Visit a Lasting Legacy of Geology at San Juan College

4/5/2022

The Sherman Dugan Museum of Geology showcases an array of beautiful minerals, a breathtaking amethyst geode and unique fossils from around the world—including a 35-million-year-old Megacerops skull. By Donna K. Hewett. This story is sponsored by SunRay Park and Casino and ServiceMaster Restore

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The extraction of natural gas, oil and minerals in New Mexico and around the world also has provided fossil lovers and rock counts with some satisfying artifacts. The Sherman Dugan Museum of Geology located in the lobby of the San Juan College School of Energy, features some of the finest specimens discovered deep underground right here in the San Juan Basin. You're watching the Local News Network brought to you by Sunray Park & Casino and Service Master Restore. I'm Wendy Graham Settle. In 2015, Sherman's father philanthropist Tom Dugan, the largest independent gas producer in Farmington created the museum in honor of his son who preceded him in death by four years from complications of diabetes. A geologist, Sherman Dugan was a passionate collector of rocks, minerals and fossils and accumulated one of the largest private collections in the entire of Southwest.

This is our the main part of the museum and we have things categorized based on location or type. We have a fossil display. Many of these have been donated to the college or are purchased by the friends of the Sherman Dugan Museum. And some of these are New Mexico fossils. For example, the Diplodocus is a San Juan based in New Mexico skull.

Most mineral deposits are from underground mining districts across the State of New Mexico that follow the Rio Grande River which experience lots of volcanic activity.

This is our international mineral case. Minerals come from all over the world and we often try to combine them based on their localities. Most of our specimens come from North America, Mexico but we have some specimens that come from all over the world and we've put them in this case to kind of keep them together as well.

Thousands of artifacts are on display but in the Sherman Dugan collection tens of thousands more exist. While the museum does receive gifts and loaned items that it exhibits every few months, most items are permanently on display from the generous coffers of the Dugan family. Treasures found from around the world.

So we have, this is our case dedicated to New Mexico. Here all of these specimens were found in our State. New Mexico has a very rich mineral history and a lot of diversity in our State. Some of the minerals are fairly unique, not totally unique but are kind of special to us. For example, we have a mineral called Smithsonite that while was found elsewhere, this particular color is pretty special to New Mexico.

A 2019 opening celebrated an 89,000 dollar display of six replica dinosaur fossils. 1,000 people mostly families with children lined up to see the exhibit.

This is one of our most recent exhibits that we added recently. Not only do we have a lot of minerals in New Mexico but we also have a lot of fossils especially dinosaur fossils. And the San Juan Basin specifically has a lot of dinosaur fossils. And through the generosity of some donations recently we were able to purchase some replicas of some of the kinds of dinosaurs that would've lived in this area back during the Late Cretaceous. And this one here if you'll notice the tiny little arms much like a Tyrannosaurus, it's a relative other called an Albertosaurus.

A new addition to the museum's pre-historic family will be unveiled this fall to further establish a lasting legacy and positive impact for generations to come. The Dugan Museum is located in San Juan College School of Energy at 4601 College Boulevard in Farmington. For hours and updates, go to www.sanjuancollege.edu/school-of-energy/dugan-museum/ Thanks for watching this edition of the Local News Network. I'm Wendy Graham Settle.

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