JMDC is currently opened Friday, Saturday and Sunday to incoming visitors from 9:00 am to 1:30 pm. 
Gates are locked at 2:00 pm.  Masks over nose and mouth, and social distancing is required.

Our Team in Action

Our team enjoys teaching and sharing with our visitors

MEET THE STAFF

Click on each picture to read a fun bio about each of our Staff Members. 

Wes Andrée

Wes Andrée

Executive Director

What Others Think

Wes is a Cryptozoologist observing rare and unusual animals of the mystical world.  He once observed a Unicorn eating only carrots in his garden and wrote a paper discussing the importance of Unicorns eating vegetables shaped like their single horn.  He hypothesized that if watermelons were eaten the Unicorn horn would have a whole different look.  He is looking for Leave No Trace Ambassador, Big Foot.  Big Foot has eluded him for many years, however, Yeti’s very pleasant and quite social when you get to know him.  Another that has eluded him are Mermaids.  He hopes to meet them soon.

Who I am

Wes is a Naturalist who’s happiest sharing with the young and young at heart at JMDC.  Growing up, he roamed the hills behind his home watching and catching different critters.  One time, he filled the family bathtub with frogs, toads and other critters.  He proudly showed his Mom, all went back to the creek the next day.  At 8 years old started skin diving/scuba diving off the SoCal coast watching all the critters there.  He has spent the last 40 years as a SCUBA Instructor and Boy Scout Leader sharing his admiration and wonder of the wild world with others.

Virginia Odom

Virginia Odom

Education Coordinator

The Story Behind the Story

While camping in the Jurupa Mountains with her friends Esmerelda and Jacob, they are quite friendly Cave Gnomes, Ginny was regaled at a campfire with the story of Edward the Spirit Mammoth of the Jurupa Mountains by Esmerelda.  She is from the Jurupa Valley Clan of the Jurupa Mountains and by far the better campfire story teller than Jacob who comes from the Riverside Clan of Mount Rubidoux.  How these two ever got together is another story altogether.  Anyway as Esmerelda told the story of Eddy, his friends called him Eddy and Cave Gnomes are always very friendly particularly Esmerelda.  This is going to be a long story, have a seat and I’ll get you a cup of brittle bush tea over ice, such a treat, to sip while we tell the story.  You just wait right there it’ll only be a few moments for the tea.

Who I Am

Virginia Odom graduated magna cum laude from California State University, Fullerton with a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies, concentrations in Education Administration and Early Childhood Education, and Continuing Education classes in Earth Science.  After teaching for several years, Virginia joined the Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center (JMDC) team in 2007 as the Education Coordinator.  Since that time, she has been responsible for implementing and expanding the educational programs at JMDC.  Virginia enjoys exploring new places, making discoveries, and spending time with her family and friends.

Maribel Vargas

Maribel Vargas

Museum and Gift Shop Coordinator

What Others Think

Hi! I’m Adamantem…which means Diamond in Latin.  I come from a piece of carbon exposed to immense heat and pressure for about 3 billion years in the earth’s mantle about 118 miles below the surface of the earth!  I was brought up to the surface as a sample to show humans the beauty that comes from underneath your feet and how to benefit from it for future generations to come…and also to show what it means to be tough.  That’s right there’s nothing tougher or more beautiful than me!

Who I Am

Hello, I’m Maribel Vargas I was born in Durango, Mexico and migrated to the U.S.A. when I was 15 years old.  I was always fascinated and curious about our planet’s constant geologic possesses and how they continuously change the earth.  In 2003 I came to JMDC looking for some volunteer opportunities and immediately fell in love with the Rocks, Minerals, and Fossils this place had.  I was given the opportunity instead, to study and learn so I could eventually teach about them.  It was the best thing ever! There’s no greater joy to me than being able to awaken in a kid their curiosity and awareness about our natural resources through my excitement when I’m talking about them, knowing that they will, just like me…want to learn more and more!!

Bill Cieslak

Bill Cieslak

Staff Member

What Others Think

I’m just a caveman. My journey started thousands of years ago when I was frozen while hunting in the tundra. When I was thawed out it was 2015, and I found employment at the only place with a mammoth around. Your world frightens and confuses me. Sometimes I feel the need to throw spears into the metal beasts you call “cars”. The honking horns of traffic make me want to climb out of my Hyundai and run off into the hills. But one thing I do know is that I love teaching future generations about my extinct world.

