GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, USA - 2016

Paper No. 182-4
Presentation Time: 8:50 AM


HUNT-FOSTER, ReBecca, UGLESICH, Jessica, KING, Sedona, STEGNER, Allison and MADALENA, Kevin M., Canyon Country District Office, Bureau of Land Management, 82 East Dogwood, Moab, UT 84532,

In 2010 the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) created a field-based paleontology position in the Canyon Country District in Southeastern Utah. BLM officials chose this area based on its world-renowned fossil resources and multiple-use activities that take place in this region, leading to a delicate balance between science, and other activities such as recreation, grazing, mineral extraction, and development. This position began in 2013, and with the assistance of yearly GeoCorps interns, has made incredible strides in protecting and preserving fossil resources using scientific principles and expertise, while developing and implementing plans to increase public awareness about the significance of paleontological resources. GeoCorps interns have uncovered new dinosaur tracksites, worked on dinosaur excavations, given tours and presentations, discovered and documented new fossils sites, monitored existing sites, and worked to improve publicly interpreted fossil areas. Projects have included the development of a GIS paleontology database, the creation of a Women in STEM Career Day for local high schools, working with area tribes to learn and understand how fossils play an important roll in our cultural landscape and regional mythology, teaching visitors to the Moab area about why fossils are important and need protection, and how to visit our numerous public fossil sites with respect. With the assistance of GeoCorps interns, the BLM Canyon Country Paleontology Program continues to thrive, creating a much needed paleontology field-based model for the rest of the BLM. The success of the district paleontology program has provided the precedent for other field/district offices to have their own staff paleontologists in the future.