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Geoscience Communication An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/gc-2020-13
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gc-2020-13
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 14 Apr 2020

Submitted as: research article | 14 Apr 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal GC.

Built From the Crater Up – Site Museums in Geosciences Communication and Outreach

Jaime Urrutia Fucugauchi1,2, Ligia Perez-Cruz1,2,3, and Araxi O. Urrutia4,5 Jaime Urrutia Fucugauchi et al.
  • 1Programa Universitario de Perforaciones en Océanos y Continentes, Instituto de Geofísica, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Coyoacan 04510 México, Mexico
  • 2Instituto de Investigaciones y Estudios Avanzados Chicxulub, Parque Científico y Tecnológico de Yucatán, Sierra Papacal, Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico
  • 3Coordinación Plataformas Oceanográficas, Coordinación de la Investigación Científica, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Coyoacan 04510 México, Mexico
  • 4Milner Centre for Evolution, Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Bath, Bath BA27AY, UnitedKingdom
  • 5Instituto de Ecología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Coyoacan 04510 Mexico, Mexico

Abstract. What is the role of site museums and geological sites in geosciences communication, education and outreach? Natural history and site museums contribute to learning, outreach and educational programs, with geological sites in National Parks, GeoParks and UNESCO heritage sites attracting large numbers of visitors, as well as scholars and students. Here, we examine the role and potential of science museums in relation to the Chicxulub impact and the Cretaceous/Paleogene boundary mass extinction. The impact ranks among major single events shaping Earth’s history, triggering global climatic change and wiping out ~ 76 % of species. The crater, with a ~ 200 km rim diameter, is the best preserved of the three large terrestrial multi-ring impact structures, being a natural laboratory for investigating impact dynamics, crater formation and planetary evolution. The crater and impact deposits are not exposed at the surface, being covered by carbonate sediments after its formation, which presents a challenge for outreach and educational programs. The Chicxulub center and museum have a core mission to serve as a hub for multi-disciplinary research on the impact, planetary sciences, climate change and life evolution, as well as educational, outreach and science communication programs. It fulfills a recognized task for dissemination and communication of geosciences. After decades of studies, Chicxulub impact remains under intense scrutiny and the new facilities built inside the crater, play a major role in expanding those efforts.

Jaime Urrutia Fucugauchi et al.

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Jaime Urrutia Fucugauchi et al.

Jaime Urrutia Fucugauchi et al.

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Short summary
We examine the role and potential of science museums in relation to the Chicxulub museum and research center in Yucatan, Mexico, built around the Chicxulub asteroid impact and the Cretaceous/Paleogene boundary mass extinction. What is the role of site museums and geological sites in outreach, education and geosciences communication? Natural history and geological museums with research components allow integrating ongoing up to date research advances, expanding their usefulness and capabilities.
We examine the role and potential of science museums in relation to the Chicxulub museum and...
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