“Temperature patterns during Earth’s last prolonged global “hot spell”–the Pliocene, some 5.3 to 2.6 million years ago–differed dramatically from those of modern times.” Quoted from the NSF press release.
“A paleontological expedition to the Tugen Hills in Kenya, led by LMU’s Professor Bettina Reichenbacher, has discovered assemblages of fossil fish at eight previously unexplored localities. “Not only is it very rare to uncover so many specimens of fossil fish, those we have found are also very well preserved,” says Reichenbacher.” Quoted from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München press release.
Last month the Arizona Geological Survey published a new Geologic Map of Petrified Forest National Park. Instead of charging people $25 or more as geological surveys have traditionally done for a paper map, AZGS made it available for free downloading on their website. The result was 1100 downloads in a couple of weeks. It might have taken years or decades to “sell” that many maps.
Now anybody anywhere can learn about petrified forest geology at any time without charge as long as they can use an internet connection. Isn’t this a great way to fulfill the duties of a geological survey?
Divide project costs by the number of people who will be educated by a downloadable product and compare that to print publication. Which will have a lower cost per person educated?
The Arizona Geological Survey has released a new Geologic Map of Petrified Forest National Park. The map is accompanied by a booklet that contains information about the geologic setting of the Park, its historical geology, stratigraphy, descriptions of mapped rock units and macrofossil occurrences.
This video provides an overview of the 2013 Tucson Gem and Mineral Show – one of many mineral shows that will be held in Tucson in January and February. The VisitTucson.com website had a large listing of shows.
“A new species of coelacanth fish has been discovered in Texas. Pieces of tiny fossil skull found in Fort Worth have been identified as 100 million-year-old coelacanth bones.” Quoted from the Southern Methodist University press release.
Petrified Forest National Park is the most famous location in the world for observing petrified wood. It is one of several government and private parks in the United States that feature petrified wood.
The Smithsonian has collected more than 142 million objects. From rocks to rockets, from baseball cards to brontosaurus bones. That puts them in a great position to advise kids who want to start collecting rocks, minerals, fossils or other interesting objects.
“A colony of voracious flesh eating beetles at the University of Texas at Austin are busy every night turning roadkill into one of the spookiest collections on campus. Tour the Skeletal Preparation Laboratory and learn how this centuries old technique continues to yield new information for paleontologists and biologists.” Quoted from The University of Texas at Austin press release.
Middle school students in Texas study dinosaur trackways to learn about the environment and behavior of dinosaurs. The trackway along the shoreline of Grapevine Lake is usually under water but is currently exposed because of a drought.
“In the late 1800s, a flurry of fossil speculation across the American West escalated into a high-profile national feud called the Bone Wars. Drawn into the spectacle were two scientists from the Lone Star State, geologist Robert T. Hill, now acclaimed as the Father of Texas Geology, and naturalist Jacob Boll, who made many of the state’s earliest fossil discoveries.” Quoted from the Southern Methodist University Research Blog.
Insects preserved in rock are normally pressed to a flat smear while insects in amber often have more three-dimensional detail. Researchers in Italy discovered two species of gall mites in 230-million-year-old amber.
“While paleontologists have already discovered many Triceratops specimens from the United States, Canadian paleontologists made headlines last week when they found what appears to be an especially big representative of this famous dinosaur in Alberta.” Quoted from the Smithsonian Blog.
Earth Science Week has released their Newsletter for August, 2012. It has lots of teaching ideas for K-12 teachers to use during Earth Science Week (October 14-20, 2012) or at any time.
* Ordering Earth Science Week Toolkits
* AGI’s New Center for Geoscience Education
* National Fossil Day Contest
* Papers on Climate by Pre-College Students
* Earth Science Week 2012 Contest
* Fourth Annual Women in Geosciences Day
* Learn How to Protect Your Groundwater
As part of their “National Fossil Day” celebration on October 17th the National Park Service will select winners of an art and photography contest.
“Artwork may include a photo, painting, drawing, or watercolor. Explore the wide variety of careers that one can pursue relating to the field of paleontology – on a dig, in the classroom, at a museum, though technology, or in other ways. Artwork must be flat and should focus on a paleontological job is, what it accomplishes, and how it relates to fossils. The contest is open to any U.S. resident. Entries must be postmarked by October 5, 2012.” Quoted from the National Park Service announcement.
“Global warming may cause more extinctions than predicted if scientists fail to account for interactions among species in their models. [...] research has shown that top consumers — predators and herbivores — have an especially strong effect on many other species.” Quoted from the Yale press release.
“Conventional wisdom is that it took about five million years for life to recover from the events that led to the extinction. However, it remains unclear as to what the environmental factors were that made it so difficult for life to reestablish itself.” Quoted from the Bryn Mawr College press release.
“The National Park Service’s Junior Paleontologist program seeks to engage young people in activities that allow them to discover the significance of fossils and the science of paleontology, introduces them to the national park system, and to the mission of the National Park Service.”
The Junior Paleontologist Program also has an activity book that you can download and print for non-commercial, educational use.