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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
( August 3, 1998)
KLAMATH FALLS TEACHERS DIG FOR DINOSAUR FOSSILS WITH SOUTH DAKOTA PALEONTOLOGISTS
A group of Klamath Falls teachers spent part of their summer in the Black Hills of South Dakota digging for dinosaur fossils with paleontologists from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology ( SDSM& T), Rapid City, South Dakota. Led by Pat Ward, a high school science teacher in Klamath Falls, the group traveled to South Dakota with financial assistance from an Eisenhower grant.
The teachers received hands- on, fossil digging experiences in the Black Hills of South Dakota that they can use in developing curricular materials and teaching strategies for earth science and geology. In addition to Pat Ward, the participating teachers from Klamath Falls included Thomas Dyer, Jamie Hawkins, Mike Hodge, Jim Kochenderfer, Linda Kehr, Doug Matheson, and David Myers.
“ My reasons for participating in this dig were simple,” said elementary teacher Jamie Hawkins. “ I wanted to further my own personal knowledge in the field of paleontology, gain information and pictures to share with my students, and also bring back information to help get my fellow works more involved with a different type of science.”
Under the direction of Dr. James Martin, Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology for the SDSM& T Museum of Geology, the field dig at an important paleontological site near Sundance, Wyoming, focused on excavating adult and juvenile Allosaurus fossils. Allosaurs were flesh- eating dinosaurs from the Jurassic age that were approximately 36 feet long and walked semi- upright on their hind legs. The teachers also participated in the excavation of vertebrate Miocene- era mammals at the Flint Hill site in western South Dakota.
Elementary teacher Linda Kehr, who previously lived in the Black Hills for seven years, took part in the field dig because of a desire to see the Black Hills from a new angle and also to learn more about paleontology that she could share with her elementary students. “ I participated in the field digs to increase my knowledge of fossils and the steps in the process of evaluation, as well as to increase my ability to make this part of science come alive in my classroom,” added Doug Matheson.
Each summer SDSM& T’s field paleontology program attracts students, teachers and others from across the nation. The public can participate on a limited, space- available basis. “ As a high school earth science and geology teacher, it was a great experience,” concluded David Myers.
To obtain additional information about SDSM& T’s field paleo program, individuals should contact Dr. Philip Bjork, SDSM& T Museum of Geology, at 1- 800- 544- 8162, ext. 2467, or via email: pbjork@ msmailgw. sdsmt. edu.
Photo Caption: Klamath Falls teachers excavated for dinosaur and mammal fossils at field digs directed by paleontologists from the SDSM& T Museum of Geology. Pictured left to right are: ( 1st row) Jamie Hawkins, Pat Ward, Mike Hodge, Linda Kehr, and Thomas Dyer; ( 2nd row) Jim Kochenderfer, Doug Mathesen, David Myers and Dr. James Martin, SDSM& T Museum of Geology. ( Photo courtesy of SDSM& T University & Public Relations)
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