Events and News

Events and News

The Gillespie Museum is home to a variety of events that take place throughout the year. Our Science Cafés provide a relaxed platform to learn about and discuss in-depth, a variety of topics related to environmental science.  Our monthly Science Saturdays give scientists and environmentalists of all ages the opportunity to join in some fun and engaging activities.

Every year the Gillespie museum hosts a range of events (seminars, movie screenings, sandhill and seed workdays, Science Cafés, etc.) for Earth Week.  We also host outdoor learning programs for children ages 8-12 in the summer.

Check out some upcoming and past events and exhibits at the museum!

Fall 2019

Saturday, September 21, 10:00 a.m.-noon

Smithsonian Museum Day

Science Saturday - Smithsonian Museum Day

The Gillespie Museum's first Science Saturday, 2019-20, joins the annual celebration of boundless curiosity hosted by Smithsonian Magazine. Museum Day brings together museums, zoos & cultural centers from all fifty states to offer free admission, and a national commitment to access, equity and inclusion. Come and browse the museum’s mineral collections and displays, and get a sneak peak at our new exhibit Agatized Coral and Other Silicified Fossils, which will be officially opening in October. This exhibit, featuring Florida’s state stone, is a stunning and diverse assemblage drawn from the personal collections of Florida geologists Sam Upchurch, PhD, former professor and chairman of the geology department of the University of South Florida, and Gary Maddox, a state hydrogeologist and co-owner of Apalachee Minerals. This month’s Science Saturday focus will be a study of agatized and silicified corals and other marine fossils from four important localities in Florida: Withlacoochee River, Ballast Point, Nutall Rise and Econfina River. Visitors will learn how these fossils are formed. Through some lab experiments, microscope work, and coloring pages, they will identify how the color and structure often varies by location. Hands-on and creative science for all ages!

Friday, October 4, 5:00-7:00 p.m.

Agatized Coral

Agatized Coral - Opening Reception & Gallery Talk

Join us in celebrating the opening of our newest exhibit Agatized Coral and Other Silicified Fossils at a reception and gallery talk. This installation features Florida’s state stone, agatized coral. Its 140 specimens are drawn from the personal collections of renowned Florida geologists Sam Upchurch, PhD, former Professor and Chair of the Geology Department at the University of South Florida in Tampa, and Gary Maddox, a hydrogeologist for the State of Florida and co-owner of Apalachee Minerals. Both will attend this opening and will speak informally, beginning around 5:30 pm.

Tuesday, October 8, 4:00-6:00 p.m.

Minerals of Mexico

Minerals of Mexico - Opening Reception & Bilingual Museum Walk

The Gillespie Museum has partnered with Stetson’s Hand Art Center for a Bilingual Museum Walk. The Gillespie Museum will be featuring “Minerals of Mexico,” a small exhibit of specimens collected by museum benefactors Thomas Byrd and Nellie Gillespie, which focuses on their trips to Mexico during the early 1960s and their methods of building the historic Gillespie collection. Light refreshments will be served with an opportunity to view the display. The exhibit runs through Jan. 31, 2020.

Friday, October 18, 12:30-1:30 p.m., the RELC

Jonathan Arthur

Dr. Jonathan Arthur, State Geologist of Florida; Director, Florida Geological Survey

Meet the Florida State Geologist: Lunch with Jon Arthur, Florida Geological Survey

Partnering with Stetson University’s Department of of Environmental Science and Studies, the Gillespie Museum will host a pizza lunch with Jonathan D. Arthur, Ph.D., P.G., the State Geologist of Florida and Director of the Florida Geological Survey.  Dr. Arthur will discuss opportunities at the Florida Geological Survey and within the Department of Environmental Protection in general.  Ben Tanner, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Studies will moderate.

Friday, October 18, 3:00-4:00 p.m.

Barbara Bad Elk  

Barbara Bad Elk, Dakota Nation

Sam Elk

Sam Elk, Dakota Nation

Surviving the Sixties Scoop in Canada: A Conversation with Barbara Bad Elk and Samantha Elk, Dakota Nation

Barbara Bad Elk, a Dakota from Sioux Valley Dakota Nation, Manitoba, Canada, is one of 20,000 indigenous children taken during the era coined the “Sixties Scoop,” a government program that “scooped” children from their families and communities, with the purpose of placing them in white adoption homes. Many children were abused and used as free labor or treated as in-house help. Today, the now-grown children are referred to as “Sixties Scoop Survivors” as many are suffering from PTSD, depression, addictions and other mental health issues due to severe trauma and abuse from forced separation. Now as adults, thousands continue to struggle in their daily lives to find their families, their culture, their language and most importantly, themselves. Barbara’s story of survival and life-long pursuit of identity, love, family, spirituality and hope is inspirational. She writes and speaks in memory of Sixties Scoop children who didn’t make it home. Barbara’s daughter, Sam Elk, joins her mother in co-hosting an online radio program, “The Scoop,” and writes and blogs about discovering cultural diversity in the United States. (Co-sponsored by SONAR - Stetson's Organization for Native American Revitalization.)

Wednesday, October 23, 2:30-3:30 p.m., foyer of Sage Science Center


Madison Creech, Visiting Assistant Professor, Digital Arts, Stetson

Unveiling of collaborative art tapestry Changing Patterns: Art and Science for Everyone

Changing Patterns, a textile panel created by Madison Creech, Visiting Professor in Digital Arts at Stetson, will be installed in the University’s Sage Science Center, as one of the expressions of a recent university-wide Values Day program on everyday activism. Drawings, paintings, words, and photos created during a workshop in September at the Volusia Sandhill Ecosystem will be digitally collaged and printed onto large fabric panels by Professor Creech. This piece will represent the collective action needed to improve our environment, through daily choices and actions.

