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Recent Press Releases:

Natural History Museum Responds to Evolution Debate

A Romance with Spiders: Spider Biology and Behavior

Fossil Collecting Field Trip on September 10th

On the Trail of Devonian Goniatite Cephalopods in NYS

Museum of the Earth OFFERING free program on Evolution

James Potorti Gorge Walk Series: Taughannock State Park

Major Art Exhibit Opening at the Museum of the Earth!

Fossil Collecting Field Trip Saturday, August 13

James Potorti Gorge Walk Series: Watkins Glen State Park

The Condensed History of the Universe

James Potorti Gorge Walk Series: Buttermilk Falls State Park

Museum of the Earth offers Free public tours!

James Potorti Gorge Walk Series: Robert H. Treman State Park

The Natural History of SpongeBob SquarePants and Friends

Extinctions past and present: Are there general rules?

James Potorti Gorge Walk Series: Taughannock State Park

New Exhibit Opening at the Museum of the Earth!

Museum of the Earth offering FREE program on Evolution

Join the Museum of the Earth at the Syracuse Rock Show!

The Museum of the Earth Welcomes Three New Board Members!

Museum Mastodon Mania: Latest discoveries on New York Mastodons and Uhaul Celebration!!

Young Explorer's Dinosaur Dig Opens at the Museum of the Earth!

Museum of the Earth Welcomes Father's FREE on Father's Day!

Explore New Dino Exhibit with PRI at the American Museum in NYC

New Exhibit on Hawaiian Volcanism at the Museum of the Earth!

Summer Field Trip to Tully Quarry

It's Volunteer Month at the Museum of the Earth!

Volunteer Prep Lab Training at the Museum of the Earth

For more information on any of the following or for Archived Press Releases, contact:
Development Associate
607-273-6623, ext. 11
email: publicrelations@museumoftheearth.org


    Release Date: December 7, 2005

    Natural History Museum Responds to Evolution Debate
    Organizations Around the U.S. Look to Develop Similar Programs

    ITHACA, N.Y. In an effort to address the challenges educators face on the current complicated evolution and creationism debate, particularly around the issue of “intelligent design'” the Museum of the Earth at the Paleontological Research Institution (PRI) will hold its next volunteer training seminar on December 15, An Educator's Guide to Teaching Evolution and Creationism, and organizations around the U.S. are quickly following suit.

    Created and presented by PRI Director, Dr. Warren Allmon, the seminar was produced in response to a growing concern among museum docents and volunteers about how to answer questions regarding evolution and creationism. In addition to the seminar, the third one offered since August at the Museum of the Earth, the PRI also offers an educator’s guide to evolution on their Web site (www.priweb.org or www.museumoftheearth.org).

    The guide, which PRI plans to produce as a book, has received more than 100 web hits to date and the institution has received more than 70 calls from museums and organizations around the U.S. inquiring about adapting the guide for their own volunteers and docents.

    One such organization looking to adapt the guide is The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) to better suit the needs of its zoo docents. Karen Tingley, Curator of Education at the Prospect Park Zoo in Brooklyn, New York, and a member of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), is concerned about the current direction of science education and will be attending the next seminar in Ithaca.

    “Zoos and aquariums, as well as their counterparts at other informal science institutions, have the unique opportunity to educate people about the science behind the theory of evolution and how that theory plays out right before their eyes in the variety of species in our parks. “ Tingley said.

    “The WCS education department wants to educate its instructors and volunteers on how to effectively convey these scientific messages without juxtaposing them against the religious ideas in creationism or intelligent design. This class along with adapting Dr. Allmon's Guide for Docents will hopefully be useful tools that will aid is mission to educate the public.”

    The upcoming seminar at PRI and the Museum also comes on the heels of a recent State of the University speech given by Hunter Rawlings III, Interim President of Cornell University, with which the PRI is affiliated. The focus of his speech was on the integrity of the science taught in American schools and universities and the importance of separating science from philosophy and religion.

    "I am convinced that the political movement seeking to inject religion into state policy and our schools is serious enough to require our collective time and attention.” Rawlings said.

