2012 MAPS Expo photos

DSCN0757We took the sloth show on the road April 1 and travelled to Macomb, IL for the 2012 MAPS Expo.  Here’s a link to some of the photos.  Many thanks to my wife and veteran slother  Lynette who stepped in at the last minute to help out.  Tried out many of the lessons in the Museum’s upcoming traveling trunk of sloth fossil-prototypes.  Tremendous reception . . . Dave

Fossil show report

DSCN0048sm  Our sloth bone prototypes were a big hit at the  Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show  this passed weekend. Total attendance was  4,500.  Hundreds  stopped by the table to learn about the sloth  project and  60-70 stayed for the powerpoint talk.

Many thanks to the  Cedar Valley Rocks & Minerals Society for sponsoring the event, Steve Struckman, UI College of Engineering Prototyping Center for expediting fabrication of the prototypes, Tony Smith at the Hobby Corner for his skillful paint-job, and graduate assistant Youbing Yin, Iowa Comprehensive Lung Imaging Center for fixing the last-minute kinks in the STL files.  

The radius and ulna prototypes provoked no little amazement.  Stop by the museum for a lesson on how sloths moved their arms and to examine the other prototypes.  Sloth on! 

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Sloth programs this weekend

We’ll be at the Cedar Valley Rocks & Minerals Society Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show this Saturday and Sunday, March 19-20, at the Hawkeye Downs Expo Center in Cedar Rapids.  The theme of the show this year is Treasures From Iowa’s Ice Age.  We’ll be showing off our traveling trunk of sloth bone-prototypes from the UI Engineering Design and Prototyping Center, and speaking at 10:00 AM  Saturday and 2:30 PM  Sunday.   For more details

Missouri sloth program photos

 DSCN0233smA terrific turnout for our sloth program at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg,  MO November 16th. Many thanks to Dr. Adel Haj, Department of Biology and Earth Science, for sponsoring the event. We estimated attendance at 260– including some outstanding geology students and a very charming bunch of excited pre-schoolers.  Sadly, university administrators announced in November that they are eliminating the geoscience program.  Hard to believe they would rob their students of the opportunity to experience this kind of joy. . . . dave

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Sloth Program in Cedar Rapids Feb. 13

The Tarkio Valley Sloth  roadshow visits the Indian Creek Nature Center in Cedar Rapids Saturday, February 13 with a program entitled: Echos of Iowa’s Sloths. Starting time is 2 PM.

Ground sloths may be extinct but they aren’t dead. The footsteps of these recently departed elephant-sized Ice Age giants continue to echo through Iowa’s woodlands with important implications for today and the future. David Brenzel, former curator at the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History and co-principle investigator on the Tarkio Valley Sloth Project will discuss the excavation to recover the only Jefferson’s sloth family ever discovered, including the most complete adult and second-most complete juvenile of the species ever found, and research to-date. MEMBER:$3-NONMEMBER:$4 FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL 362-0664 .

Driving Directions

a halloween costume idea

Dress up as your favorite Ice Age ghost or orphan.

Thanks to Jan Ailes and the Cedar Rapids Indian Creek Nature Center for  sponsoring the Things that go Bump in the Night program again this year and the opportunity to tell guests more about ground sloths and their food.

Much fun had by one and all.

Watch the ICNC schedule for a  program about the Sloth Project this winter.

More  about Honeylocusts and other Ice age orphans. . . . Dave

Fossil Fest photos

Over 300 people attended the 1st annual Fossil Fest of Iowa Saturday at Washington High School in Cedar Rapids. Many thanks to organizers Don Johnson of the Eastern Iowa Paleontology Project and Bill Desmarais, the staff from the Museum of Natural History and the other presenters for the opportunity to show off the Tarkio Valley Sloth Project again.

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More photos in Flickr. . . . Dave

Fossil Fest of Iowa October 24

We’re taking the sloth on the road again Saturday, October 24, 2009, 9:30 AM-4:30 PM. This time to Washington High School in Cedar Rapids for the first annual Fossil Fest of Iowa. Dinosaurs are being featured this year with Mike Henderson, Curator of Earth Science  at  the fabulous Burpee Museum in Rockford, IL delivering the keynote address.  Speakers every hour starting at 10:00 AM will highlight a different aspect of  Iowa’s rich fossil record. . . the Tarkio Valley Sloth Project will be  featured at 1:00 PM.  More info.

CIMS sloth presentation

Holmes and I had a nice time at Drake University Friday night talking to the Central Iowa Mineral Society (CIMS) about the sloth project. We had an audience of about 40 enthusiasts. It’s always nice talking to people who understand the importance of the project instantly.  Thanks to Ed Peterson for the opportunity, making the arrangements and hosting us at the Drake Diner before the program.  See you guys at the next dig. . . . Dave

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Oct. 2 and Oct. 6 sloth talks

Holmes and I will be taking the sloth to Drake University in Des Moines Friday October 2  and presenting a powerpoint program entitled The Life and Death of the Tarkio Valley Giant Sloths.  The program starts at 7:30 PM in Meredith Hall Room 101, South Auditorium.   We’ll take a few bones to pass around and save plenty of time for questions.   The  program is sponsored by the Central Iowa Mineral Society and is free and open to all.    

Sarah Horgen and I will be at the Story County Conservation Center at McFarland Park near Ames on Tuesday October 6 to repeat the program for their Older, Wiser, Livelier Seniors (OWLS)  series.  The program begins at 11:00 AM.   For registration and information about the O.W.L.S. program, contact the Story County Conservation Center at 515-232-2516 (8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday).

SSTP outreach presentation

Holmes and I showed the sloths to an enthusiastic bunch of high school students last week and talked about paleontology as part of the University of Iowa’s Secondary Student Training Program (SSTP).  The 19 students, juniors and seniors, some from as far away as Florida and Texas, were on campus for 6 weeks participating in an intense immersion in science research, with the cooperation of  labs all across campus.  Thanks to William Swain, Director SSTP and JSHS programs, Division of Continuing Education, for making the arrangements.  We’re hoping to see a few of them at our next dig. . . . Dave

Shenandoah Open House

Carol Hornbuckle (left), Karen Beecher (middle), David Brenzel (right) at the Greater Shenandoah Historical Society

Carol Hornbuckle (left), Karen Beecher (middle) David Brenzel (right)

About 300 people came to see the toddler skeleton and  other special exhibits at the Open House  in the Greater Shenandoah Historical Society May 29-30.

Thanks to Harold Decuir, President of the Board of Directors, Sallie Brownlee, Museum Director, and the rest of the museum board and volunteers for hosting  us.

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