First Annual Peace Region Palaeontology Symposium in Tumbler Ridge

On Saturday 23 May there will be an important milestone for Tumbler Ridge and the Peace Region: the first Palaeontology Symposium, building on the scientific and volunteer-driven work of the past nine years. Hosted jointly by the Peace Region Palaeontology Research Centre, the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation and the Tumbler Ridge Public Library, it will encompass numerous activities.

There will be a lecture series including six speakers, focussing not only on the importance and implications of the fossil finds in BC?s Peace Region, but also on what is happening across the border in Alberta, where a similar project is taking shape in Grande Prairie. Visiting guest speakers will present on two of British Columbia?s most important fossil phenomena: the Burgess Shale and the McAbee fossil beds. There will even be an international element with a presentation on fossil trackways and research from distant South Africa. These talks will be aimed at the general public with an interest in fossils and heritage, delivered in layman?s language. Talks begin at 10 a.m. in the Tumbler Ridge Community Centre.

The fourth annual Fossil Road Show will take place from 12-30 to 1-30 in the Library. Anyone is welcome to bring and display rocks from their collections for identification by expert palaeontologists and geologists. In the past these shows have sometimes led to the identification of important new fossil sites. A new feature this year is the presence of archaeologists on the panel, in case there is something of more recent interest on show.

Kids will be catered to with fun educational activities throughout the day: Dinosaur Jumble, casting of footprints, and removing fossils from sediment using electric scribes. Pre-registration is a must for these activities ? please call (250) 242-4778 or e-mail mburton@tumblerridgelibrary.org to register.

Weather and creek levels permitting, there will be guided tours to the dinosaur footprint site on Flatbed Creek, a four kilometre (return distance), moderately strenuous hike that takes just over an hour. Guided tours will be conducted periodically throughout the day to the newly opened Dinosaur Discovery Gallery in Tumbler Ridge (admission by donation) with donations gratefully accepted. Guided tours with commentary will also be available through the twenty-seven Museum Foundation exhibits in the Community Centre. These highlight the more recent history, through to the present day, of Tumbler Ridge and its surrounding area, including Monkman Pass.

There will be hamburgers and hotdogs outside the Community Centre for lunch, plus cotton candy for the kids. The swimming pool and skateboard park are close by, plus the many other amenities in the Community Centre.

This is day two of the Peace Region Museum hop: On Day (May 22) Fort St. John celebrates the Champagne Safari fundraiser. Day 2 (May 23) features the Palaeontology Symposium in Tumbler Ridge, and on Day 3 (May 24) Hudson?s Hope hosts ?Our Hudson?s Hope Cowboys: Packers on the Trail ? a 75th anniversary celebration of the 1934 Bedaux Expedition?.

The generous assistance of Peace River Coal in funding the visiting speakers is gratefully acknowledged. Any enquiries on the Peace Region Palaeontology Symposium can be directed to Richard McCrea or Lisa Buckley at (250) 242-4051.