A "PALEOCAMP" IN AN EARLY JURASSIC SAND SEA: OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUNG CITIZEN SCIENTISTS TO PRESERVE AND PROTECT AND ANCIENT TRACKSITE
Because the MSDT occurs in an active arroyo, the tracks are seasonally buried by sediments; creating a different experience each year for students doing paleoichnological and neoichnological studies. By uncovering new tracks, students provide additional pieces to the paleontological puzzle of the MSDT. Students use their observational skills and collect data to make interpretations about the dinosaurs, as well as provide suggestions on the future management of the site. This information is being incorporated with other scientific data to help understand the significance of this tracksite. Unique opportunities, such as these "Paleocamps," allow for a better understanding of the importance of paleontological resources and the value of these parts of America's Natural Heritage. This project improves scientific literacy and results in more stewards of paleontological resources on America’s public lands. Programs such as this follow federal mandates to increase public awareness of the significance of paleontological resources, and provide opportunities for the public to learn about and become more involved with their public lands.