Who I Am

I’m a 20-year-old engineering student. I enjoy hiking, backpacking, and being in the outdoors. As a kid, my dad brought me to the center, and since that time I’ve always had a love of science. Fossils of extinct animals like mammoths and dinosaurs captivate and intrigue me. I find my job teaching future generations about the earth sciences incredibly rewarding.

Alison Brewer

Alison Brewer

Guide

What Others Think

My name is Ally, but you can call me the Pink Geologist. I am the place where glam meets dirt. I have spent years underground searching for a new discovery. Every time I cheer underground new minerals pop out of the walls. Seeing as I do not surface often, I have befriended the bats and rats in the mine and have become accustomed to the dark lifestyle I live. When I return to the surface of the Earth, I have to wear sunglasses because I cannot handle the harsh sunlight.

Who I am

Hello, my name is Alison Brewer. I have been with JMDC since 2007. When I first started at JMDC, I was a volunteer Museum Docent. Since 2009, I have been an Expedition Leader and Discovery Camp Counselor. JMDC is where I discovered my passion for geology. Thanks to this passion, I am a senior at CSUSB and will earn my B.S. degree in Geology in June 2018. At CSUSB, I have been on the Dean’s List and the cheer team. After graduation, I hope to become a Mine Geologist, so I can continue to fulfill my passion for collecting and dealing with beautiful specimens. When I am not working at JMDC, I love to off-road, rock hound, camp, fish and just enjoy the great outdoors.

Nathan San Filippo

Nathan San Filippo

Guide

What others think

Nathan says he works. He certainly clocks in and clocks out, usually on time. Occasionally, one may see him wandering around the grounds or in the gift store.  Most of the time no one knows where he is, and when he does finally turn up, towards the end of his shift, he claims he was watering the mammoth. But our Mammoth is made of metal. At times he is told to move the stock in the back room, and arrange items in alphabetical order. Yet, boxes are only moved in a way that strangely resembles a cardboard bed. One time, Nathan was asked to gather grape leaves for the tortoises to eat. He came back with an empty bucket and grape skin stuck between his teeth. The truth is no one really knows Nathan. They do know he always arrives on time every other Friday to collect his check, but afterward, he and his car are nowhere to be seen.

Who I am 

Nathan is twenty years old and currently attends Cal State Fullerton as an English major. Although he is pursuing a teaching career in this subject, he has a passion for geology and paleontology. The time he spends working with our kids’ educational programs and the general public has helped prepare him for this career. He is an Eagle Scout and has been involved in Scouting for fourteen years. As expected, he has developed a great love for the outdoors because of his time Scouting. When not working, Nathan hikes, camps, and tries his hand at photography.

Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center

951.685.5818

7621 Granite Hill Drive, Jurupa Valley, California 92509

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Three Toed Box Turtle

Baby is one of our original Critter Corner Ambassadors.  She has visited with hundreds of school children during the years she has called JMDC home.  Baby came to us as a donation from a family that was no longer able to keep her.  Baby is very friendly and looks forward to her daily tasty worm snack.

The three-toed box turtle is native to south-central United States, from Missouri and Oklahoma south to Alabama and west into Texas. This turtle needs to live near water and prefers a combination of wooded and grassy habitat.  Populations of all 6 subspecies of Terrapene carolina, including the three-toed box turtle, are in decline. The species is listed as vulnerable by the IUCN, the world’s leading conservation organization. The main causes of decline are habitat destruction.

If you sponsor Baby, your donation will help pay for her food and care.

Just $5.00 per month or $60.00 per year will contribute to Baby’s food and upkeep.

Package #6 – Adventures in Adobe

Who doesn’t like to play in the mud?  An Adventures in Adobe party is the perfect combination of education and fun.  Party Explorers will hear stories about life during the Mission period in California.  Then be prepared to get dirty.  Party Explorers will take off their shoes, roll up their pants legs, and stomp in the adobe mud until it is perfect brick consistency.  Everyone makes a brick to take home.

JMDC Family Membership – $120.00 for 10 children and 25 adults.  $10.00 for each additional child/$3.00 for each additional adult. 

