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UWM Darwin Day

February 11, 2023 @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

Come help us celebrate Charles Darwin’s 214th birthday!

Hosted by the University of Milwaukee – Wisconsin Department of Geosciences

In collaboration with the UWM Department of Biosciences, the Manfred Olson Planetarium, and our community partners:

Event Overview

Darwin Day is a public outreach event celebrating the life and times of one of the most brilliant and influential Victorian naturalists, Charles R. Darwin. Darwin was an avid geologist and biologist who most famously developed the theory of natural selection—one of the driving mechanisms behind biological evolution—published in his seminal work: On the Origin of Species. Today, this theory forms the foundation for many of our natural sciences. Darwin Day is a national celebration of Darwin’s scientific legacy typically held on (or near) his birthday.

This event is free and open to guests of all ages. Many wonderful geological and biological specimens will be available to observe, with volunteers on hand to explain their fascinating histories. Learning tables will focus on the natural history of Wisconsin and the contributions of the Thomas A. Greene to our understanding of local geology, with many rare and beautiful samples on display in the Greene Geological Museum. Other activities will be available throughout the day, including scientific lectures presented by UWM scientists and guest speakers, coloring and crafts for young kids, and free planetarium shows. See the activities list and schedule of events below for more information.

We can’t wait to see you there!

Event Activities

Greene Geological Museum: Our small but mighty museum of rocks, minerals, and fossils will be open for guests to tour throughout the event. The Greene Geological Museum houses specimens collected by the prolific collector and namesake, Thomas A. Greene, throughout the mid-to-late 19th century from both Wisconsin and other locales. Many of the mineralogical specimens on display are one-of-a-kind, and originate from localities no longer accessible to modern geologists! The Museum is also highly valuable for paleontological research, and houses the single best collection of marine Silurian invertebrate fossils in North America. If you have never had the opportunity to visit the Museum, now is a great time! If you would like to learn more about Thomas A. Greene and his contributions to science in Wisconsin and beyond, please attend our keynote lecture (see schedule below for times).

Learning Tables: See and learn about your own Wisconsin natural heritage! Numerous tables will be set up throughout the first floor of Lapham Hall displaying a wide assortment of specimens including rocks, minerals, fossils, and even animals! Volunteers—our very own UWM students and staff—will be available all day to teach you about these fascinating objects, their importance to the natural sciences, and their value to our local communities. The Wisconsin Geological Society (https://www.wigeo.org/) and Mequon Nature Preserve (https://mequonnaturepreserve.org/#1) will also be present displaying some of the coolest natural specimens from across the state.

Lectures: Four lectures will be presented throughout the day by UWM scientists and guest speakers. Lectures will cover topics related to Wisconsin geology, biology, and Milwaukee history. These lectures will be short, digestible, and accessible to a general audience. Our keynote lecture will highlight the history of and scientific contributions of Thomas A. Greene and his family to Wisconsin geology, so be sure to stop by!

Student Research Showcase: UWM is a leading national research institution, and our students will make sure you don’t forget it! Stop by our student research showcase table throughout the day to learn what our very own geoscience and biological science graduate students are working on. Students will cycle in throughout the day, come by a few times and check out the groundbreaking research going on here at UWM!

Children’s Activities Tables: For parents, activities will be available their young children. This includes coloring, arts and crafts, ‘touch-and-feel’ specimens, and even an interactive sandbox. Remember, you’re never too young to start learning!

Planetarium Shows: The Manfred Olson Planetarium (https://uwm.edu/planetarium/) will be providing two free planetarium shows towards the end of the event (see schedule below for times). After a full day of learning all about the Earth, finish strong by learning about the majesty of the Universe!

Event Schedule

Times and events are subject to change

10:00 – 10:30 AMEvent Begins
10:30 – 11:00 AMLecture 1
Wisconsin Way Back When
11:00 – 11:30 AM
11:30 AM – 12:30 PMLecture 2
Keynote Lecture
12:30 – 1:00 PM
1:00 – 1:30 PMLecture 3
Darwin, Gentleman Naturalist
1:30 – 2:00 PM
2:00 – 2:30 PMLecture 4
Linking the Tree of Life
2:30 – 3:00 PMEvent Ends
Planetarium Show 1
3:00 – 3:30 PMPlanetarium Show 2

Location & ParkingThe event will be located on the first floor of Lapham Hall on the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee campus. Lapham Hall is located near the corner of N Maryland Ave and E Kenwood Blvd. Entrances to the building can be found along the east side of the building along N Maryland Ave, and the west side of the building. Construction is currently taking place on the south side of the building, but all entrances are still accessible.

Nearby off-street hourly rate parking can be accessed at the Lubar Garage on the east side of N Maryland Ave and the Union Garage east along E Kenwood Blvd. On-street parking can be found along Kenwood Blvd. and in the surrounding neighborhoods. Additional parking options can be found here (https://uwm.edu/transportation/rates/#dailyhourly ). Please refer to the campus map below for more details.Thanks, and we hope to see you there!For more information, please contact:
Chase Shelburne: shelbur2@uwm.edu
Rob Graziano: graziano@uwm.edu

We would like to offer our sincerest gratitude to our collaborators, community partners, UWM volunteers, and the Greene family for their assistance with this event.


February 11, 2023
10:00 am - 3:00 pm


Rob Graziano


Greene Geological Gallery, 1st Floor of Lapham Hall Room 168
3209 N. Maryland Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53211
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