Monday April 8: Oceans of Kansas – Our fossil treasure

Oceans of Kansas – Our fossil treasure

Wichita Science Café

Monday, April 8

7:30 pm

The Donut Whole (1720 E Douglas)

The rocks left behind by the many oceans that have covered Kansas in the past contain a  spectacular variety of fossils, some of which are unique to our state, and many of which are exhibited in museums around the world. These fossils were first discovered in the late 1860s and started a ‘fossil rush’ to Kansas by the most prominent paleontologists of the day. Besides our fossils, what many people do not realize is that these same ancient oceans were also the source of just about all of our mineral resources. Oil and natural gas, salt, gypsum, limestone, shale, clay and other minerals mined in this state accumulated at the bottom of these same oceans many millions of years ago. Take a trip back in time to see some of the strange and wonderful creatures that once swam in the Oceans of Kansas.


Michael J. Everhart is a 1969 graduate of Wichita State University. After his military service (U.S. Army) he returned to Wichita State for his Masters Degree (1973).  He worked for the Wichita Sedgwick County Health Department for 12 years and served as the Environmental Health Director from 1981-1985. He was hired as the Environmental Affairs manager at the Boeing Company, where he retired after 17 years. Mike has been an Adjunct Curator of Paleontology at the Sternberg Museum of Natural History, Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas since 1998.


Mike is an expert on Late Cretaceous marine fossils of central and western Kansas, and on the history of paleontology in Kansas. In addition, he has worked with the “T rex Sue” exhibition at the Sternberg Museum in Hays, and Exploration Place in Wichita. Mike was a contributor to the BBC documentary “Chased by Sea Monsters” and served as one of the senior science advisers on the 2007 National Geographic IMAX film, Sea Monsters. His work has been featured in five made for television videos on the History and Discovery channels.


He is the creator and webmaster of the educational “Oceans of Kansas Paleontology” web site: which has been on the Internet since December, 1996.  He served as an editor of the Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science from 2006 to 2011 and was President of the KAS in 2005. Mike is currently a speaker for the Kansas Humanities Council.

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