Jean & Ric Edelman Fossil Park
at Rowan University

Rowan University alumni Jean and Ric Edelman made history on Oct. 17, 2016, when they announced a $25 million gift to transform the Rowan University Fossil Park into a world-class destination for scientific discovery and “citizen science.”

The Fossil Park will be known as the Jean & Ric Edelman Fossil Park at Rowan University.

The gift from the Edelmans is the largest ever from Rowan alumni and the second largest gift in the institution’s history.

Plans for the tract include a museum and visitor center, laboratory spaces, a nature trail, a paleontology-themed playground, and social spaces. Wildly popular community and school Dig Days at the site will continue.

For more on the Edelmans and their gift, visit

Jean & Ric Edelman Fossil Park at Rowan University


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.


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


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 the 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 Jean and Ric Edelman Fossil Park at Rowan University 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 mosasaurs.

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?

At this time, the Edelman Fossil Park is not open to the public. We have several public dig days including our Community Dig Day every September which you may purchase tickets for when the sale begins. If you would like other information for schools, scouts or Corporate Events, please fill out the inquiry form below.

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.

Proud Partners

Since 2012, Dr. Lacovara has hosted community Dig Days at the quarry in partnership with Mantua Township's Economic Development Office and the Gloucester County Board of Chosen Freeholders. 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 15,000 visitors have searched for fossils in the park. Rowan is a proud partner with Mantua Township and Gloucester County Freeholders to further develop 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

Family Weekend Registration

Looking for the Family Weekend Registration? Click Here!

Want to Visit?

Inquiries about visiting the park can be made via the form below. Any additonal inquiries about visiting the park should be directed to

GEO Explorers Summer Day Camp

This will be our second year offering the GEO Explorers camp! We provide a STEM-focused curriculum and hands-on fossil hunting for students ages 7-12 in June and July of 2018. Campers receive an authentic paleontologist’s field guide to log their experiences and excavate their very own fossils.

Complete the form below to receive emails about 2018 summer camps and other family activities.

Read about the GEO Explorers program in the Courier-Post

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.

Thanks to the generosity of Jean and Ric Edelman, plans for the park include establishing a world-class museum and visitor center focusing on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education; laboratory spaces for research; a paleontology-themed playground; and social spaces. Community Dig Days and other educational programs for schoolchildren and community groups will continue.

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 presented a TED Talk lecture on Feb. 16, 2016, at the annual TED Conference in Vancouver. TED Talks are presented by some of the world’s most inspired thinkers. He presented in the “Deep Memory” session of the TED Conference. His talk has garnered more than 1.2 million views.


TED Profile



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


Linda Hall Library of Science


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


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. 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 Steve Levine, or 856-256-5443.

Fossil Park Forms

Fossil Park Guest Information Sheet/Map including information to enhance your visit to the Fossil Park and directions to the site at 625 Woodbury-Glassboro Road, Sewell, NJ 08080.

All visitors to the Fossil Park are required to sign and return the site waiver form at event check in.