    The seminar will be held on December 15th at 5pm in the Museum of the Earth classroom and is open to the public. For more information or directions, please visit www.museumoftheearth.org or to rsvp, please call 607.273.6623 ext. 13 or email reynolds@museumoftheearth.org.

    The Paleontological Research Institution exists to increase the understanding of the history of life on Earth. The Institution conducts and facilitates paleontological research and communicates knowledge resulting from this research. It houses, curates, and offers specimen collections and a research library, publishes scholarly and popular paleontological books and journals, and it promotes education about Earth’s history and paleontology by providing exhibits to the general public and educational materials and programs to schools and students of all ages and levels.

    Media Contact: Amy Naim 607-273-6623 ext. 26 or naim@museumoftheearth.org


    Release Date: September 14, 2005

    Kid Friendly Natural History at Noon - Saturday, Sept. 17th
    A romance with spiders: Spider biology and behavior
    with Dr. Linda Rayor

    There is something magical about spiders that evokes a combination of fascination and horror in people of all ages. Although there are more spiders than all vertebrate species combined, spiders are relatively poorly known and needlessly feared.

    Spiders are primarily solitary, often cannibalistic, voracious predators that are the most important terrestrial predators on earth. Yet 1% of spiders are highly social, living in large groups characterized by tolerance and cooperation. Even in the most social spider species, individuals must balance the benefits of group living and the strong compulsion to eat irritating colleagues.

    In this talk, Dr. Rayor will discuss how she came to combine romance with spiders and aspects of their unusual sex and predatory lives. An instructor of Spider Biology and Insect Behavior at Cornell University, Dr. Rayor studies the spiders that were the stars of the movie 'Arachnophobia', and due to her influence, Cornell University has the highest per capita tarantula population of anywhere but the University of Texas where the tarantulas walk onto campus themselves.

    Natural History at Noon is from Noon to 1pm at the Museum of the Earth, located on the campus of the Paleontological Research Institution at 1259 Trumansburg Road/Route 96 in the Town of Ithaca. The Museum can be visited via TCAT bus Route #21 weekdays and Route #19 on Saturdays.

    For more information please visit www.museumoftheearth.org or call 607-273-6623, Ext. 33. The Museum of the Earth is part of Ithaca's Discovery Trail (www.discoverytrail.net).
    Hours: Monday - Saturday 10am to 5pm, closed Tuesday, and Sunday 12pm to 4pm.

    Release Date: September 6, 2005

    Fossil Collecting Field Trip
    Saturday, September 10

    Penn Dixie Paleontological & Outdoor Education Center, Buffalo, NY
    10am - 1pm
    This 56 acre site is now a preserve and has abundant Devonian fossils. This is our last fossil collecting field trip of the season. Come and join us on this final adventure and explore this wonderful inactive quarry!

    Prices for all one-day fossil collecting field trips are as follows: Adult: Member/Non Member $9/$17
    Senior/Student: Member/Non Member $7/$15
    Child: Member/Non Member $3/$5
    For more information or to sign up contact Molly Sax at 607-293-6623 Ext.22 or sax@museumoftheearth.org.

    Release Date: August 22, 2005

    Natural History at Noon on August 27th
    On the Trail of Devonian Goniatite Cephalopods in NY
    with Dr. Bill Kirchgasser

    Bill Kirchgasser is Professor of Geology (Emeritus) in the Department of Geology, SUNY Potsdam. The Devonian was a pivotal stage in Earth's history, and Dr. Kirchgasser will be speaking about the goniatite cephalopods that lived during this time. The fossils of these creatures were actually used to divide the period into Lower, Middle, and Upper. Professor Kirchgasser will also reveal where many of these fossils can be found in New York today.

    Release Date: August 15, 2005

    Museum of the Earth OFFERING free program on Evolution

    The Museum of the Earth and the Paleontological Research Institution will be teaching an introductory class, An Educator's Guide to Teaching Evolution and Creationism with Dr. Warren Allmon, at the Paleontological Research Institution (PRI). The class is part of the ongoing Museum Docent training; however, it is OPEN TO THE PUBLIC and there are no prerequisites to participate in the program.

    The class will be held in the Museum of the Earth classroom on Thursday August 18 from 5:30pm-6:30pm. If you are interested in attending this program, please RSVP by contacting Francis Straub at (607) 273-6623, ext. 13 or by email at volunteer@museumoftheearth.org.

