at USGS Open House in Menlo Park

Education and entertainment await visitors of all ages at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Open House in Menlo Park on Saturday, May 19 and Sunday, May 20, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

Scientists will share their latest work via hands-on exhibits, displays, web-based animations and virtual tours. Visitors can view demonstrations of cutting-edge science, and speak with our staff about their work in ecosystem health and restoration, volcanoes and earthquakes, natural-resource and water-quality studies, and historic mapping techniques.

“The USGS-Menlo Park Open House is the perfect answer for ‘what to do with the whole family that is different, fun, engaging, active, and free?'” said USGS Director Marcia McNutt.

Visitors will be able to:
•    Explore the tools and equipment scientists use to understand our world, from boats to microscopes, airborne LiDAR and satellite imagery
•    Find out about water quality, earthquake probabilities, and mineral resource assessments
•    Collect science trading cards and find all the locations to get them stamped
•    View rocks collected from various locations around California
•    Dress like a scientist, and get their photo digitized into the research environment of their choice
•    Listen to presentations on recent earthquakes and tsunamis, land change in the U.S., volcanic hazards at Yellowstone, unconventional oil and gas resources, and projects related to restoring South Bay salt ponds
•    Buy topographic maps, earthquake hazard zone maps and other scientific publications
•    Bring in rocks, minerals, or fossils for identification
•    Try to guess the locations of popular U.S. landmarks using satellite imagery and aerial photography.

In addition to science, the Open House will offer live bands performing bluegrass, ethnic, and traditional music from around the world. Tours of the USGS gardens will be offered, giving visitors a chance to see the second-largest collection of rhododendron varieties in California. Visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic and enjoy our gardens in full bloom. The onsite café will also be open with a range of food and drink for purchase.

The USGS Menlo Park Campus is at 345 Middlefield Road in Menlo Park.

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