Grand Canyon, Ariz. – Grand Canyon National Park will celebrate Earth Science Week and National Fossil Day by offering a variety of special programs and events during the week of October 9 – 15, 2011. Earth Science Week promotes understanding and appreciation of the value of earth science research and its applications and relevance to our daily lives. Grand Canyon National Park is an ideal place to celebrate Earth Science Week, as the park is a natural classroom and laboratory for the earth sciences, and is one of the world’s most well known and most scenic geologic landscapes.
National Fossil Day is Wednesday, October 12 and is a part of Earth Science Week. National Fossil Day is a celebration organized by the National Park Service to promote public awareness and stewardship of fossils, as well as to foster a greater appreciation of their scientific and educational values.
Grand Canyon National Park will offer a variety of other special programs to commemorate Earth Science Week. Daily Fossil Walks will be offered from Sunday, October 9 through Saturday, October 15. Fossil Walks begin at 10:00 a.m., meet at the patio behind Bright Angel Lodge and will visit a fossil bed containing the remains of a variety of marine organisms exposed near the rim of Grand Canyon. The programs will last approximately one hour and include an easy ½ mile walk.
Ranger evening programs offered during the week will be on the earth sciences. Evening Programs begin at 7:00 p.m. and last approximately one hour and are presented in the Shrine of the Ages Auditorium. Topics include the geology of the canyon, the age of Grand Canyon rocks, caves, and weather.
On Tuesday, October 11, the park will celebrate No Child Left Inside Day as part of Earth Science Week by offering a special family-oriented Fossil Walk at 4:30 p.m., meeting on the patio behind Bright Angel Lodge.
The Junior Paleontologist Program, a self-guided activity booklet for kids ages 5 through 12, will also be available at Park Headquarters and Visitor Centers. Kids can learn about ancient life, complete fun activities, and explore some of the national parks that offer a look into the past in the Junior Paleontologist booklet. Upon completion, Junior Paleontologists will receive a Junior Paleontologist badge.
Grand Canyon Association, the official nonprofit partner of Grand Canyon National Park, will have a special sales promotion of 20% off selected geology titles in their bookstores and online at http://www.grandcanyon.org/. Proceeds from sales benefit the educational, scientific, historical and research efforts of the National Park Service.
Superintendent Dave Uberuaga said, “Grand Canyon National Park is very pleased to offer special programs in recognition of Earth Science Week. The earth sciences are essential tools that the National Park Service uses to preserve and protect Grand Canyon. Participation in Earth Science Week is one way the Grand Canyon marks its heritage as the world’s most famous and most celebrated geologic locale.”
You can also follow Grand Canyon National Park’s celebration of Earth Science Week on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/GrandCanyonNPS. Park staff will be posting park geology-related information on Twitter throughout the week.
To learn more about Earth Science Week activities at Grand Canyon National Park, please contact Allyson Mathis, Science and Education Outreach Coordinator, at (928) 638-7923, or Donna Richardson, Deputy Chief of Interpretation at (928) 638-7835, or visit http://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/earth-sci-week.htm.