CWU News

CWU Museum of Culture and Environment Re-Opens Tooth + Tusk Exhibit

Museum director Hope Amason gives a tour of the exhibit

Museum director Hope Amason gives a tour of the Tooth+Tusk exhibit, currently on display in Dean Hall.

Stop by the CWU Museum of Culture and Environment this fall and sink your teeth into an informative, student-driven exhibit that has been taking shape since last spring.

The museum will be re-opening the Tooth + Tusk exhibit with three new sections, each of which was researched, designed, and developed by student curators. The interactive exhibit was designed to offer new insights into our history and teach us about the biology and evolution of both humans and animals. Among the exhibit highlights is one of the oldest deer jaw fossils ever found in North America. The specimen—on loan from the Burke Museum in Seattle—was discovered by a CWU geology student on Craig’s Hill, near Ellensburg.

One of the oldest deer jaws in North America is on displayThe campus community is invited to attend a reception for the student curators Thursday, September 29, at 5:30 p.m. in the Dean Hall lobby. 

“The thing I am most proud of with this exhibit is the level of student involvement,” museum Director Hope Amason said. “We have also benefited from some amazing partnerships as we put this exhibit together, and we are looking forward to sharing it with as many people as possible.”

Thursday’s opening will be the first in a series of public events as the CWU Museum of Culture and Environment welcomes the public back to Dean Hall for the first time since early 2020. The event calendar this fall also includes: 

  • October 20, 5:30 p.m.: “MEChA de CWU: 50 Aniversario” is a talk by CWU Political Science Professor Gilberto Garcia, who will discuss the important history of MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicana/o de Aztlán) over the past five decades on campus. 
  • October 27, 5:30 p.m.: “Fang Fest” is a discussion led by CWU Biology Professor Daniel Beck about our fangiest friends, snakes. We will also be joined by our fangy colleagues from the Biology department, including snakes and tarantulas!
  • November 17, 5:30 p.m.: “Teeth! With Dr. Peter Ungar” This virtual talk will be led by Dr. Ungar from the University of Arkansas Anthropology department, who will discuss the dynamic relationships between our teeth, our food, and our environment. Virtual attendance is welcome on Zoom.

All museum events are free and open to the public. If you are interested in viewing the Tooth + Tusk exhibit, visit Dean Hall from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday. 

The CWU Museum of Culture and Environment is located at 1200 Wildcat Way. Parking is available at the O-5 lot and is free Saturdays and after 4:30 p.m. weekdays. 

Media Contact: Hope Amason, Museum,, 509-963-1836