Tyrrell launch­ing new ex­hibit this spring.

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Kyle Smylie

Spec­i­men se­lec­tion and ren­o­va­tions are cur­rently un­der­way for the open­ing of a new in­tro­duc­tory ex­hibit called “Foun­da­tions” in the Royal Tyrrell Mu­seum’s en­trance gallery space for a grand open­ing on Fri­day, May 20.

Foun­da­tions aims to be an in­tro­duc­tion to both the mu­seum it­self but to also prime vis­i­tors by lay­ing a foun­da­tion for the key themes and prin­ci­ples which in­form the sci­ence and ethos of palaeon­tol­ogy at the Tyrrell, in the hopes of en­hanc­ing vis­i­tor un­der­stand­ing and in­ter­pre­ta­tion of what they’ll see through­out the rest of the mu­seum.

Head of Mar­ket­ing and Pub­lic Re­la­tions Carrie-Anne Lunde said Foun­da­tions was de­vel­oped af­ter a gap was iden­ti­fied in the in­tro­duc­tory in­for­ma­tion to what palaeon­tol­ogy is and what fos­sils are and how sci­en­tists even know. “It’s de­signed as a more dy­namic space to ex­plore those more ba­sic terms, us­ing all kinds of tac­tile and en­gag­ing ma­te­ri­als in or­der to do so,” Lunde said. "It’s pur­pose is to lit­er­ally lay the foun­da­tions of what palaeon­tol­ogy is, and in­tro­duce in­di­vid­u­als to palaeon­tol­ogy and evo­lu­tion and the his­tory of life on earth in a way that is as holis­tic as pos­si­ble.”

Mu­seum cu­ra­tor and Foun­da­tions com­mit­tee mem­ber Craig Scott said the ex­hibit will in­tro­duce vis­i­tors to earth pro­cesses like tec­ton­ics, vol­ca­noes, moun­tain build­ing, ero­sion, de­po­si­tion, with an Al­berta-cen­tric fo­cus, as well the bi­o­log­i­cal pro­cesses of evo­lu­tion, spe­ci­a­tion, and changes in time. “One thing that is re­ally cool about this gallery is that it is very spec­i­men heavy – pri­mar­ily spec­i­mens from the Cre­ta­ceous pe­riod of Al­berta to il­lus­trate the con­cepts be­ing talked about,” said Scott. Scott said the ex­hibit will be in­ter­ac­tive and uti­lize in­no­va­tive new tech­niques that the mu­seum has never tried be­fore and was un­will­ing to re­veal be­fore the open­ing on May 20.

Foun­da­tions is the sec­ond phase of a three year in­tro­duc­tory area ren­o­va­tion, the first be­ing the open­ing of “Fos­sils and Fo­cus” last year. Foun­da­tions will re­place the “Al­berta Un­earthed” ex­hibit which was cre­ated in 2008.

An artist’s mockup of the Royal Tyrrell Mu­seum’s “Foun­da­tions” ex­hibit which will be open­ing on May 20. The new ex­hibit will be sit­u­ated at the en­trance gallery space of the mu­seum and aims to in­tro­duce vis­i­tors to fun­da­men­tal con­cepts and the sci­ence of palaeon­tol­ogy to en­hance un­der­stand­ing and in­ter­pre­ta­tion.

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