Earth Science Week and National Fossil Day Events at Glen Canyon and Grand Canyon

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NATIONAL PARKS – The National Park Service and the American Geological Institute are once again partnering nationally to host the second annual National Fossil Day on Oct. 13 as part of Earth Science Week, Oct. 9-15.

Earth Science Week promotes understanding and appreciation of the value of earth science research and its applications and relevance to our daily lives.

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.

Events at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (which includes Lake Powell) will celebrate National Fossil Day with public programs on October 8, 2011.

Visitors are invited to participate in several fun activities led by rangers at the Carl Hayden Visitor Center on Oct. 8 from 12 to 3 p.m. Kids and adults can make dinosaur clay models, dig for dinosaur bones, earn a Jr. Paleontology badge, attend a special dinosaur painting watercolor workshop for beginners, and meet the park’s paleontologist for a talk about the center’s feathered therizinosaur exhibit.

Fossils preserved in the rocks of Glen Canyon NRA are evidence of the life and changes that occurred during the Mesozoic Era. The NPS preserves and protects these resources for future generations. Dinosaur tracks can be viewed at the Carl Hayden Visitor Center and the Wahweap District Ranger Office.

Events at Grand Canyon National Park

Superintendent Dave Uberuaga said, “Grand Canyon National Park is very pleased to offer special programs in recognition of Earth Science Week. The earth sciences are essential tools that the National Park Service uses to preserve and protect Grand Canyon. Participation in Earth Science Week is one way the Grand Canyon marks its heritage as the world’s most famous and most celebrated geologic locale.”

The park is a natural classroom and laboratory for the earth sciences, and is one of the world’s most well known and most scenic geologic landscapes.

Daily Fossil Walks will be offered from Oct. 9 through 15, beginning at 10 a.m. daily at the patio behind Bright Angel Lodge. Those joining the walks will visit a fossil bed containing the remains of a variety of marine organisms exposed near the rim of Grand Canyon. The programs will last approximately one hour and include an easy one-half mile walk.

Ranger evening programs offered during the week will be on the earth sciences. Evening Programs begin at 7 p.m. and last approximately one hour and are presented in the Shrine of the Ages Auditorium. Topics include the geology of the canyon, the age of Grand Canyon rocks, caves, and weather.

On Tuesday, Oct. 11, the park at the Grand Canyon will celebrate No Child Left Inside Day as part of Earth Science Week by offering a special family-oriented Fossil Walk at 4:30 p.m., meeting on the patio behind Bright Angel Lodge.

The Junior Paleontologist Program at the Grand Canyon, a self-guided activity booklet for kids ages 5-12, will also be available at Park Headquarters and Visitor Centers. Kids can learn about ancient life, complete fun activities, and explore some of the national parks that offer a look into the past in the Junior Paleontologist booklet. Upon completion, Junior Paleontologists will receive a Junior Paleontologist badge.


For information on Glen Canyon NRA, telephone 928-628-6404 or visit its website.  Additional information on the fossils at Glen Canyon NRA can also be found on its website at the page linked here.

To learn more about Earth Science Week activities at Grand Canyon National Park, please contact Allyson Mathis, Science and Education Outreach Coordinator, at (928) 638-7923, or Donna Richardson, Deputy Chief of Interpretation at (928) 638-7835, or visit its website on the subject.

You can also follow Grand Canyon National Park’s celebration of Earth Science Week on Twitter. Park staff will be posting park geology-related information on Twitter throughout the week.

Grand Canyon Association, the official nonprofit partner of Grand Canyon National Park, will have a special sales promotion of 20% off selected geology titles in their bookstores and online. Proceeds from sales benefit the educational, scientific, historical and research efforts of the National Park Service.

And for information on the Junior Paleontologist Program and additional educational resources related to National Fossil Day at National Parks generally, please visit the NPS website on National Fossil Day.

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