From the observatory and planetarium, to our labs and equipment in Latham Hall, there’s so much to discover in the UNI Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences.

Our department routinely offers tours and programming for members of the public, and local teachers along with their students. We can accommodate any age group, from ages 6 and up. Visits can last from one to two hours and can be targeted for a specific age group and/or interests.

Our faculty are also available to identify rocks and fossils, and can answer questions about various aspects of the Earth Sciences, including educational and career opportunities. To arrange a visit or to inquire about possible visits, please contact Dr. Siobahn Morgan at 319-273-2759 or via email at siobahn.morgan@uni.edu.

UNI Observatory

Visit the Observatory

Gaze at distant planets, observe astronomical phenomena and learn more about the stars in our galaxy. Throughout the school year, families, clubs and visitors can come to the roof of McCollum Science Hall for a fun and informative evening with faculty and students at our observatory telescope. Programs are free and open to the public.

What to know before you go…

The UNI Observatory at McCollum Science Hall will have shows starting the first Thursday in September, and continuing until the first Thursday in November.  Spring semester shows begin after Spring Break and end before final exam week.  All Thursday shows will be advertised on the UNI Calendar - check it for specific times.  Large groups interested in visiting should contact Dr. Siobahn Morgan to set up a different visit day or time for a visit. Any large groups showing up unexpectedly may not be allowed to visit the observatory.


If you have any questions about visiting the observatory or if you would like to arrange a special visit for a group, please contact Dr. Siobahn Morgan, telephone: 319-273-2389 (email is preferred).

UNI Planetarium

Visit the Planetarium

During January, February and early March, the Planetarium is open to the public for astronomy programs each Thursday night. The first show begins at 6 p.m., and the second show will begin at 7 p.m. Admission is free and all are welcome. The planetarium seats 25 persons and all shows begin promptly on the hour. Planetarium shows will continue until mid-March when the outdoor observatory programs begin. The planetarium is located at room 105 Latham Hall. Cell phones, cameras and tablets cannot be used during the program.


Latham Hall

About Latham Hall

Latham Hall contains a variety of Earth Science displays and features:

  • Geology - rocks, minerals, fossils, Iowa geological resources, Ice Age Iowa, geodes, and even a T-Rex skull
  • Meteorology - real-time weather equipment
  • Astronomy - observatory, planetarium, meteorites, interactive displays