    Release Date: August 15, 2005

    James Potorti Gorge Walk Series: Free! No sign-up needed!

    Come experience this endowed walk series secured by the wife of the late James Potorti, victim of the WTC bombings on Sept. 11, 2001. As an Ithaca native, James spent countless hours walking through the local Finger Lakes Gorges. These walks share the meaningful experiences of James with others as they explore the gorges with the Museum of the Earth. The next walk in this series will take place on Friday August 26 from 10 am to 11:30 am. Come and join us on this interpretive walk at Taughannock State Park. The walk will start at the bottom of Gorge Trail near Lower Falls.

    Release Date: August 11, 2005

    Major Art Exhibit Opening at the Museum of the Earth!
    October 21, 2005 - April 30, 2006

    Beginning October 22, 2005, the Museum of the Earth at the Paleontological Research Institution (PRI) is hosting a spectacular exhibit: Conquering Darkness: The Art of Charles R. Knight (1874-1953). Charles R. Knight created some of the first and most enduring images of scenes depicting ancient life. His art defined the vision of a distant past, and inspired some of America’s greatest writers, film makers, and storytellers. For much of the 20th century, his paintings have been an important component of exhibits in America’s largest natural history museums, including the American Museum of Natural History, the Field Museum, and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

    Conquering Darkness will combine more than 30 paintings and 10 sculptures from the collections of Knight’s granddaughter, Rhoda Knight Kalt, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, and PRI’s own collections. This will be the only exhibit of these paintings on the East Coast, and the only exhibit of its kind anywhere in more than 20 years. This is a rare opportunity to view paintings and sculptures by Charles R. Knight in a unique setting that combines the fossil record with the vision of an extraordinary artist. Don’t miss this artistically beautiful and scientifically significant exhibit!

    Release Date: August 8, 2005

    Fossil Collecting Field Trip
    Saturday, August 13, 10am-1pm

    Come Join the Museum of the Earth on this great fossil collecting expedition at Geer Road in Hamilton, NY. Collect Mid-Devonian sea life fossils with PRI Paleontologists, in collaboration with the Geology Department at Colgate University. This is a great spot for large trilobites! To sign up for this field trip please contact Molly Sax at 607-273-6623 x 22 or email sax@museumoftheearth.org.
    Day Trip Pricing for this field trip is as follows:
    Museum Members: Adult $9; Senior/Student $7; Child $3
    Non-members: Adult $17; Senior/Student $15; Child $5.

    Release Date: August 8, 2005

    James Potorti Gorge Walk Series: Free! No sign-up needed!

    Come experience this endowed walk series secured by the wife of the late James Potorti, victim of the WTC bombings on Sept. 11, 2001. As an Ithaca native, James spent countless hours walking through the local Finger Lakes Gorges. These walks share the meaningful experiences of James with others as they explore the gorges with the Museum of the Earth. The next walk in this series will take place on Friday August 12 from 10 am to 11:30 am. Come and join us on this interpretive walk at Watkins Glen State Park. The tour will start at the beginning of the gorge trail.

    Release Date: August 3, 2005

    Kid-Friendly Natural History at Noon on August 6th
    The Condensed History of the Universe

    with Ian B. Dunne

    The Big Bang to Now in next to no time! 12 billion years in an hour. From the very start of time all the way up to now. The scientific version of the creation story with lots of OOHs and AHHs left in.

    Release Date: August 3, 2005

    James Potorti Gorge Walk Series: Free! No sign-up needed!

    Come experience this endowed walk series secured by the wife of the late James Potorti, victim of the WTC bombings on Sept. 11, 2001. As an Ithaca native, James spent countless hours walking through the local Finger Lakes Gorges. These walks share the meaningful experiences of James with others as they explore the gorges with the Museum of the Earth. The third walk in this series will take place on Friday August 5 from 10 am to 11:30 am. Come and join us on this interpretive walk at Buttermilk Falls State Park. The tour will begin at the bottom of the gorge trail.

    Release Date: July 25, 2005

    Museum of the Earth offers Free public tours!

