American University of Beirut

Geology Museum

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Geology Museum at AUB is considered to be the only major geology Museum in Lebanon, as the national Museum contains mainly archeological materials. The AUB Geology Museum contains an extensive mineralogy collection, rock collection, and fossil collection. The mineralogy collection includes over 1,000 mineral specimens from various parts of the globe. The rock collection contains a larger number of rock specimens representing the three main rock groups Igneous, Sedimentary, and Metamorphic rocks. These collections contain examples from all the main mineral and rock groups on Earth and contain some specimens that are somewhat rare and otherwise hard to find.  The impressive fossil collection includes specimens from various fossil species across the wide spectrum of the animal fossil and plant fossil kingdoms, and across the vast Geological eras. The most impressive is the Mesozoic Lebanese fossil fish collection which represents one of the best-preserved fossil fish collections in the world, containing some rare fossil fish species (nearly 100 million years old) and some of which represent extinct fish species.

How old is the geology collection: The Department of Geology was opened in October 1958. Part of the Geological collections (minerals, rocks, and fossils) was accumulated (mainly by Drs. Jesup, Riley, Day, and others) before 1958.

Museum Activities  

​We have developed a rich outreach program to bring Geoscience to school students, by providing scientific tours to hundreds of school students who visit our Geological Museum and Department annually, to the public, tourists, and visitors. We are also committed to developing a rich outreach program in the form of public lectures to discuss the global responsibility of Geoscientists in the context of the human need for groundwater, mineral, and energy (hydrocarbon) resources and recent natural disasters like the various recent earthquakes and the recent natural disasters like the South Asian tsunami.

As such, we provide numerous science tours to hundreds of school students from numerous schools who visit the Geology Museum annually. See the list of some of the schools and the number of their students visiting our museum annually. Note that, Landscape, Agricultural, and Civil Engineering students from AUB, as well as university students from outside AUB (particularly geotechnical – civil engineering from the Lebanese University), accompanied by their professors, do request (annually), and receive guided tours, especially on rocks and mineral collections. The average time for each tour is 45 minutes to 60 minutes.  We have also developed Geology Museum School Tour Exercises (for visiting school students) on fossils, minerals, igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks, plate tectonics, and volcanoes, to help school students benefit most from their museum science tours. ​​​​​​​

 Who has access?

It is open to the public. It is well used by Geology students, by other AUB students taking geology courses as elective science, and by some agricultural and engineering students from AUB. University students from outside AUB, accompanied by their professors do request (annually), and receive guided tours particularly of the rock and mineral collections. Numerous students (in the hundreds) from a large number of School (usually from grades 4 to 12/13) and upon their written requests, do receive guided tours, annually, of the various Geology collections. The public are always welcome to visit the Geology Museum anytime during normal working hours. 

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