Paleo Pals

Join Ms. Catherine and your other friends, once a month, as we read an earth science story together. Will there be singing? Crafts? Show-and-tell? Yes, yes, yes, and more! Can’t wait to see you there. Storybook titles and authors, as well as weekly topics, can be found below if you wish to check them out from the library or order them yourself to follow along more closely at home. Sign Up Here!

Saturday, February 13th @ 10 am – Once Upon a Starry Night: A Book of Constellations by Jacqueline Mitton & Christina Balit
For centuries people throughout time, all over the world, have used the stars to tell stories. Celebrate Penn Dixie’s Astronomy Month as we read the stories of the stars together. Bring your favorite blanket or stuffy to this story time.

Saturday, March 13th @ 10 am – Mammoths on the Move by Lisa Wheeler & Kurt Cyrus
They’re massive! They’re hairy! They’re legendary! Learn about these extraordinary creatures and others that roamed the Northern continents during the last Ice Age and why they’re not around today. Wear your favorite winter hat to stay warm just like the woolly mammoths!

Saturday, April 10th @ 10 am – Here We Go Digging for Dinosaur Bones by Susan Lendroth
A call back to our 1st month’s paleontological feature but this time with song — and hand motions! Join us as we learn and sing a little song to help us remember all of the important steps used in dino bone finding, collecting, and prepping. Wear your gear to collect dino bones – hats and vests encouraged!

Sign Up Here! We’ll contact you with a Zoom link prior to each program.

Workshops

Introducing Penn Dixie’s new monthly Workshop series. This series is meant to tap into your interests, spark your creativity, and sharpen some new skills along the way. Virtual workshops relating to specimen identification, sample preparation, and astronomy are some of the topics we plan to cover this year until we can meet again safely in person and collaborate together.

Pre-registration is required as workshops are interactive and meant to be participatory – registration will close at 5 pm the evening before the program. Guests are welcome to actively participate in the workshop by asking questions to the host directly and to the moderator via the chat feature – questions will be answered in real time. Similarly, a registration email with household supplies needed to successfully participate will be sent along prior to each program. Sign Up Here!

Saturday, February 20th @ 1 pm – Astronomy 101
End Penn Dixie’s “Astronomy Month” with Head Astronomer and Buffalo Astronomical Association member Ernie Jacobs as he teaches us the proper keeping and care of telescopes and some basic astronomy that you can use everyday. Please email any specific telescope model questions to astronomy@penndixie.org before the event so that our experts are able to research your inquiry in the hopes of providing you the best answer.

Saturday, March 20th @ 1 pm – Sample Preparation & Presentation
Work side-by-side with some of our staff and learn how to prepare your own Penn Dixie specimens at home. We’ll walk you through what household materials you need to get your fossil in tiptop shape for display and how to properly label and catalog them to ensure they hold up in your collection for as long as they did in the ground.

If you plan to follow along in real-time be sure to have the following on hand:
-Penn Dixie or other local fossil
-Soft bristle toothbrush
-Dental pick or open safety pin
-White school glue
-Super glue
-Small dish of water
-Paper towels
-Index cards

Saturday, April 17th @ 1 pm – Paleo Art: Bringing the Past to Life with artist Eric Warren
Together we’ll draw Penn Dixie’s coveted Eldredgeops rana with the guidance of artist and teacher Eric Warren. He’ll walk us through how to bring the past to life with different drawing and coloring techniques. Discover how these animals would have looked and moved when they were alive and translate that to the page – with some artistic license, of course! This workshop is open to all ages but may move quickly for some of the younger artists. Playback will be available after the program via our Facebook and YouTube.

If you plan to follow along in real-time be sure to have the following on hand:
White paper, graphite pencil, eraser, colored pencils

Sign Up Here! We’ll contact you with a Zoom link prior to each program.

Science Talks

Join us on the second Wednesday of every month as we settle in together and learn something new from an esteemed guest lecturer. Join us virtually via Zoom or our Facebook page as we reintroduce Penn Dixie’s Science Talks. Series highlights include lectures relating to mineralogy, petrology, and astronomy. These free science talks are meant to take the place of our in-person lectures until we are able to meet in person safely again. Sign Up Here!

Friday, February 12th @ pm – Joint Science Talk with Alan Strauss, Ph.D.
Dr. Alan Strauss is the director of the UA Science: Sky School and Mt. Lemmon Sky Center. He earned his doctorate from the University of Arizona’s College of Education, and has over 20 years administrative experience and 10 years teaching experience at the university. He also has a background in outdoor education and recreation especially with persons with disabilities and at-risk youth.

Wednesday, April 14th @ 7 pm – Champions for Conservation presented by Lisa Thibault from the Buffalo Zoo
Meet a few endangered species, see how the Buffalo Zoo tackles conservation, and learn how you can be a conservation champion at home.

