THE ARLINGTON ARCHOSAUR SITE, AN URBAN NORTH TEXAS EXCAVATION AS A SOURCE OF EDUCATION AND PUBLIC OUTREACH IN THE GEOSCIENCES
The AAS is worked regularly by interested volunteers, students and educators from North Texas schools, along with community youth groups. In 2012, the AAS outreach program expanded and became involved in the Earthwatch Institute’s SCAPS program, which gives high school students from urban areas a chance to do real field science. During the summer of 2012, the AAS hosted 12 students from the Los Angeles County school system. The students were given educational tours of the site, training in field methods and then allowed to work alongside AAS researchers. At the end of each day, the students wrote a daily field log and reported what they learned.
Outreach efforts by the AAS reach a wide audience by utilizing social media to announce dig dates, events, along with highlighting recent finds. This media approach in combination with the convenient urban location of the AAS is an educational benefit to the general public as well as for many underrepresented groups in the geosciences. The AAS presents an opportunity for the public to learn about paleontology and Texas natural history thus making science more accessible to diverse groups of learners.