National Park Service and the American Geological Institute are partnering to host the first National Fossil Day on October 13, 2010 during Earth Science Week. National Fossil Day is a celebration organized to promote public awareness and stewardship of fossils, as well as to foster a greater appreciation of their scientific and educational value.
This year’s Earth Science Week toolkit includes a “Fossils of the National Parks” poster, featuring a map showing more than 228 parks managed by the National Park Service that contain fossils. The poster also includes a “How to be a Paleontologist” classroom activity.
Fossils discovered on the nation’s public lands preserve ancient life from all major eras of Earth’s history, and from every major group of animal or plant. In the national parks, for example, fossils range from primitive algae found high in the mountains of Glacier National Park, Montana, to the remains of ice-age animals found in caves at Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. Public lands provide visitors with opportunities to interpret a fossil’s ecological context by observing fossils in the same place those animals and plants lived millions of years ago.
Earth Science Week theme, “Exploring Energy”.
National Fossil Day is being promoted through partnerships with professional organizations, government agencies, and other groups. Supporters include the Arizona Museum of Natural History, the Association of American State Geologists, the International Palaeontological Association, the Museum of Western Colorado, National Association of Geoscience Teachers, National Earth Science Teachers Association (NESTA), National Park Foundation, National Parks Conservation Association, Paleontological Research Institution (PRI), Utah Friends of Paleontology and Utah Geological Survey. Representatives from NESTA and PRI are also assisting with planning.
On October 13, paleontologists and park rangers will share fossil discoveries at special events nationwide and explain the importance of preserving fossils where they are found, so that everyone can share a sense of discovery!
To learn more, visit the National Fossil Day website or send a message to National_Fossil_Day@nps.gov. Join in the celebration of National Fossil Day today!
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