Education Mission Statement: The Natural History Museum is dedicated to discovering, investigating, preserving, and interpreting regional biodiversity through time and to providing enjoyable, experiential educational programming for people of all ages. Disseminating the knowledge gained is accomplished through varied means (exhibitions, visual observation, and hands-on activities). Our programs are developed within three confines: Public Education Programming, Tourism, and Research and Higher Education opportunities.
A tour of the Natural History Museum at the Gray Fossil Site offers a unique, one-of-a-kind experience, as you are able to experience and see everything that the museum has to offer. Starting from the observation deck, going out to the dig site and then returning to visit the Don Sundquist Center of Paleontology, viewing the preparation lab and collections area and even complementary art exhibits, this tour has been known to inspire people both young and old to become paleontologists/scientists. The Natural History Museum at the Gray Fossil Site educates visitors and guests about the unique Miocene time period, while continuing to uncover ancient answers of what Eastern Tennessee was like more than 4.5 million years ago. Scientists currently digging at the site believe they will be able to uncover fossils from an area four to five acres wide and up to 150 feet deep, and that it may take up to 100 years to get to the bottom. Gray Fossil Site is already home to the newly discovered ancient red panda species and many other ancient species. But, as scientists continue to dig down layer upon layer, there is no telling what remains unearthed at the remarkable Tennessee Gray Fossil Site.
Photographs Courtesy of the Natural History Museum