Rocks: Earth's Majestic Building Blocks

“Sunset at Maricopa Point, Grand Canyon National Park” by William HortonMarch 29 – July 27, 2019

In honor of the 100th anniversary of the Grand Canyon National Park, The Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History proudly announces the premiere of its exclusive in-house exhibit, Rocks: Earth's Majestic Building Blocks, on display from March 29, 2019 - July 27, 2019. This exclusive exhibit, designed by Dr. Rebecca Ingram, Museum Curator, showcases rarely-seen rock and mineral specimens from the Museum's collection, alongside specimens borrowed from the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Texas A&M Department of Geology and Geophysics, and other private lenders.

On Friday, March 29th at 6:30 pm, the public is invited to free opening festivities with an entertaining presentation by Dr. J. Brian Balta, visiting Professor of Petrology at Texas A&M University. A reception featuring wine, appetizers, live music featuring jazz and classic rock by the Scott Kunkle Quartet, and gallery viewing will follow. 

Dr. J Brian Balta is a visiting professor of petrology in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at Texas A&M University. He received a Ph.D. in Geology from the California Institute of Technology and has previously worked at the University of Tennessee and the University of Pittsburgh. He is an active writer for a geoscience outreach page The Earth Story and was recently awarded an Aggies Celebrate Teaching! – Recognizing Transformational Learning award from the Texas A&M Center for Teaching Excellence. His main research focus is the petrology of igneous rocks, particularly those from other planets. As a petrologist, he uses the composition of and minerals present in igneous rocks to better understand how those magmas are created, learning about how the insides of planets work in the process. 

Rocks form the canvas upon which all life on Earth exists. From the steep, river-carved cliffs of Arizona's Grand Canyon to the smooth, flowing lava of Hawaii's Kilauea volcano, Earth's rocks display spectacular diversity. This exhibit explores the different components and formation processes that result in variations in color, texture, and shape in rocks of Earth's surface. Visitors can learn about the mysteries of Earth's extraordinary rocks and minerals as they view colorful crystals, ancient stone tools, local fossils, and a magnificent array of rocks from around the world. 

The Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History is committed to promoting science, and cultural and natural history with the integration of art in exhibits and educational programs. This exhibit was made possible in part through Hotel Tax Revenue funded from the City of College Station & the City of Bryan through the Arts Council of Brazos Valley. 

The Museum's hours are Tuesday-Saturday from 10 am-5 pm.  For more information about this exhibit and other displays, events, programs and activities, please contact the Museum at 979-776-2195, visit them on the web at, or follow them on Facebook. Regular Museum Admission fees: adults $5; seniors/students/children $4; members and children 3 and under are free.

Image by William Horton, “Sunset at Maricopa Point, Grand Canyon National Park”