    The Museum of the Earth is pleased to offer free tours of its exhibits. Twice a week, guided tours of the Museum's permanent exhibition hall, A Journey through Time, will be offered, sharing the story of the Earth and its life. The tours, which are offered on Mondays and Wednesdays at 11:30, will relate stories about exceptional specimens and discuss the overall design of the Museum. The duration of each tour is approximately 30 minutes and there is no additional fee; tours are included with general admission.

    Release Date: July 25, 2005

    James Potorti Gorge Walk Series: Free! No sign-up needed!

    Come experience this endowed walk series secured by the wife of the late James Potorti, victim of the WTC bombings on Sept. 11, 2001. As an Ithaca native, James spent countless hours walking through the local Finger Lakes Gorges. These walks share the meaningful experiences of James with others as they explore the gorges with the Museum of the Earth. The second walk in this series will take place on Friday July 29 from 10 am to 11:30 am. Come and join us on this interpretive walk at Robert H. Treman State Park. Meet at the upper Treman parking lot.

    Release Date: July 25, 2005

    Kid-Friendly Natural History at Noon on July 30th
    The Natural History of SpongeBob SquarePants and Friends


    Join us to learn the marine biology of SpongeBob and all of your favorite bikini bottom residents with PRI's Collection Assistant Jonathan Hendricks!

    Release Date: July 20, 2005

    Natural History at Noon on July 23rd
    Extinctions past and present: Are there general rules?


    Extinction has been or will be the eventual fate of all species in the history of life. Nevertheless, some species appear to be more vulnerable than others to extinction during times of environmental change. The fossil record provides us with a series of natural experiments with which to examine extinction vulnerability and determine whether there are general rules to the patterns of extinction and persistence we observe in the fossil record. This talk will weave clams, dinosaurs, and passenger pigeons together into a discussion of extinctions, past and present, and the potential of the past to provide predictions for our future. Paul Harnik, Ph.D. candidate, Committee on Evolutionary Biology, University of Chicago, will lead this talk.

    Release Date: July 20, 2005

    James Potorti Gorge Walk Series: Free! No sign-up needed!

    Come experience this endowed walk series secured by the wife of the late James Potorti, victim of the WTC bombings on Sept. 11, 2001. As an Ithaca native, James spent countless hours walking through the local Finger Lakes gorges. These walks share the meaningful experiences of James with others as they explore the gorges with the Museum of the Earth. The first walk in this series will take place on Friday July 22, from 10 am to 11:30 am. Come and join us on this interpretive walk at Taughannock State Park. The walk will begin at the start of Gorge Trail near Lower Falls.

    Release Date: July 11, 2005

    New Exhibit Opening at the Museum of the Earth!

    July 15- Sept. 30
    This Friday, July 15th, is the grand opening of our new temporary exhibit, "Snake Stones of Ammon: The World of Ammonoids". Come see the beautiful coiled shells of ammonoids. These amazing shells are some of the most recognizable fossils to date. Ammonoids were a group of animals related to the squid, octopus, and chambered Nautilus. They inhabited the seas for more than 300 million years, but became extinct at the same time as the dinosaurs, about 65 million years ago. Ammonoids are among the largest and most impressive fossils you can find right here in central New York. Learn more about these spectacular fossils this summer at the new interactive exhibit of art, science and history.

    Release Date: July 6, 2005

    Museum of the Earth offering FREE program on Evolution

    The Museum of the Earth and the Paleontological Research Institution will be teaching two introductory classes entitled 'An Educator's Guide to Teaching Evolution and Creationism,' with Dr. Warren Allmon, at the Paleontological Research Institution (PRI). The classes are a part of the ongoing Museum Docent training; however, they are OPEN TO THE PUBLIC and no prerequisites are required to participate in the program.

    They will be held in the Museum of the Earth classroom twice this summer, July 14 and August 18 from 5:30pm-6:30pm. If you are interested in attending this program, please RSVP by contacting Francis Straub at (607) 273-6623, ext. 13 or by email at volunteer@museumoftheearth.org.

    Release Date: July 5, 2005

    Join the Museum of the Earth at the Syracuse Rock Show!

