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Contact: Paul Ollig, 541-987-2333
Kimberly, Oregon -On March, 10, 2011, John Day Fossil Beds National Monument debuted two new webcams. These webcams, which now broadcast continuous live image feeds from the Sheep Rock unit of the monument, will provide a brand new way for people to connect to the fascinating resources of the fossil beds. "Not only are these webcams interesting," says Paul Ollig, the park's chief of interpretation, "but the Sheep Rock Cam will enable anyone planning a trip to check the weather here at the Paleontology Center before they leave home."
The Paleontology Lab Webcam sets a new precedent in the National Park Service. No other national park webcam enables internet users to watch scientists work in real time from anywhere in the world. "We hope that people will really enjoy watching us prepare these amazing fossils," says fossil preparator Jennifer Cavin. "And it will give people a greater understanding and appreciation for all the different aspects of prepping the fossils we find in the field for study and display in the visitor center." Updates and explanations of what can be seen going on in the lab will be provided on the monument's facebook page (www.facebook.com/johndayfossilbeds) and twitter feed (www.twitter.com/jdfossilbedsnps).
"We recognize that not everyone will be able to take the long trip out here to enjoy the fossil beds," says Ollig. "Hopefully, these webcams will allow people to connect in their own way to the beauty and wonder of this place. And who knows? It may actually encourage folks who would never have thought of visiting to hop in their car and see this place for themselves!"
The webcams can be viewed by visiting the monument's website at www.nps.gov/joda and clicking on "webcams" under the quicklinks menu.