Museum of Geology Exhibits

The Museum of Geology sits in the middle of a regional treasure trove of fossils. To the east and south are the Eocene and Oligocene mammals of the White River Formation. Marine reptiles, fish, Fairburn Agates, sharks, and invertebrates litter the shale deposits around the city, and the banks of the Missouri river. To the west are the Jurassic dinosaurs and mammals of Wyoming, and to the north lie fossil plants, dinosaurs, and more from the famous Cretaceous Hell Creek Formation. All of this excellent fossil preservation is combined to form our displays, which span the history of life on Earth, all reflected in the rocks.

Museum Exhibit 1
Museum Exhibit 2

Our mineral collection encompasses thousands of specimens, from over a century of collection, trading, and taking in donations from all over the world. Many of our specimens come from mines that have long been closed or rendered barren, or from countries that have since limited the export of certain minerals. Our collection is truly one of a kind!

Museum Exhibit 3
Museum Exhibit 4

Online Exhibits

Research is underway all the time at the Museum of Geology, but not all of our work ends up as a display for visitors to view or interact with.  That's why we've added an Online Exhibits section to show you some of the investigations we are involved in.  Click on any exhibit image or link to view the presentation.

Cretaceous Atlas of Ancient Life

A digital field guide to the ancient life of the Western Interior Seaway, which divided North America in half during the age of dinosaurs. Identify the fossils left behind. Learn where they were found. Discover how the once lived.

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Conservation Paleobiology

Using the past to inform the future - Conservation paleobiologists use fossil specimens preserved in the geologic record to determine how organisms responded to changes in their environment. With this information, scientists can better understand present and future changes in modern ecosystems.

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Black Hills Story Map

"Exploring Black Hills Geology - Ancient granites to modern gravels" is the subject of a GIS story map that reveals Black Hills geology in a series of interactive maps and photos -- developed by Maribeth Price, Colin Paterson and Crystal Hocking  from  a field trip-based Black Hills Geology course for teachers in 2004 and 2005.

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Virtual Field Trip of the Western Interior Seaway

A virtual field trip of the Western Interior Seaway in South Dakota, starting at the South Dakota Mines Museum of Geology — developed by Darrin Pagnac, Paul Barrett, Madigan Cochran-Bjerke, Sarah Cox, Ben Elliott, Christine Gardner, James Mishoulam, Mariah Slovaceck, and Brett Wetrosky

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Symbiosis Through Time

A journey through time and ocean depths reveals worlds where extraordinary organisms have survived in extreme environments for hundreds of millions of years. They thrive in these harsh environments by forming mutually beneficial relationships with bacteria and algae through a process called symbiosis. 
By Brooke Long

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Coastal Biomes of the Bahamas

An overview of the natural history of the Bahamas in general, and San Salvador Island in particular, as well as South Dakota Mines research on the island. This site was developed by Broc Kokesh as part of the summer 2016 course GEOL 512: Field Studies in Coastal Biomes.

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Summer Hours

(beginning Memorial Day)

Monday-Saturday: 9 AM - 6 PM
Closed: Sundays and Independence Day

Winter Hours

(beginning Labor Day)

Monday-Saturday: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM 
Closed: Sundays and Federal Holidays

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