National Park Service
TULE SPRINGS FOSSIL BEDS NATIONAL MONUMENT News Release
For Immediate Release: April 8, 2015
NEVADA’S NEWEST NATIONAL PARK NAMES TEMP SUPERINTENDENT, PLANS FIRST CLEANUP
LAS VEGAS - The National Park Service’s Senior Geologist and Paleontologist, Vince Santucci, is calling Southern Nevada home for 90 days as he serves as the Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument’s first Superintendent.
Congress established the park as a unit of the National Park Service Dec. 19, 2014, to protect and interpret the nationally important paleontological, scientific, educational and recreational resources in the park.
Santucci explored Tule Spring Fossil Beds several times before the monument was established and is excited about the opportunity to setup a new park.
“Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument is the first area of the National Park Service specifically dedicated to the preservation, public education and scientific study of Ice Age fossils,” said Santucci. “The new monument fills an important gap in the fossil record represented by the national parks.”
The highly published paleontologist began his 23-year career with the park service as an interpretive ranger in Badlands National Park in South Dakota. He continued his career in the resources management divisions at Petrified Forest National Park and Grand Canyon National Park.
He then went on to serve as a commissioned law enforcement ranger for 16 years, including as Chief Rangers at Fossil Butte National Monument and George Washington Memorial Parkway.
With a bachelor of arts in anthropology and biology and a master of science in geology and paleontology from University of Pittsburgh, Santucci has served as the National Park Service’s Senior Geologist and Paleontologist since 2011.
He arrived at Tule Springs Fossil Beds March 23, and will serve on a temporary detail for 90 days.
“The enthusiasm about the new monument extends well beyond the Las Vegas Valley into classrooms and museums around the country,” he said. “In this spirit, we hope to create an ‘Ice Age Paleontological Park’ which draws visitors from around the world.”
Santucci will have the opportunity to work even more closely with the community April 11, as he hosts the park’s first volunteer cleanup. Around 50 local residents who fought for years to establish the park will meet at the park’s boundaries to pick up litter that has been dumped among the ice age fossils.
“There are a few locations within the monument where the fossil-rich layers are concealed beneath illegally discarded trash and other debris. The upcoming cleanup will be the first of many such efforts to restore the natural landscape of Tule Springs for the benefit and enjoyment of our visitors, researchers and area wildlife,” said Santucci.
To volunteer to participate in the cleanup, please call 702-293-8714 to pre-register.
Last updated: April 11, 2015