Summer's End

So today marks the end of field season for us summer staff! For most of us, school starts next week (!), so it's time to pack up our fossil gear and get back into the swing of doing essays and lab reports. Joe, our curator, will still be outside digging fossils and giving tours until the end of October, so don't worry, there's still lots of time to get a personal tour of the CFDC.

It seems like we've only been here a month, but there's a lot we've accomplished; doing tons of plaster jackets (many more than last year), exploring Pembina Valley Provincial Park in much greater detail than has been done before, and, of course, finding a whole bunch of new fossils, including squid, bony fish, sharks, and lots of mosasaurs. The museum's first ever Shark Week gave us the opportunity to display some of our best fossil shark material that, to my knowledge, has never been put on exhibit before (and next year will be even better!), while Bruce's Birthday, Kidsfest in Winnipeg, and Morden's Corn & Apple were awesome events that put us in touch with tons of people who didn't even know that fossils existed in Manitoba.

While travelling in the Provincial Park was a lot of fun, my favorite part of the year was finding a teensy-tiny, really well-preserved mosasaur backbone, one of the smallest in the entire collection. Digging for fossils can become frustrating after a while, but a sweet find like that vertebra instantly injects new enthusiasm into the hunt. I didn't achieve my goal of locating a pterosaur (flying reptile) skull, but a mosasaur's pretty nice too!

The Fossil Crew (mostly Aaron) has been working on improvements and replacements for various CFDC exhibits. Hopefully, we'll be installing many of these in the coming months and years, so even though we may be gone by then, there'll be a bunch of cool stuff for you to see that we'll have left behind. If that's not incentive to come visit, then I don't know what is! Meanwhile, there's plenty of things to check out already, so come on down. Until next year,

Matt Remple
Field Tech