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Earth Science Division

The Earth Science Division explores and documents the evolution of the physical and biological components of the Earth, and facilitates the understanding and protection of our planet and its record of the past.   The specimens we collect and conserve document the occurrence of individual organisms in space and time. Taken together they form a vast (and growing) permanent record, which scientists can examine again and again, applying new analytical techniques and testing new hypotheses.

It consists of 4 main collections and 2 smaller collections.  The Vertebrate Paleontology collection includes over 100,000 specimens from Idaho and surrounding states.  A major portion of the collections are specimens from federally managed lands that are held in the John A. White Paleontology Repository (JAW).  The Paleobotany collection includes over 1400 fossil specimens spanning the time period from the Precambrian Period to the Pleistocene Epoch. The Invertebrate Paleontology collection includes 1200 cataloged specimens from the state of Idaho and the Intermountain West.  The Marie Hopkins Comparative Osteology collection includes 2500 bird, mammal, reptile, amphibian, and fish skeletal specimens.  The Division also has a substantial geology collection and a teaching/cast collection.

Vertebrate Paleontology


Invertebrate Paleontology

Marie Hopkins Comparative Osteology Collection


Identification Requests


Dr. Leif Tapanila

Director, Research Curator, Division Head Earth Sciences

(208) 282-5417

Dr. Brandon Peecook

Assistant Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology, Assistant Professor

Office: Office: Museum Building 113 921 S 8th Ave Stop 8096 Pocatello, ID 83209

(208) 282-4151