National Fossil Day

National Fossil Day Logo

As I wrote in a past blog post,  fossil hunting can be a great way to explore.  Perhaps you haven’t heard, there is a special day for it – National Fossil Day.  This year it is, October 11, 2017.  The first Fossil Day was created in 2010 by the American Geological Institute and the National Park Service.  They wanted everyone to join paleontologists, educators, and students in fossil-related events and activities across the country in parks, classrooms, and online during National Fossil Day.  It’s the same idea this year.



This year, more than 300 partners, including museums, federal and state agencies, fossil sites, science and education organizations, avocational groups, and national parks including Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Cuyahoga Valley National Park. and Petrified Forest National Park will sponsor special events.



Fortunately the organizers are not hung up on the particular date.  Being a Wednesday,  many people will not be able to participate, so many events are scheduled throughout the week.

You can join paleontologists from National Fossil Day partners, including the National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, American Geosciences Institute, and Maryland Dinosaur Park, for a special marquee event on October 11 in Washington DC. Explore prehistoric life in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History’s “The Last American Dinosaurs” exhibit and Q?rius lab, sift for fossils with paleontologists, travel through time in an interactive photo booth, and more. The event takes place on the National Mall between 9th and 12th Streets from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

National Fossil Day is an official focus day of Earth Science Week! Educators can schedule a field trip at a park or museum or download lesson plans. National parks that have in-park fossil field trip opportunities or in-class projects include Grand Canyon National Park, Curecanti National Recreational Area, and Cumberland Island National Seashore.

Kids can earn a Junior Paleontologist badge by downloading a book and completing fun fossil activities. Books are also available at many National Park Service sites that have fossil resources.  The Park Service encourages you to inspire others to learn more about fossils by posting your National Fossil Day experience on social media using “#NationalFossilDay”. Share something you learned, a picture of your favorite fossil or fossil site, or your meeting with a paleontologist.

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