    July 9th, 10th
    Cargill Exposition Center, Syracuse
    July 9: 10am-6pm
    July 10: 10am-4pm
    This year's theme is FOSSILS! The Museum of the Earth will feature a booth on a variety of different fossil organisms including Ammonoids, Mastodon bones, and much more! For more information, visit the Syracuse Gem and Mineral Society at http://www.gmss.us/

    The Museum of the Earth is part of Ithaca's Discovery Trail and in the summer is open seven days a week. Monday - Saturday 10am to 5pm and Sunday 12pm to 4pm. The Museum of the Earth is located on the campus of the Paleontological Research Institution at 1259 Trumansburg Road/Route 96 in the Town of Ithaca. The Museum can be visited via TCAT bus Route #21 weekdays and Route #19 on Saturdays. For more information please visit www.museumoftheearth.org or call 607-273-6623, Ext. 33.

    Release Date: June 28, 2005

    The Museum of the Earth Welcomes Three New Board Members!

    The Paleontological Research Institution (PRI) and the Museum of the Earth is pleased to announce the appointment of several new Board Members:

    Loren Babcock is Professor of Geological Sciences at Ohio State University, where he has taught since 1990. He received his bachelor's degree from SUNY Fredonia and his master's degree from Kent State University. He received his PhD in 1990 from the University of Kansas. Loren's research has spanned a wide range of paleontological interests, from problematic fossils to trilobites to the Cambrian explosion. He has traveled and worked in many areas of the world, particularly in China. In 2001 he received the Schuchert Award from the Paleontological Society, for outstanding promise as a paleontologist under the age of 40. Loren lives in Columbus, Ohio.

    Thomas W. Bruce joined Cornell University in April of 2004 as Vice President of Communications and Media Relations. Before coming to Cornell, he acquired more than 25 years of experience in the nation's capital, including policy making on Capitol Hill, diplomacy and international consulting. Bruce attended the University of Paris and Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where he earned his bachelor's degree from the School of Foreign Service in 1979. His fields of study were international relations, Arabic and Middle East studies.

    Kent Fuchs has been Joseph Silbert Dean of the College of Engineering, Cornell University, since 2002. He was formerly Head of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University and Michael J. and Catherine R. Birck Distinguished Professor. Before serving at Purdue, he was Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Coordinated Science Laboratory, University of Illinois. W. Kent Fuchs received the B.S.E. degree from Duke University, M. Div. degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and the PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois. His research interests include dependable computing, integrated circuit testing, and failure diagnosis. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and a Fellow of the ACM.

    PRI and the Museum of the Earth are very excited to welcome Mr. Babcock, Mr. Bruce and Mr. Fuchs to their national board of 24 members. PRI's board of trustees lives nationally and is a group of distinguished individuals from various fields of science, art and business.

    Release Date: June 20, 2005

    Museum Mastodon Mania: Latest discoveries on New York Mastodons and Uhaul Celebration!!

    Have you recently spotted the wonderful graphics on the side of the U-Haul trucks across the country? Each of these pictures has its' own story. Beginning in July Ithaca's very own Hyde Park Mastodon at the Museum of the Earth will be bumbling across the country on 600 U-Haul Trucks. To celebrate the release of these trucks and this story, we are having a Museum Mastodon Mania Party from 11:00am to 1:00pm on July 9th. Research what mud from the Mastodon's site tells us, learn about the most recent research from Dr. Warren Allmon, and listen to a presentation on the Mastodon excavation itself from one of our educators. Kids play for free. Come join us!
    Learn more about the graphic and mastodons by visiting:

    http://www.uhaul.com/supergraphics/mastodon/index.html

    Release Date: June 14, 2005

    Dino Dig Opens at Museum of the Earth

    Come visit us on Saturday for an exhibit that allows Young Explorers to become engaged in dinosaur science and the field of paleontology by participating in a variety of dinosaur digs. The Museum will engage children and adults with this exhibit so that natural history science becomes a fascinating way for families to learn together. Each dig contains a dinosaur skeleton buried in a different type of substrate (from sand that can be brushed away to a harder substrate that can be excavated using wooden tools). This outdoor exhibit was created at the Museum of the Earth together with active participation from Cornell University's Women in Science organization. Cornell University's Women in Science program provided that generous grant that made this exhibit possible.

