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Natural History Museum to celebrate National Fossil Day Saturday

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JOHNSON CITY (Oct. 17, 2013) – This Saturday is National Fossil Day, and free talks and other activities for all ages are planned at the East Tennessee State University and General Shale Natural History Museum.

“National Fossil Day is a great opportunity for us to partner with the National Park Service to talk about the importance of fossils and what they mean to scientific study,” said Dr. Blaine Schubert, museum director.

From 10 a.m.-4 p.m., visitors may “travel” through national parks and learn about rock layers in the Grand Canyon, the “dinosaur dance floor” at Denali National Park in Alaska, leaf fossils from the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument in Colorado, and more.  Children may also make their own casts of invertebrate fossils from Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico.

Talks include “A Natural History of Steele Creek Park and Surrounding Areas” by Jeremy Stout at 1 p.m., and “New Fossils from Old Fossil Beds: New Discoveries from John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Oregon” by Keila Bredehoeft at 3 p.m.  Both speakers are ETSU graduates and currently work at the parks about which they will talk.

National Fossil Day is a celebration organized by the National Park Service and the American Geological Institute (AGI) to promote public awareness and stewardship of fossils, as well as to foster a greater appreciation of their scientific and educational value.  The observance takes place during International Earth Science Week sponsored by the AGI.

The museum is located 1.8 miles off Exit 13 on Interstate 26.  For more information, call (866) 202-6223.  For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at (423) 439-8346.