Can You Dig It? event
Florida Museum of Natural History visitors observe a simulated volcanic eruption.
Florida Museum of Natural History photo by Kristen Grace

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Spend a day watching volcanic eruptions and sifting for gems, minerals and other treasures at the Florida Museum of Natural History and University of Florida Department of Geological Sciences’ seventh annual “Can You Dig It?” event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 16.

This free, family-friendly event is sponsored by the University of Florida’s Department of Geological Sciences and the Florida Museum in collaboration with Geohazards Inc., Creative Environmental Solutions Inc. and Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc. and features many hands-on activities.

Attendees will learn many different aspects of geology, from why some volcanoes erupt explosively, while others do not, to how scientists study the ocean floor.

“We’ve once again added some new activities this year,” said Matt Smith, lecturer for the UF department of geological sciences. “We really want to get people–especially kids– out to see what geology is all about. Lots of kids don’t know what geologists actually do, so every year we try to mix it up and make the event better.”

New activities this year include investigating how groundwater flows and shapes the earth’s surface, discovering how increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can threaten the ocean’s coral reefs and using a computer and 3-D camera to create real-time images of landscapes made in a sandbox.

Smith said the event is also a way for students interested in pursuing a career in geological sciences to learn about the broad range of opportunities in the field.

Visitors may also win prizes by collecting stamps from each activity table. Last year, more than 1,200 people attended the event.

“We will have the boom, the blast and the bombardment at this event,” said Catherine Carey, museum public programs coordinator. “You don’t want to miss out.”

Refreshments may be purchased from food vendor High Springs Orchard and Bakery.

For more information, visit  or call 352-273-2062.



Writer: Kate Schofield

Source: Matt Smith,

Media contact: Paul Ramey, 352-273-2054,