Media Advisory: UB Geology’s favorite groundhog to check for his shadow — one day early

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Ridge Lea Larry, the taxidermied groundhog, will be the guest of honor at the UB geology department’s annual Groundhog Day cookout

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Ridge Lea Larry, the taxidermied groundhog, will get a jump on his groundhog peers this year by checking for his shadow on Feb. 1, one day early.

UB’s beloved weather predictor is anticipated, as usual, to be the guest of honor at the Department of Geology’s annual Groundhog Day cookout. The event will be held on Friday, one day before the actual holiday, as Groundhog Day falls on a Saturday this year.

UB geologists have been lighting up the barbecue — rain, sleet, snow or shine — nearly every February since 1983, when UB geology staffer Dave Borden first brought his grill and groundhog to work to mark Groundhog Day.

When: 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 1

Where: The glass corridor leading from Cooke Hall into the Dorsheimer Greenhouse on UB’s North Campus. Campus maps show Cooke Hall and Dorsheimer.

Who: The cookout is open to members of the UB community. It draws a large crowd of geology students, staff and faculty. Ridge Lea Larry — the taxidermied groundhog — will be on-site with his handler, Borden.

A beloved UB tradition: Held almost every year since 1983, the cookout has become a cherished winter tradition for the Department of Geology, part of the UB College of Arts and Sciences.

Faculty and students in the department range from volcanologists who melt their own lava to paleoclimatologists who camp out in the Arctic to study the history of climate change. They’re a tough bunch, so it’s no surprise that they get together to grill in the middle of a Western New York winter.

This year’s barbecue will feature hot dogs, hamburgers, veggie burgers, chips, soda, fun conversation, smiles and laughs. Cookies in the shape of groundhogs are expected.

For information on the history of the annual cookout, visit At Buffalo, UB’s alumni magazine:

For a story and photos of last year’s grilling, visit UBNow, UB’s faculty and staff news source:

The Groundhog Day cookout opens a weekend of fun for the geology department. The event is part of the department’s Alumni Day, which also includes lab tours, career development sessions, research posters and talks by faculty and a featured alumnus.

Festivities will continue at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2, with the 7th annual UB Geology Rock Trot, a 5-kilometer run, jog or walk at Delaware Park that’s free and open to UB students, faculty and staff in any department. To RSVP for the Rock Trot and receive a map showing the meeting location, contact Jason Briner, professor of geology, at [email protected].

The department’s winter party, organized by geology student clubs, takes place later that evening at Pearl Street Grill & Brewery in downtown Buffalo.