Saturday, October 26, 10:00 a.m.-noon

mostly green halloween

Science Saturday - Mostly Green Halloween

The Gillespie Museum’s 11th annual fall fair provides a showcase of hands-on activities and experiments demonstrating some of the mysteries of the plant and animal world. The activities encourage visitors to engage with the wonders of nature. Gillespie Museum guides and Florida native plant interns will lead activities in the museum and on its grounds, including a scavenger hunt, Mysterious Microscope chamber, book walk and watercolor workshop. The public is invited to participate in this free, family-friendly Halloween-themed event, which is one of the museum’s monthly Science Saturdays, and welcomes scientists of all ages (children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult). Costumes encouraged!

Wednesday, October 30, 7:00-8:30 p.m.

John Serrao

John Serrao and friend

Science Café - Our Amazing Arachnids: Florida's Spiders and Their Kin

During this slide presentation, Florida naturalist John Serrao will introduce the major families of spiders in our region. The program will dispel myths and misconceptions about these beneficial creatures and showcase the fabulous diversity of colors, shapes and sizes that they display. More than 70 species will be featured, ranging from tiny, silvery “dewdrop spiders” to gigantic fishing spiders that can overpower and eat tree frogs. Serrao has partnered with the Gillespie Museum to publish a guide, “75 Spiders of Central Florida,” which will be available to purchase and for him to sign during the Science Café.

Saturday, November 9, 10:00 a.m.-noon

Let's collect rocks

Science Saturday - Homecoming Open House and Mineral Swap

As part of the University’s homecoming weekend festivities and in celebration of the sixty-first anniversary of the Gillespie Museum, visitors and young scientists are invited to learn about mineral collecting and swap rocks and minerals (children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult).

Thursday, November 14, 6:00-8:00 p.m., the RELC

Cancelled (to be rescheduled for January 2020)

Dustin Angell

Conservation Photographer Dustin Angell

photo by Dustin Angell

Conservation Fieldwork photo by Dustin Angell

Science Café -Florida's Stewards, Photography by Dustin Angell, Opening Reception & Gallery Talk

Environmental educator and photographer Dustin Angell of Archbold Research Station will discuss his portraits and documentary work of Florida ecologists, and offer tips on how others can participate in the conservation photography movement in the United States. The exhibit, Florida Stewards, will be on display in the Environmental Gallery of the Rinker Environmental Learning Center, adjacent to the Gillespie Museum, through January 2020.

Sping 2019

Thursday, February 7, 7:00-8:30 p.m.

Fossil Hunters

Science Café - A Conversation with the Cast of Florida’s Fossil Hunters

Explore Florida geology and paleontology with the cast of the Fossil Hunters television series, which follows the adventures of a group of amateur paleontologists and friends as they travel with their families to amazing fossil sites. The world’s first and only fossil hunting television series, Fossil Hunters, highlights the cast’s fossil collections and past and present excavations as well as world-class discoveries. In this informal conversation, with slides, you’ll learn of their travels to various fossil sites and museums, exploring our state’s geological past.

Saturday, February 9, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Science Saturday - Digging in to Florida’s Fossils with Cast of Fossil Hunters TV Series

The cast of Fossil Hunters will be on hand to share their travels and knowledge with young scientists. A chance to dig, collect, and learn. Visitors under sixteen must bring along an adult to share what they’ve learned.

Thursday, February 21, 7:00-8:30 p.m.

Tom Scott's Florida Calcite

Florida Calcite exhibit opening and Science Cafe - Calcite in Florida/Three Geologists

Join three of the state’s renowned geologists to celebrate the opening of our new spring exhibit, and to discuss Florida calcite, and the geological processes which have created our most common, and most beautiful mineral. Tom Scott, Emeritus Geologist, and Harley Means, currently the Assistant State Geologic, both of the Florida Geological Survey, will be joined by Sam Upchurch, Vice President and Senior Principal Geologist (Retired), SDII Global Corporation, and former professor and chairman of the Geology Department, University of South Florida, to discuss their digs, finds, and decades of research.

Thursday, March 14, 7:00-8:30 p.m.

conservation photo by Dustin Angell

Photo by Dustin Angell

Science Café - Conservation Photography with Dustin Angell

Environmental educator and photographer, Dustin Angell of Archbold Research Station will give an overview of the developing conservation photography movement, share his portraits and documentary work of Florida ecologists, and offer tips on how others can participate in the movement. Participants will learn about the historical relationship between photography and conservation in the United States and the difference between nature photography and conservation photography.

Saturday, March 30, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

fluorescent minerals

Science Saturday - Physics Extravaganza & Fluorescent Minerals

Stetson’s chapter of the Society of Physics Students will offer a dazzling display of physics experiments in the laboratories of Sage Science Center; and in the museum, young scientists will have a chance to explore the physics of fluorescent minerals in our Underground World. Move and learn about forces in the physical world.

Thursday, April 25, 7:00-8:30 p.m.

Ben Tanner field

Ben Tanner, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Studies, Stetson

Science Café - Intertidal Wetlands and Environmental Change along Florida’s Coasts

Florida’s intertidal wetlands are responding to a number of stressors, some of which include climate change, sea level rise, and anthropogenic nutrient inputs. In this talk, Stetson environmental geology professor Ben Tanner will explore how intertidal wetland deposits can be used to infer the response of these systems to stressors in the past and the predicted future changes based on this knowledge.