Grand Canyon National Park to Celebrate Earth Science Week October 10 thru 16, 2010
Contact: Maureen Oltrogge, 928-638-7779
Contact: Allyson Mathis, 928-638-7923
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 10 – 16, 2010. The highlight of the week's activity is the grand opening of the Trail of Time, a geologic exhibit, on Wednesday, Oct 13. Special interpretive programs, including fossil walks, evening programs, and a guided fossil hike on the Hermit Trail will round out the park's celebration of Earth Science Week.
Earth Science Week promotes understanding and appreciation of the value of earth science research and its applications and relevance to our daily lives.
National Fossil Day is Wednesday, October 13 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.
The feature event of Grand Canyon's celebration of Earth Science Week will be the ribbon cutting for Trail of Time at 2:30 p.m., on Wednesday, October 13 adjacent to Verkamp's
Superintendent Steve Martin said, "
In addition to the Trail of Time Grand Opening,
On Tuesday, October 12, 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.
Several evening programs offered during the week will be on the earth sciences. On Monday, October 11, Science and Resource Management Outreach Coordinator Allyson Mathis presents "Clocks in Rocks: How Geologists Tell Time," On Tuesday, October 12, geologist and author Wayne Ranney presents "Ancient Landscapes of the Colorado Plateau." On Friday, October 15, Dr. Karl Karlstrom, Dr. Laura Crossey, and Ryan Crow of
On Saturday, October 16, a special ranger-guided hike on the Hermit Trail will stop at three fossil beds. Participants can view marine fossils in the Kaibab Limestone near the trailhead, vertebrate tracks in the Coconino Sandstone approximately 1 mile (and 1000 ft) down the trail, and fern fossils at 1.75 miles (and 1,400 ft) below the rim.
Participants can join the hike for one, two or all three fossil beds, and hike up on their own. Plan on one hour to view the Kaibab fossils, three hours roundtrip for the vertebrate tracks, and five hours for the entire hike. The Hermit Trail is very steep. Each participant should wear hiking shoes, and bring water and food. Hiking poles, hats and sunscreen are recommended. Meet at the Hermit Trailhead. To arrive on time for this program, board the free Hermits Rest shuttle bus by 8:00 a.m.
During Earth Science Week, an exhibit on Earth Science Week and fossils will be on display in Park Headquarters and in the
The Grand Canyon Association, the official nonprofit partner of Grand Canyon National Park, will also be offering a 20 percent discount on related merchandise in their bookstores from October 8 – 17, to help promote Earth Science Week.
To learn more about Earth Science Week activities at
Did You Know?
The more recent Kaibab limestone caprock, on the rims of the Grand Canyon, formed 270 million years ago. In contrast, the oldest rocks within the Inner Gorge at the bottom of Grand Canyon date to 1.84 billion years ago. Geologists currently estimate the age of Earth at 4.5 billion years.