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The UWI Geology Museum – Preserving Jamaica’s Geological Heritage

Did you know that the Faculty of Science and Technology houses a geology museum? As Jamaica celebrates National Heritage Week 2021 (October 10-18) under the theme ‘Saluting Our Heroes…Safeguarding Our Legacy’ FST salutes the work of the UWI Geology Museum (UWIGM) and its role in keeping and caring for the geological collections of the people of Jamaica.

The UWI Geology Museum (UWIGM) first opened to the public in 1970. The museum started as a small teaching collection of items gathered by the lecturers of the infant Department of Geology (now Department of Geography and Geology) in the early 1960s. The UWIGM became a major repository when it received the collections of the Geological Survey of Jamaica in the mid to late 1970s. The collections were obtained from the survey materials stored at the Institute of Jamaica. The collections include material collected by Lucas Barrett in the 1850s survey of Jamaican Geology; the Rudist Collection of Lawrence J. Chubb and the snail collection of Verners A. Zans. Most recent collections include material collected from research of staff and graduate students as well as visiting researchers, research fellows and post-doctoral fellows; and donations from past students. The museum houses the secretariat and the journal archives of the Geological Society of Jamaica (since the 1960s) and remains an important resource to the teaching programme of the Department of Geography and Geology as well as supports the curriculum of Jamaican schools. UWIGM has over the years facilitated many field visits for other departments on The UWI campus, schools in the Caribbean and a few schools in North America. Unfortunately, for now, educational tours have been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, invited talks and presentations continue to be facilitated.

A picture of the largest known fossil Titanosacolites giganteous found yet in the world. This fossil is housed in the UWIGM and was collected in Marchmont Inlier, St. James, Jamaica in 2009. The current rudest collection is the most studied collection.  Professor Simon Mitchell and his students Drs. Gavin Gunter and Ryan Ramsook were instrumental in the collection and study of this important fossil group.

For more information on the UWIGM, contact: Dr. Sherene A. James-Williamson (Museum Curator), Department of Geography and Geology.





Published on 18 Oct, 2021

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