Rowan University Builds Sustainable Fossil Park Museum Worth $73 Million

A 65-acre tract carrying global importance

The best way to understand the growth, evolution, and development of the dinosaur world would be by visiting the museums. And what if the museum is spread over a 65-acre fossil park tract while focused on sustainability? Digging into deep time, New Jersey invites to its futuristic fossil park.

Rowan University welcomed community leaders, project partners, and friends to a groundbreaking newest museum, a world-class destination to explore the distant, local past around themes of a more sustainable future. The $73 million, 44,000 square-foot Jean & Ric Edelman Fossil Park Museum is designed by world-renowned architects and experienced design firms.

World-class museum

Jean & Ric Edelman Fossil Park Museum was inspired by the deep-time perspective that the fossil record offers. The museum will perch above a four-acre former marl quarry where 66-million-year-old marine and terrestrial fossils record the last moments of the dinosaur world.

Within the museum’s exhibit halls, the museum will transport visitors back to a time when dinosaurs roamed the coast, and fearsome mosasaurs, giant sea turtles, and crocodiles patrolled the sea. The museum will also provide opportunities for the exploration of contemporary times, in particular the rapidly worsening climate and biodiversity crises.

While entering the land and sea galleries of the Late Cretaceous worlds, visitors will wonder at the hyper-local focus, like a recreated Brontosaurus, the first discovered tyrannosaur found in 1866, and a 53-foot mosasaur.

Major gift boosts “citizen science” and local economy

Alumni Ric & Jean Edelman gave $25 million to develop the Fossil Park site as a unique research ecosystem that supports scientific, undergraduate, and “citizen science” opportunities. The amount will finance more than a third of the museum’s construction and will have an educational impact which is the most important aspect of the project.

“The look back into the distant past is not merely for intellectual curiosity, it’s to remind us of who we are, where we have the potential to go, and who we have the potential to become,” said Ric Edelman.

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