    The Museum of the Earth is part of Ithaca's Discovery Trail and in the summer is open seven days a week. Monday - Saturday 10am to 5pm and Sunday 12pm to 4pm. The Museum of the Earth is located on the campus of the Paleontological Research Institution at 1259 Trumansburg Road/Route 96 in the Town of Ithaca. The Museum can be visited via TCAT bus Route #21 weekdays and Route #19 on Saturdays. For more information please visit www.museumoftheearth.org or call 607-273-6623, Ext. 33.

    Release Date: June 14, 2005

    In Honor of Father's Day, Fathers Discover for Free at the Museum of the Earth to Celebrate Father's Day.

    Fathers are free all weekend at Museum of the Earth!!! As a celebration of Father's Day the Museum of the Earth will be free for Fathers from 10:00am to 5:00pm on Saturday, June 18 and from noon to 4:00 on Sunday, June 19.

    Release Date: June 13, 2005

    EXPLORE THE NEW DINOSAUR EXHIBIT
    at the American Museum of Natural History

    On July 9, join PRI paleontologist, Rob Ross, to discover the new American Museum of Natural History Dinosaur Exhibit, Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries, in NYC. This new exhibit explores how new technologies help scientists learn more about dinosaurs' history. For more information on the exhibit check out their website at www.amnh.org. To sign up for this full day trip please contact Molly Sax sax@museumoftheearth.org or (607) 273.6623 ext. 22.

    Release Date: June 9, 2005

    HAWAII'S VOLCANOS

    On May 20 the Museum of the Earth unveiled its latest new temporary exhibit on Hawaiian volcanism. The exhibit was prepared in conjunction with the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Department at Cornell University, which offers a one semester field study course on the Hawaiian Islands. The exhibit features Hawaiian basalts including a touchable specimen of Pahoehoe (the Hawaiian term for one type of Hawaiian lava rock). The exhibit also includes graphical information on volcanism focusing on the evolution of the Hawaiian Islands and provides a hands-on field notebook with journal excerpts from the students currently studying in Hawaii.

    Release Date: June 8, 2005

    Go Fossil Collecting with PRI and the Museum of the Earth at the Best Quarry, Tully, NY

    This Saturday get out in the field by collecting an abundance of fossil Devonian sea life at an easily accessible location. Prices for all one-day fossil collecting field trips are the following unless otherwise stated. Adult Member/Non Member $9/$17 Seniors/Student Member/Non Member $7/$15, Child Member/Non Member $3/$5. Contact Molly Sax at sax@museumoftheearth.org or 607.273.6623 ext 22 to sign up.

    Release Date: May 3, 2005

    Volunteer Month at the Museum of the Earth!
    PRI Volunteer Training Program Every Sunday at 2pm

    May is volunteer month at the Museum of the Earth. Join us every Sunday in May at 2:00pm for an introductory to volunteering at Paleontological Research Institution (PRI). With the summer crowds soon coming to town we need many new energetic volunteers for guest relations, museum docents, and for our fossil preparation lab.

    All potential volunteers must attend one session of Orientation and General Training. Registration for the free session is recommended but not required. To receive complete information and to fill out a volunteer application, visit us at www.musemoftheearth.org or www.priweb.org or contact Volunteer Coordinator Francis Straub at (607) 273-6623, ext. 13 or by email at volunteer@museumoftheearth.org.

    Release Date: April 26, 2005

    PRI Volunteer Fossil Preparation Training May 22nd 10:00am

    The spring thaw is upon us and fossils are falling from the rocks! PRI is hosting its Spring volunteer fossil preparation class on May 22nd at 10:00am to Noon. Volunteers will learn to prepare intervebrate and vertebrate fossils from around the world!

    Dedicated Volunteers work in the Museum of the Earth Prep Lab on dinosaurs, trilobites, bryozoans and much more. For more information contact Frank Straub at 607.273.6623 ex 13, or email volunteer@museumoftheearth.org

   

The Paleontological Research Institution
1259 Trumansburg Road
Ithaca, NY 14850 phone: 607-273-6623 fax: 607-273-6620
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