Celebrate National Fossil Day On October 17
October 14, 2012

National Fossil Day Promotes Public Awareness And Stewardship Of Fossils

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online

October 17, 2012 is National Fossil Day, sponsored by the National Park Service (NPS) and the American Geological Institute (AGI). This year is the third annual event, scheduled in conjunction with Earth Science Week.

The mission of National Fossil Day is to promote public awareness and stewardship of fossils. The NPS hopes to foster an appreciation of the scientific and educational value of fossil preservation and study.

"Fossils discovered on the nation's public lands preserve ancient life from all major eras of Earth's history, and from every major group of animal or plant. In the national parks, for example, fossils range from primitive algae found high in the mountains of Glacier National Park, Montana, to the remains of ice-age animals found in caves at Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. Public lands provide visitors with opportunities to interpret a fossil's ecological context by observing fossils in the same place those animals and plants lived millions of years ago."

Over 237 National Park Service areas preserve fossils.

Each year, the NPS hosts an Art and Photo Contest. This year, the theme for the contest was "Careers in Paleontology." The contest is already being judged for this year, and the winner's artwork will be displayed on the National Fossil Day website after October 16, 2012.

The 2012 Logo depicts a Mammoth, and each month this year the NPS is highlighting a "mammoth" partner. October's partner is The Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, SD.

There will be events at Bureau of Land Management and National Parks facilities across the nation. One of the largest will be held at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on October 17, from 10am to 2pm. There will be activities for all ages and educational levels, from becoming a Junior Paleontologist, washing/screening for your own fossils to an ancient version of the "Antiques Roadshow" where you can bring any fossils you have found to have them identified by experts.

Check your state to see if there is a National Fossil Day event near you.