2007 GSA Denver Annual Meeting (28–31 October 2007)

Paper No. 11
Presentation Time: 4:20 PM


VEATCH, Steven Wade, Department of Earth Science, Emporia State University, Emporia, Kansas, KS 66801, MEYER, Herbert W., National Park Service, Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, PO Box 185, Florissant, CO 80816 and MIRANDA, Donald A.K, Friends of the Florissant Fossil Beds, Inc, Florissant, CO 80816, steven.veatch@gmail.com

The Friends of the Florissant Fossil Beds, Inc. (FFFB) was established in 1987 as a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization to assist the National Park Service in its mission to preserve and protect the natural and cultural resources of Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument. The FFFB is active in developing innovative informal (out-of-school) geoscience programs for enhancing educational, interpretive, and research activities, especially in paleontology. The FFFB has established a number of collaborative efforts with partners in the public and private sectors to advance these informal education programs. These programs provide the experience of learning and discovery through workshops, seminars, presentations, and other activities that offer a variety of learning experiences that improve the public's scientific understanding.

A summer seminar series provides professional development and educational opportunities, with graduate credit available for teacher recertification through Adams State College. Each summer the FFFB presents a keynote geology field trip that is technical in nature and investigates a significant regional site. These field trips, led by a scientific expert on the site, benefit area college students, regional scientists, and other interested parties. During the fall and winter, the Friends sponsor community science seminars for the general public at Colorado College. The FFFB supported the production of a film for visitors that interprets the geology, paleontology, and history of the park. A quarterly newsletter features articles on the science, nature, and history of the Monument and the region. The FFFB funds a paleontology internship to provide research and field experience for students. Funding has also been provided to support interns in other disciplines, paleontology graduate students, and professional researchers to contribute to original research at the Monument. A new partnership is planned with a similar nonprofit organization in Peru, which will aid in the preservation of a petrified forest site. New program initiatives will include increased connections with Earth science organizations, increased funding opportunities for informal education, and taking advantage of developing technologies to reach a wider audience in new ways.