Office of University Relations
SDSM& T News
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Phone: ( 605) 394- 6082/ 2554 • Fax: ( 605) 394- 6177
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December, 1 1999
DISCOVERY SCIENCE AWARD WINNER
TO SPEAK ON ANTARCTICA EXPIDITION AT MUSEUM OF GEOLOGY
Dr. James Martin, Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology for the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology will be the feature speaker for a benefit celebration at the Museum of Geology at 5: 30 PM on Friday, December 10. Ms. Janet Davison of South Dakota Public Radio will serve as moderator at the event.
Martin will present images and tales of his research expeditions to Antarctica when he discovered the fossilized remains of huge aquatic reptiles and dinosaurs in the remote Vega and Seymour Island of the Antarctica Peninsula area. He will have a sample of the actual fossilized remains he discovered on- hand for guests to view.
Martin and his scientific colleagues, found the tooth of a duck- billed dinosaur - the first such fossil ever discovered on the continent of Antarctica. In addition, they discovered a portion of a leg bone from the continent’s most ancient bird, and the remains of two giant marine reptiles, the mosasaur and plesiosaur and those of their young. The expedition was funded principally through the National Science Foundation’s Office of Polar Programs. The discovery of the fossilized remains provide evidence supporting the theory of an ancient land bridge connecting Antarctica to the Americas. This land bridge may have been used not only by dinosaurs but also by marsupial mammals in their emigration from the Americas to Australia via Antarctica when the continents were closer together.
Last month the Discovery Channel Europe and the Royal Geographical Society ( the UK counterpart to the National Geographic Society) presented Dr. Martin with the Discovery Science Award at an awards dinner held at the Royal Geographical Society ( with the Institute of British Geographers) in London, England. The Discovery Science Award recognizes major scientific achievements and highlights those individuals or teams whose work has pushed back the limits of our knowledge.
Martin, a native of Edgemont, South Dakota, received his Bachelor of Science in geology from SDSM& T in 1971, and his Master of Science in paleontology from SDSM& T in 1973. He went on to earn his PhD in geology from the University of Washington. Martin returned to South Dakota in 1979.
In addition to participating in expeditions to Antarctica, Martin also leads paleontology expeditions through the SDSM& T Museum of Geology each year. These are held in South Dakota, Wyoming, and Oregon and are open to the public.
If you would like more information about the benefit celebration featuring Dr. Martin, or would like to RSVP, contact the Museum of Geology at ( 605) 394- 2467.
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Devereaux Library. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.