Non-Members – $180.00 for 10 children and 25 adults.  $10.00 for each additional child/$5.00 for each additional adult. 

Choose from our many available add-ons. 

Upgrade to deluxe surprise bags – $2.00 per bag 

Dippin’ Dots – $3.50 per person 

Paint a ceramic dinosaur – $7.00 per person 

Meet the Critters – $2.00 per person 

Add a second package – Save 30% on the lesser priced package 

Want more time for your party – Add an extra hour in the birthday area – $35.00 per hour 

Dinosaur Dig

Our Dinosaur Dig site is fun for budding paleontologists of all ages! This Expedition introduces Explorers to the world of paleontology through a hands-on dig experience.  Explorers take a walking tour of our dinosaur sculptures, and then help unearth an Allosaurus fossil, replicating an actual dig.  

Cost – $10.00 per person. 

Meets CA Next Generation Science Standards – 3LS4.A; 3LS4.C; 4ESS1.C;

Fossils through Time

Discover facts about fossils and the geological timeline. 

Explorers examine fossils close up and take home a fossil of their own. 

Cost – $12.50 per person.

Meets CA Next Generation Science Standards – 3LS4.A; 3LS4.C; 4ESS1.C; MS8ESS1.C; MS8LS4.A   

 

Package #1 – Party with the Dinosaurs

The perfect party for the Rockhounder in your life. Through hands-on participation, Explorers learn identifying factors for some of the rocks and minerals we use every day.  A walk through the gardens follow, with stops along the way at the JMDC dinosaurs.  Your party Expedition Leader will share interesting dinosaur facts.  Once your group reaches Dino Mesa, Birthday Explorers are set loose in our collection area where twelve treasures of their choice can be added to an egg carton to take home.

JMDC Family Membership – $120.00 for 10 children and 30 adults.  $10.00 for each additional child/$3.00 for each additional adult. 

Non-Members – $180.00 for up to 10 children and 25 adults.  $10.00 for each additional child/$5.00 for each additional adult. 

Choose from our many available add-ons. 

Upgrade to deluxe surprise bags – $2.00 per bag 

Dippin’ Dots – $3.50 per person 

Paint a ceramic dinosaur – $7.00 per person 

Meet the Critters – $2.00 per person 

Add a second package – Save 30% on the lesser priced package 

Want more time for your party – Add an extra hour in the birthday area – $35.00 per hour 

Package #2 – Diggin’ the Dinosaurs

A party for the future paleontologist or dinosaur enthusiast.  Party Explorers will hike through the gardens where they will learn about the dinosaurs from their knowledgeable Expedition Leader.  Upon arrival at the dig site, Explorers will learn the proper technique for excavating a fossil, and then try their hand at uncovering a mock Allosaurus skeleton.

JMDC Family Membership – $120.00 for 10 children and 30 adults.  $10.00 for each additional child/$3.00 for each additional adult. 

Non-Members – $180.00 for 10 children and 25 adults.  $10.00 for each additional child/$5.00 for each additional adult. 

Choose from our many available add-ons. 

Upgrade to deluxe surprise bags – $2.00 per bag 

Dippin’ Dots – $3.50 per person 

Paint a ceramic dinosaur – $7.00 per person 

Meet the Critters – $2.00 per person 

Add a second package – Save 30% on the lesser priced package 

Want more time for your party – Add an extra hour in the birthday area – $35.00 per hour 

Package #3 – Strike it Rich! Gold Panning

Return to the days of early California with this wild west birthday adventure.  Participants will travel back to the Gold Rush Days of California.  Hear stories about the gold rush, learn panning techniques, then strike out to find some gold.  Keep the gems and minerals you discover.

JMDC Family Membership – $150.00 for 10 children and 25 adults.  $13.50 for each additional child/$3.00 for each additional adult. 

Cost (Non-Members)- $210.00 for 10 children and 25 adults.  $13.50 for each additional child/$5.00 for each additional adult. 

Choose from our many available add-ons. 

Upgrade to deluxe surprise bags – $2.00 per bag 

Dippin’ Dots – $3.50 per person 

Paint a ceramic dinosaur – $7.00 per person 

Meet the Critters – $2.00 per person 

Add a second package – Save 30% on the lesser priced package 

Want more time for your party – Add an extra hour in the birthday area – $35.00 per hour 

Package #4 – Storytelling with Pictographs

A party experience for creative folks of any age.  Party Explorers will experience the art of storytelling using pictures rather than words.  They will grind minerals into paint and, after a little practice, paint their story on wooden shingle using a yucca brush.

