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Editorial

Education


Making Discoveries


07/01/2007 - Our area has more to offer than our eyes can see. We have a treasure trove beneath our feet! Aside from the valuable resources of coal, oil and gas, we have ancient history.

Paleontologist Sean Smith from the Paleon (also known as the Glenrock Paleontological Museum) continues to uncover pieces from the past. "We are becoming a very important fossil resource of this region." shares Sean. He, along with his staff and volunteers, are dedicated

to this field of science and they share a long term goal of expanding for our benefit.

Teachers, and in turn students, can draw from Sean's expertise. He is a tremendous role model in observing natural science with keenness and curiosity. His enthusiasm is contagious.

With Sean, ranchers, geologists, construction workers and local residents who wonder about the exposed fossils they find can gain insight into their discoveries. As busy as Sean is with balancing his responsibilities on the field and in the museum, he takes time to answer

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Sean Smith turns over a jacket containing a Hadrosaur tailbone (click for larger version)
questions with thoughtfulness.

Visitors, either local or from other parts of the country, find their time at the Paleon very worthwhile. Some visitors who have been to impressive places such as the Smithsonian and the Carnegie Museum actually like the Paleon the best. Why? They said they could ask more

questions and experience more in-depth learning.

The Paleon, located at 506 West Birch Street in Glenrock, houses fossils from such dinosaurs as the Apatosaurus and three horned Triceratops, along with marine reptiles. Ninety percent of the fossils are from Wyoming and much of them are from Glenrock!

Confirmed by a Canadian scientist who specializes in Pleiosaurs, the Paleon has a new species to document. The bones are well articulated and preserved. The fossil can serve as a visual reminder to us that there is more to be discovered.

The Paleon offers day digs on their Glenrock field and week long digs with Sean's mentor, Dr. Robert T. Bakker. Part of the week long dig is spent on the field in Glenrock and the other part of the time at Como Bluff, Barnum Brown's old territory. These unique opportunities are

worth considering.

As part of the day digs and week long digs, time is spent in the cleaning room observing, identifying and cleaning fossils. Thanks to the generosity of the Daniel's Fund, the cleaning room is a safer and more efficient place to work.

The Paleon is open year round from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Come and get an informative tour from Sean's sweet wife Jessica. Meet volunteers such as Shirley Davis and Helen Popp who clean the fossils for display. Perhaps you will relate to Helen's comment, "It's so much fun here. I really don't want to leave at the end of the day."

Note: For more great discoveries, check out the Tate Museum at Casper College.

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