Saturday, February 9, 2008

Fighting cutbacks at Dinosaur National Monument

Geotripper and Dinochick write that the National Park Service is consolidating its geology, paleontology, and museum work, replacing three positions with one, and outsourcing the research work. I'm not a paleontologist, so I don't know how critical it is to have in-house expertise at the Monument. I'm very sad, however, to learn that the visitor's center is closed - there are a lot of wonderful dinosaur displays in museums, but there's something special about seeing the bones right there, in the rock. For a geologist, seeing the bones in context is amazing - I can see the channel deposits, and the way the bones lie, and try to imagine what happened. And it's great to be able to see the real paleontologists at work down below the observation deck. It's inspirational to students, too, to see the real scientists at work (on DINOSAURS!).

(And on a personal note, as the parent of a preschooler who loves dinosaurs: I want to take him to see Dinosaur National Monument. I hope that paleontology is still a major part of the park when I finally get him up there.)

ReBecca at Dinochick Blogs has addresses for writing letters supporting the park.

(Since this is borderline political, let me add one statement: these opinions are my own, and do not represent the state of Colorado. This post was written on my own personal computer on a Saturday morning, so it does not constitute the use of Colorado state funds for a political purpose.)

1 comment:

margaret_imhof said...

Thanks for the posting! Getting the word out, and then letting the park officials know what you think is key. This approach is what saved the program in 2002 (yup, they've tried this before!).

your voice counts! see the link in the blog for addresses