THE ROWAN UNIVERSITY

FossilPark

THE Rowan University
Fossil Park

About

Located in South Jersey, the cradle of dinosaur paleontology, the park in Mantua Township, N.J., contains thousands of fossils dating back 65 million years.

Visiting

The park is an educational center for people of all ages interested in experiencing the thrill of hands-on science exploration.

Future

Rowan’s immediate plans for the park include dig days, educational programs, and a science center .

Learn More

If you're interested in visiting the park or have any additional inquiries, please fill out the form below!

About Rowan's Fossil Park

In a thin, six-inch bone bed on the site of a former marl pit, Dr. Kenneth Lacovara is leading research at the Rowan University Fossil Park in Mantua Township, N.J.

The park contains thousands of fossils and provides researchers with the best window, east of the Mississippi, into the Cretaceous Period—the heyday of the dinosaurs.

Fossils found at the site, include, among others, marine snails, brachiopods, bryozoan colonies, shark teeth, boney fish, sea turtles, marine crocodiles and mosasaurus.

Lacovara’s team is analyzing the fossils, the sediments and the geochemistry of the site to gain a clearer picture of the period when dinosaurs roamed the Earth.

Visiting The Fossil Park

Who Visits the Park?

While scientists conduct research at the park, the site is an educational center for people of all ages—scouting groups, seniors, schoolchildren, college students—interested in experiencing the thrill of hands-on science exploration.

Partnership With Mantua Township

Since 2012, Dr. Lacovara has hosted community dig days at the quarry in partnership with Mantua Township's Economic Development Office. The wildly popular events give citizens the opportunity to search for fossils at the site—and for Dr. Lacovara and his researchers to bring the excitement of science to citizens of all ages. Thus far, nearly 10,000 visitors have searched for fossils in the park.

News / More Info.

New York Times – Behind a Shopping Center in New Jersey, Signs of a Mass Extinction
Cretaceous Mantua
SJ Magazine's - Digging For Dinosaurs
WHYY's Newsworks - Coverage of the Quarry Announcement

Want to Visit?

Rowan University is working in partnership with the Mantua Township Economic Development Office to schedule future quarry visits by community members. Inquiries about visiting the park can be made via the form below. Any additonal inquiries about visiting the park should be directed to fossils@rowan.edu.

Future Of The Site

Rowan's Plans For The Fossil Park

In January of 2016, Rowan University purchased the park from the Inversand Company, which has mined the site for nearly a century.

Rowan’s immediate plans for the park include continuing community dig days and other educational programs for schoolchildren and community groups, as well as establishing a science center that focuses on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education.

The University also has created a School of Earth & Environment, which Dr. Lacovara leads as founding dean. Rowan is working with Mantua Township and Gloucester County Freeholders to further develop the park as a center for science education and exploration.

About Dr. Kenneth Lacovara

Founding Dean, School of Earth & Environment

Committed to the discovery and characterization of extinct forms of life, Dr. Lacovara conducts exploratory fieldwork in pursuit of species that contribute to our understanding of life on Earth.

A sought-after expert by international media outlets on issues related to science and scientific discovery, he is internationally known for his discovery of Dreadnoughtus schrani, a massive, plant-eating dinosaur that is the best example found of any of the largest creatures ever to walk the planet.

Found in Patagonia, the dinosaur weighed about 65 tons and roamed the southern tip of South America approximately 77 million years ago. His discovery was reported on by thousands of media outlets around the world.

Dr. Lacovara is a fellow of the prestigious Explorers Club, has conducted research on five continents, and is a leader in applying cutting-edge technology, such as 3D printing and computer modeling, to the study of dinosaurs.

Dr. Lacovara grew up in South Jersey and earned his bachelor’s degree in geography, with minors in biology and anthropology, from Rowan in 1984. He completed his master’s degree in coastal geomorphology at the University of Maryland College Park in 1986 and his doctorate in geology from the University of Delaware in 1998.

Dr. Lacovara was invited to present a TED Talk lecture on Tuesday, Feb. 16, at the annual TED Conference in Vancouver. TED Talks are presented by some of the world’s most inspired thinkers. He will present in the “Deep Memory” session of the TED Conference.

Profiles

TED Profile
Britannica
Linked-In

Videos

Radio

ScienceFriday
Supermassive Dinosaur Would Have ‘Feared Nothing’
Radio Times
What’s new with dinosaurs?

Lecture

Linda Hall Library of Science

LEARN MORE ABOUT
THE FOSSIL Park

Please fill out the form and we'll be sure to answer any inquiry that you have.

Volunteers

Volunteers are an important part of the Fossil Park team, supporting community and educational events, assisting with fossil excavation and preparing fossils in our Paleo Lab on campus. Click here to complete our volunteer application.

Show your support

Your donation will help us continue to bring the thrill of scientific discovery to people of all ages. To make a gift please visit the Fossil Park's donation page.

Media queries

Members of the media wishing to learn more about the Fossil Park or the Rowan School of Earth & Environment should contact Barbara Baals, baals@rowan.edu or 856-256-4583.