2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA (1-4 November 2015)

Paper No. 259-5
Presentation Time: 4:50 PM


SMITH, Elliott, Geology and Geophysics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84098, STIRLING, Trinity, Geological and Environmental Sciences, California State University, Chico, CA 95929, BOODHOO, Thea, Biology, Merritt College, Oakland, CA 94619, JIMENEZ, Marie, Geosciences, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881 and CHURE, Daniel J., Dinosaur National Monument, National Park Service, Box 128, Jensen, UT 84035, elliottarmoursmith4@gmail.com

The world famous in-situ exhibit in the Carnegie Quarry at Dinosaur National Monument is the most famous locality in the world to view the remains of dinosaurs in their natural setting. The in-situ exhibit was created by the collaboration of paleontologists and National Park Service (NPS) employees spanning over seventy-five years. Shortly after the excavations of the Carnegie Quarry began, the great size of the fossiliferous deposit was realized, and paleontologist Earl Douglass expressed the idea of an in-situ exhibit. Early planning efforts within the NPS illustrated the struggles over the exhibit concept at Carnegie Quarry. The approaches debated included: 1) a suggestion that the bones be excavated, reassembled into articulated skeletons, attached to wooden panels, and mounted to the quarry face, and 2) a proposal to paint the in-situ bones with florescent paint so they would glow in the dark. NPS officials expressed the concern that the unexcavated portion of the quarry would become less fossiliferous down dip. One proposal was to use radar, a recently developed technology, to locate bones still hidden within the five meter thick sandstone bed. In the early 1950s paleontologist Ted White began and directed new relief work, partially under a temporary quarry shelter. A permanent Quarry Visitor Center would be opened in 1958. The Quarry Visitor Center belonged to Mission 66, an effort by the NPS to replace old visitor centers around the country with more architecturally sound and modern successors. The Quarry Visitor Center, designed by the architectural firm of Anshen and Allen, helped shape the interpretive plan for the National Park Service for Carnegie Quarry. More than thirty years of fossil relief work in the Quarry Visitor Center has brought the development of Carnegie Quarry exhibit to completion with the modern in-situ exhibit seen today.