Education and outreach are vital in our efforts to promote good stewardship, better understanding of the places we manage, and buy-in as to the values these resources hold for the American public. 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.
Education and outreach are vital in our efforts to promote good stewardship, better understanding of the places we manage, and buy-in as to the values these resources hold for the American public.
The Junior Paleontologist program engages young people in activities that allow them to discover the significance of fossils and the science of paleontology, and introduces them to the national park system and to the mission of the National Park Service. Go to the Junior Paleontologist Program site.
Learn about our nation's fossils at home or in the classroom with these paleontology themed activities. Some of the activities have a site-specific element that can be adapted for use at home or in the classroom. Go to the Educational Activities page.
National Fossil Day™
National Fossil Day is a celebration organized by the National Park Service and the American Geosciences Institute to promote public awareness and stewardship of fossils, as well as to foster a greater appreciation of their scientific and educational values. Go to the National Fossil Day website.
Official State Fossils
A great place to start learning about fossils is right in your "backyard", with your official state fossil. Go to the State Fossils list.
Earth Science Concepts: Geologic Time
The National Park System contains a magnificent record of geologic time because rocks from each period of the geologic time scale are preserved in park landscapes. Learn about geologic time through the Geologic Time education resource page.
Last updated: February 25, 2020