Examining the Past, Southwestern Adventist University Opens Dinosaur Museum

20,000 bones from eastern Wyoming are on display

Examining the Past, Southwestern Adventist University Opens Dinosaur Museum

For more than 20 years, Southwestern Adventist University Professor Dr. Art Chadwick and various faculty, students, and science community members have excavated upper Cretaceous dinosaur bones from the Hanson Research Center in eastern Wyoming. Now, those specimens have a new home where they are on display.

Southwestern Adventist University, a church-owned tertiary school in Keene, Texas, 20 miles south of Fort Worth, recently opened a new Dinosaur Science Museum and Research Center. Located in the bottom floor of the University’s Scales Science Hall, the Museum is home to over 20,000 dinosaur bones, interactive displays, skeleton replicas, a 3-D printer, and videos. It’s set up to allow visitors an opportunity to observe the preservation process. The new space allows for better on-going preservation and research on the bones as well as enhanced educational opportunities for the Dallas-Fort Worth community, of which Keene is a part.

Once excavated, the bones are then transported back to the University campus for preparation, curation, and research, as part of a loan from the Hanson family. The collection has been featured in many research projects, presentations at the Geological Society of America, and in numerous videos and documentaries, including some produced by the National Geographic Society.

According to Chadwick, the museum “is something we’ve worked towards for many years. From the beginning, this project has been about preserving the bones for educational and research purposes. Our website allows people from all over the world to access these bones. Now the museum gives our students and community the opportunity to learn from them too.”

The grand opening included visitors from the Hanson Research Station visiting from Wyoming. Chadwick presented a lecture on the Dinosaur Research Project history, as part of the Saxon Lecture Series in Science and Religion, and members of the Keene Chamber of Commerce and local community leaders participated in a ribbon-cutting as part of the festivities. Prizes were awarded for the use of the Museum hashtag #SWAUdinos.

The museum is free and open to the public. School groups are encouraged, and arrangements for tours can be made by calling 817-202-6336. Regular hours will be Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.