JMDC Family Membership – $130.00 for 10 children and 25 adults.  $11.00 for each additional child/$3.00 for each additional adult. 

Non-Members – $190.00 for 10 children and 25 adults.  $11.00 for each additional child/$5.00 for each additional adult. 

Choose from our many available add-ons. 

Upgrade to deluxe surprise bags – $2.00 per bag 

Dippin’ Dots – $3.50 per person 

Paint a ceramic dinosaur – $7.00 per person 

Meet the Critters – $2.00 per person 

Add a second package – Save 30% on the lesser priced package 

Want more time for your party – Add an extra hour in the birthday area – $35.00 per hour 

Package #5 – Paint a Dinosaur

This art oriented party is an excellent choice for children and adults alike.  Explorers can choose from a variety of premade dinosaur (or another ceramic figure) to paint, limited only by the imagination.  Our professional ceramics instructor will be there to offer tips and teach new painting techniques.  Each Party Explorer will take home a hand crafted work of art.  This package includes ceramic figure, paint and brushes.

JMDC Family Membership – $150.00 for 10 children and 25 adults.  $15.00 for each additional child/$3.00 for each additional adult. 

Non-Members – $210.00 for 10 children and 25 adults.  $15.00 for each additional child/$5.00 for each additional adult. 

Choose from our many available add-ons. 

Upgrade to deluxe surprise bags – $2.00 per bag 

Dippin’ Dots – $3.50 per person 

Paint a ceramic dinosaur – $7.00 per person 

Meet the Critters – $2.00 per person 

Add a second package – Save 30% on the lesser priced package 

Want more time for your party – Add an extra hour in the birthday area – $35.00 per hour 

 

Package #7 – Fossils Through Time

This party is designed for the celebrant who loves fossils.  Your party leader will take Explorers through the fossil time line.  Explorers will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with all types of fossils.  Conclude the fossil experience by polishing an ammonite to take home.

JMDC Family Membership – $150.00 for 10 children and 30 adults.  $13.50 for each additional child/$3.00 for each additional adult. 

Cost (Non-Members) – $210.00 for up to 10 children and 25 adults.  $13.50 for each additional child/$5.00 for each additional adult. 

Choose from our many available add-ons. 

Upgrade to deluxe surprise bags – $2.00 per bag 

Dippin’ Dots – $3.50 per person 

Paint a ceramic dinosaur – $7.00 per person 

Meet the Critters – $2.00 per person 

Add a second package – Save 30% on the lesser priced package 

Want more time for your party – Add an extra hour in the birthday area – $35.00 per hour 

Panther Chameleon

Rango has been part of the Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center Critter family for the past year.  His vibrant colors and his tong like feet which allow him to grip tight to narrow branches make him a favorite with Critter Corner visitors.

Panther Chameleons are native to Madagascar.  They live in tropical forests and bushes. Panther chameleons have very long tongues (sometimes longer than their own body length) which they are capable of rapidly extending out of the mouth.   At the tip of this elastic tongue, a muscular, club-like structure covered in thick mucus forms a suction cup. Once the tip sticks to a prey item, it is drawn quickly back into the chameleon’s mouth.

If you sponsor Rango, your donation will help to pay for his food and care.

Just $10.00 per month or $120.00 per year will contribute to Rango’s food and upkeep.

Package #8 – The Roswell Archaeology Experience

This is archaeology at a new level.  Excavate fossils and artifacts that may have been left by visitors from other planets.  You never know what you may find when exploring at JMDC. 

JMDC Family Membership – $120.00 for 10 children and 30 adults.  $10.00 for each additional child/$3.00 for each additional adult. 

Non-Members – $180.00 for 10 children and 25 adults.  $10.00 for each additional child/$5.00 for each additional adult. 

Choose from our many available add-ons. 