Lisa Thibault is the Onsite Programs Specialist at the Buffalo Zoo. She has her B.A. in Zoology and her MAT in Biology and spent her college career conducting studies in ecology and conservation education techniques. She currently works with student of all ages and teaches a variety of biological topics.

Sign Up Here! We’ll contact you with a Zoom link prior to each program.

Remembering Robert Kresse by Catherine Konieczny

Remembering Robert Kresse by Catherine Konieczny

It is with a heavy heart that we inform our members of the recent passing of Penn Dixie Fossil Park & Nature Reserve supporter and local philanthropist Robert J. Kresse.

Mr. Kresse was a champion for the community. Everything he did propelled his vision of educational equity forward. He will be remembered at Penn Dixie for his involvement with the Wendt Foundation and for securing the funding in 2014 for the Director of Education position (hi Dr. Holly!). 

My personal involvement with Bob and the Kresse family came before my time here at Penn Dixie. I worked closely with youth at his former church turned second home – the former St. Mary of Sorrows Church, which he purchased and turned into Buffalo’s first charter school, at the King Urban Life Center. 

For a long while, I hadn’t personally met Mr. Kresse – I had only heard whispers of him for a year or two through my afterschool time with the Academic & Technology Success Program (S.T.E.A.M. Team) and Saturday Story Time. It wasn’t until 2018 holiday season that I met Mr. Kresse. He came shuffling into the King Urban Life Center wearing a Santa hat, accompanied by his daughters Claire and Mimi, and a flock of grandchildren. He was beaming because he was about to watch all of the afterschoolers open their wish list Christmas items that he was able to secure for them. 

Mr. Kresse was beaming, everyone was. He made sure to check in with every child, ask them if they got what they wanted, and if they were happy. He was most excited to talk to Performing Art’s student Brandon Knox, who had requested a new bow for his violin. Brandon broke it in, right there and then, for all of us, but especially Mr. Kresse who sat intently under the glow of the Christmas tree and listened to Brandon with a smile of contentedness the whole time.

Members of the KULC Take Flight Space Program presenting their honorable mention project at the Central Library downtown during Black History Month (Above). Brandon Knox, a student at Performing Arts High School, playing his violin for Mr. Kresse, his daughter Mimi and grandchildren, and other members of the King Urban Life Center, at the annual holiday celebration (Top photo).

I ran into him a couple of more times, a board or community meeting here or there, in passing at the KULC when he came in to check in on the progress of various programs, and once at the Buffalo Museum of Science where he even got to meet my Mom. I was so happy for that encounter because I was able to introduce my Mom to the man who had ultimately been the reason for so many smiles and good memories in my life and so many others. 

And in all the people I’ve spoken to regarding Mr. Kresse’s recent passing, they all say the same thing. They all say. “Man, if it weren’t for him…” He was involved in so many things and ultimately made them better. Mr. Kresse embodied the word ‘community.’

We here at Penn Dixie are so thankful for his support and lasting vision of what it means to be a good member of the community and a kind person. Mr. Kresse gave so many opportunities and smiles to those around him, his passions will not be forgotten.

2021 Membership Gift Pack

Give the gift of science!

Your lucky recipients will enjoy one year of Penn Dixie membership and all sorts of goodies for new and returning fossil hunters. Our 2021 Edition Membership Gift Pack is available with either Family ($74.99) or Individual ($54.99) membership certificates. Certificates are redeemable upon first visit or via mail. Shipping is free.

There are unprecedented shipping delays. Contact Us to arrange local pickup in Blasdell.

Family Pack $74.99Individual Pack $54.99

2021 Membership gift pack

Includes:

  1. One year Family Membership – $60 value — with unlimited free admission for two adults and up to four children/grandchildren under age 18 -OR- Individual Membership – $40 value — with member benefits for one adult;
  2. Voucher for 30-minute Private Family Fossil Hunt — $60 value;
  3. Two Trilobite guest passes — $24 value;
  4. Trilobite pin (assorted styles) — $6 value;
  5. Penn Dixie Bumper sticker — $4 value;
  6. 25th anniversary keychain — $3 value;
  7. Amazing Arthropods gift box — $5 value;
  8. Tool rental coupon — $5 value;
  9. One reusable collecting bag  — $5 value;
  10. Two grab bags containing Penn Dixie fossils — $4 value;
  11. Two Fossil Hunters Club cards to keep track of what you find;
  12. Penn Dixie eNews updates & digital newsletter subscription; and
  13. Savings on special events and in our gift shop.

You’ll receive all of these items — over $175 value — inside a custom-designed, locally screened artisan box that features paleoart by Ernst Haeckel and is perfect for storing your fossil collection. Surprise a friend or treat yourself!

IMG_2279