2004 Denver Annual Meeting (November 7–10, 2004)

Paper No. 8
Presentation Time: 10:15 AM


THOMPSON, Kristine M., Geology, Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, S.D, PO Box 698, Hot Springs, SD 57747, kmt1@mammothsite.com

The Mammoth Site is a natural trap of Pleistocene fauna located in the southern Black Hills in South Dakota. The Site, which encloses a mammoth graveyard and laboratories, is a superlative setting for the delivery of multi-grade lessons, workshops, and internship opportunities.

The Mammoth Site mission establishes a commitment for significant contribution to public education. Informal, voluntary modes of education have gained enormous credibility and popularity among people of all ages. A highly educated population of baby boomers has the inclination and spending power to make learning a lifelong process, while a generation of retirees is looking for productive ways to spend their leisure time. At the same time, the nation’s educational system, from elementary school through university level, has come under fire and reformers are examining opportunities for cooperation with alternative educational institutions. The Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, South Dakota, Inc. is dedicated to providing educational opportunities for these diverse audiences. In order to reach as many students as possible, we offer a variety of delivery techniques: on site activities, traveling kits, outreach visits to classrooms, participation in science fairs, an internship program, and distance learning videoconferencing. Established educational programs have been instrumental to the success of the Mammoth Site. An internship program, aimed at undergraduate and graduate students pursuing a vocation in paleontology, was implemented in 2002. This program allows students to gain experience and skills in preparation, conservation, interpretation, and museum store operations. Currently, projects are in various stages of development to extend and enhance the educational choices available at this exceptional paleontological site. This includes object-based learning which distinguishes the technique of teaching at the Mammoth Site. In all programs, interactive learning methods introduce models, objects, and representations.

The Mammoth Site, a world class paleosite, strives to provide life-long learning opportunities through many modes of delivery. We look forward to additional programs utilizing the distinctive resources of the Mammoth Site and the region.