Upgrade to deluxe surprise bags – $2.00 per bag 

Dippin’ Dots – $3.50 per person 

Paint a ceramic dinosaur – $7.00 per person 

Meet the Critters – $2.00 per person 

Add a second package – Save 30% on the lesser priced package 

Want more time for your party – Add an extra hour in the birthday area – $35.00 per hour 

 

Package #9 – Create Your Own Birthday Party Experience

JMDC Staff will work with you to create a one-of-a-kind birthday experience.  Bring your big ideas and we’ll see what we can do!  

JMDC Family Membership – Price is quoted based on your imagination. 

Looking to make your party even more special? 

Choose from our many available add-ons. 

Upgrade to deluxe surprise bags – $2.00 per bag 

Dippin’ Dots – $3.50 per person 

Paint a ceramic dinosaur – $7.00 per person 

Meet the Critters – $2.00 per person 

Add a second package – Save 30% on the lesser priced package 

Want more time for your party – Add an extra hour in the birthday area – $35.00 per hour 

Volunteer Requirements

  • Enjoy people and interacting with others
  • Completed training and demonstrated comprehension of information and techniques
  • Have an interest in nature, or the willingness to learn
  • Have an open mind that is ready to learn and experience new things
  • Be willing to represent Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center in a friendly and professional manner
  • Be able to communicate clearly and calmly
  • Be responsible, committed, punctual, flexible and neat in appearance
  • Have free time to devote to the position

Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches

Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches can be found in tropical forests, near river banks, and around trees and logs. Their geographic range in limited to Madagascar.

In the wild, cockroaches consume various plant and animal matter. At Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center, we feed them greens, fruits, and vegetables.

Cockroaches can live from 2 – 5 years.

If you sponsor me and my family, your donation will pay for my food and care.

Just $5.00 per month or $60.00 per year will feed a family of Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches for one year.

Volunteer Application

Frilled lizard

Nigel is a hybrid ¾ New Guinea ¼ Australian Frilled Lizard; and the newest member of the Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center Critter family.  As a yearling, Nigel is still small.  When he is full grown, he will be about 24” long.  Nigel is an insectivore.  We feed him a diet of super worms, cockroaches, and crickets. 

Frilled lizards have a unique mode of defense.  When they are frightened, opens its pink or yellow mouth, and stands up on two back legs. It then pops up the large piece of colorful thin, extra skin surrounding its neck, like an umbrella. 

If you sponsor Nigel, your donation will help pay for his food and care.

Just $10.00 per month or $100.00 per year will contribute to Nigel’s food and care.

Motley Marble Golden Child Reticulated Python

Toby, is nearly two years old, and has called Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center home for the past year.  During his time here, Toby has grown from a mere 5-foot yearling to nearly 7 feet long.  When he is full grown, he can reach anywhere from 12 – 14 feet in length.   

Reticulated pythons are native to South Asia and Southeast Asia.  In their natural habitat a reticulated python will eat birds and mammals.  At Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center, Toby eats large rats.

If you sponsor Toby, your donation will help pay for his food and care. 

Just $20.00 per month or $240.00 per year will contribute to Toby’s food and upkeep.

Green Iguana

Zilla, our Green Iguana, came to live at Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center over three years ago when the family with whom she was living could no longer care for her.  She is one of our original Critter Corner residents.  Zilla loves to have her head scratched, and one of her favorite treats is blueberries.

The green iguana is native to South America and some portions of central and North America where it typically lives high up in trees in the rainforest. The iguana is mostly an herbivore, meaning that it likes to eat plants including leaves and fruit.  An interesting feature of green iguanas is their third eye. This is an extra eye on top of their head called a parietal eye. This eye is not quite like a normal eye, but it can help iguanas detect the movement of a predator sneaking up on them from above.

If you sponsor Zilla, your donation will help pay for her food and care.

Just $20.00 per month or $240.00 per year will contribute to Zilla’s food and upkeep.

California Rockhound

This expedition offers an excellent opportunity for Explorers to become familiar with the rock cycle.  Covered topics included rock formation from magma (igneous rocks), water and wind erosion (sedimentary rocks), and heat and pressure (metamorphic rocks). Also included is a discussion about the importance of rocks and minerals as a natural resource. Each Explorer receives a set of eight rocks and eight minerals to take home. 

Cost – $12.50 per person.

Meets CA Next Generation Science Standards – 2ESS1.C; 2ESS2.A; 2ESS2.C; 4ESS1.C; 4ESS2.A; 4ESS3.A; 4ESS3.B; 7ESS3.A;