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Menasha, Wis. (Oct. 27, 2015) – Dr. Joanne Kluessendorf, the director of the Weis Earth Science Museum at the University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley, was recently honored by the City of Wauwatosa, Wis. for her decades-long efforts to save the Schoonmaker Reef, a 425 million year-old fossilized reef in the Milwaukee suburb.

September 15 was proclaimed as “Dr. Donald G. Mikulic and Dr. Joanne Kluessendorf Day” in honor of Kluessendorf and geologist Donald G. Mikulic, for their outstanding research and preservation activities on behalf of the Schoonmaker Reef, which has resulted in the reef’s designation as a National Historic Landmark. The Wauwatosa Historic Preservation Commission also named a new award for historic preservation in honor of Kluessendorf and Mikulic.

Out of the 2,500 National Historic Landmarks in the United States, only 21 are located in Wisconsin. The Schoonmaker Reef is an important geologic site due to its role as the earliest fossil reefs recognized in North America. Kluessendorf and Mikulic’s long-term commitment to their work has greatly contributed to the geological community and educational programs to preserve the reef, and their day will serve as a reminder to all citizens to protect, enhance and enjoy the historic places in Wauwatosa.

Kluessendorf is the founding director of the Weis Earth Science Museum, which she designed and where she develops programs and exhibits to showcase Wisconsin geology.

For more information about the Weis Earth and Science Museum, visit


Sara Montonati
(920) 574-3253