Paper No. 2
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM
CONTRIBUTIONS BY PALEONTOLOGY GEOCORPS INTERNS TO SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH, RESOURCE PROTECTION, AND PUBLIC OUTREACH AT FLORISSANT FOSSIL BEDS NATIONAL MONUMENT
Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument has sponsored more than 40 paleontology interns since 1997, most of them through the GSA GeoCorps program. These interns have contributed significantly to the monument’s paleontology program. Projects have included inventory and monitoring of fossil sites, paleontological excavations, collections management and curation, scientific research, investigation of methods for preserving fossil stumps and stabilizing fossils in delicate paper shale, curriculum development, website creation, exhibit preparation, public outreach, preparation of funding proposals, digital photography of fossil collections, proposing sites for GeoPark inclusion, and creation of a wide array of databases. Many interns have had continued involvement following their internship and have gone on to complete theses and/or published papers in peer-reviewed journals. The monument has funded projects with several universities to support this follow-through work, thus providing support for the completion of larger-scope research projects that were initiated during the internships. Participants acquire practical experience in paleontological resource management, which is rarely covered in academic programs. Such practical experience is potentially valuable for future employment in government agencies as well as in environmental consulting. The internships also help students define their future professional and educational directions. Contributions by GeoCorps interns have provided benefits to both the student interns and the monument and have helped advance paleontological research at the monument.