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

Paper No. 13
Presentation Time: 11:30 AM


WOLIN, Jeff1, SPARKS, Kelly2, MEYER, Herbert W.1 and LUTZ-RYAN, Linda3, (1)Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, P.O. Box 185, Florissant, CO 80816, (2)Southern Colorado Geodata Lab, Univ of Colorado at Colorado Springs, 1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway, Dept. GES Mailbox COB2, Colorado Springs, CO 80918, (3)National Park Service Intermountain Region, P.O. Box 25287, Denver, CO 80225, jeff_wolin@nps.gov

Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument preserves much of the world-class Florissant Formation. The National Park Service is tasked with preserving this significant fossil assemblage for scientific research and educating the public about the importance of these fossil resources.

Previously, Florissant Fossil Beds N.M. has focused many efforts on designing curriculum-based activities for the K-12 levels. The recent completion of the on-line Florissant Fossil Database, which documents all published specimens from Florissant, has led to an opportunity to reach higher level audiences. The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument are currently in the process of creating an internet-based college paleontology curriculum that is based upon the fossil database. The course design will be a series of interactive research labs based upon the following subject areas: process of science, geologic history, climate change, fossil insect and plant identification, taxonomy, and paleontology. The labs are closely tied to the fossil database and will use “specimens” from the database. Each interactive lab is designed to be completed at one sitting (45 minutes).

This on-line course will greatly expand the Monument’s capabilities to reach advanced students. Each year, the Monument is visited by hundreds of college students. These on-line units will provide students and professors with meaningful pre-trip or post-trip activities. In addition, students that may never reach the Monument will be able to explore the Florissant Formation. The course, as a whole, is designed for geology students at the introductory level with an interest in paleontology. Some of the labs will be practical for more advanced geology and paleontology students.