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The Natural History Museum of Utah & Carrie Levitt-Bussian

Salt of the Earth - The People and Places of Salt Lake

Wednesday December 2, 2020

The Natural History Museum of Utah houses an incredible collection of natural wonders. With galleries dedicated to Utah’s botany, mineralogy, zoology, entomology, anthropology and more, all housed in the beautiful and artfully designed Rio Tinto Center, the museum is a must-visit on any trip to Salt Lake. One of the highlights of the museum, however, are the paleontology collections displayed in a breathtaking gallery of dinosaur wonders.

Carrie Levitt-Bussian, one of the museum’s paleontologists and the collections manager, has been in love with giant, fossilized creatures since she was 12 years old and visited the Hot Springs Mammoth site in South Dakota. Her passion and knowledge for the ancient world is impressive, and the enthusiasm she brings to work every day is a joy to behold. Meet her in person, and she’ll unfold the mysteries of ancient life to you, whether that’s the size of a dinosaur species brain, the way a particular specimen ended up fossilized in a stream bed, or what a theropod eats for breakfast (and how we know).

In this Salt of the Earth video, we take you backstage to see the world-class collections area of the museum where fossils are categorized and stored in giant rolling bins, where international researchers and experts in the science of paleontology travel to study its impressive collection using state-of-the-art techniques, and where Carrie is, as she calls it, the “librarian for dinosaur bones.”

The museum is unique in that it showcases Utah specimens, including more than two dozen new species only found here, and many just in the last few years. It is also unique for the museum’s grand architecture, built in 2011, and designed through every facet to mirror and pay homage to the diverse geology and biospheres of Utah.

You can get discounted passes to the Natural History Museum of Utah with the Visit Salt Lake Connect Pass. We’re grateful to feature the museum and Carrie Levitt-Bussian in this installment of Visit Salt Lake’s Salt of the Earth series.