Office of University Relations
SDSM& T News
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
( March 3, 1998)
" FOSSILS IN A GOLD MINE" EXHIBIT NOW ON DISPLAY AT SDSM& T
A new " Fossils In a Gold Mine" exhibit now on display at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology depicts the fossils that have been found in the Richmond Hill Limestone Quarry in the northern Black Hills. The exhibit was developed by students in the Museum Methods II class taught by Carrie Herbel, Collections Manager and Preparator for the SDSM& T Museum of Geology.
Items on display in the " Fossils In a Gold Mine" exhibit include a camel tooth, a camel ankle bone, a coyote skull, articulated squirrel front legs and a microfossil sample found at the Richmond Hill site. The students used latex molds developed for an exhibit at the Journey to make casts of the quarry limestone. The exhibit is located on the floor immediately below the Museum of Geology in the O'Harra Building next to the Enrollment Management Services Office.
The exhibit also recreates a fissure fill, a common geologic feature at the Richmond Hill Quarry in which many fossils of small animals have been found. The student geology majors who produced the exhibit were Brianna Griffith ( sophomore), Cayce Lillesve ( junior), and Jennifer Waggoner ( sophomore).
Field visits to Richmond Hill with Dr. Phil Bjork increased the students' strong interest in vertebrate paleontology. Over 40,000 bones from 10 different sites have been discovered at the Richmond Hill Quarry since excavation began in 1994 under Dr. Bjork's direction. LAC Minerals has provided generous and continuing support for the excavation work. The original discovery was nicknamed the Unwily Coyote Site because the remains of the extinct ancestor of our modern coyote are commonly preserved.
" The students have taken their excitement of discovery last summer into the classroom," said Dr. Phil Bjork, Director of the SDSM& T Museum of Geology. " They then translated it into a very good exhibit that introduces our work at the Richmond Hill sites. Museums are wonderful vehicles for learning."
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( Photos of the students and the exhibit are available upon request.)
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