Talking Fossils with Teachers at NAPC

by Michael Ziegler (@michael-ziegler)

NAPC 2019 at the University of California, Riverside campus was a tremendously productive conference in regards to presentations and networking. Supported by the FOSSIL project, I helped facilitate an hour long workshop that focused on implementing a lesson plan created by iDigFOSSILS teacher Dr. Elizabeth Lewis and myself. The taphonomy-based lesson plan utilized authentic paleontological research practices and 3D prints of Pleistocene megafauna to promote student inquiry. Providing background content and experience with scientific tools, workshop participants were able to determine the potential culprit of mysterious marks made on the fossils. All in all, the educational workshop successfully promoted the FOSSIL project and recruited some potential future outreach collaborations.

Moreover, the ability to attend NAPC 2019 allowed me to meet colleagues in person which are normally scattered across the country. This was particularly beneficial since Jeanette Pirlo (Florida Museum), Gabe Santos (Alf Museum), and myself are planning an educational & outreach workshop at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology 2019 meeting. Furthermore, analyzing the posters of other graduate students allowed my to better determine how I’d like to display my M.S. Thesis data. Talking with the poster presentation authors provided insight into best practices and created collaborative lines of communication. Thank you FOSSIL project for your assistance and making NAPC 2019 such a success!


Ziegler at the NAPC Teacher Workshop
Teachers examine 3D printed fossils at the NAPC teacher workshop.

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