5 things you should know this week

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail Sub­mit­ted


Jan­uary 18, 1967, Yel­lowknife became cap­i­tal of NWT.


Speaker Se­ries re­turns this week.


On Fri­day, Jan­uary 20 the 45th Pres­i­dent of the United States of Amer­ica, Don­ald Trump, will be sworn in.


Canada’s na­tional motto is A Mari usque ad Mare which trans­lated is From Sea to Sea.


Betty White cel­e­brated 95 years yesterday, Jan­uary 17.

The Royal Tyrrell Mu­seum’s Speaker Se­ries is re­turn­ing again for another sea­son.

The pop­u­lar se­ries where sci­en­tists from many dif­fer­ent back­grounds de­liver lec­tures of in­ter­est­ing top­ics, kicks off with Dr. David Eberth’s talk en­ti­tled “Fish, Mud, Mars and Time: the Royal Tyrrell Mu­seum’s Great­est Ge­o­logic Hits in 2016.”

It was a stand-out year for ge­o­logic dis­cov­er­ies and ad­vances at the Tyrrell. A study of a 63-mil­lion-year-old block from Oko­toks re­vealed 24 garfish pre­served three-di­men­sion­ally in unique, belly-up death-poses.

Mean­while, at Di­nosaur Pro­vin­cial Park and in the Drumheller val­ley, new ad­vances in ura­nium-lead iso­topic dat­ing re­sulted in re­vised geo-chronolo­gies for Al­berta’s best-known di­nosaurs. The new tech­niques al­low dat­ing accuracy to within 30,000 years, which is ex­traor­di­nar­ily pre­cise for fos­sils that are mil­lions of years old.

Lastly, in­ter­est in Di­nosaur Pro­vin­cial Park as a po­ten­tial test­ing ground for a Mars-rover drilling and ra­dio­met­ric dat­ing pro­gram re­sulted in a visit from NASA sci­en­tists in Au­gust.

In his pre­sen­ta­tion, Dr. Eberth will talk about the new dis­cov­er­ies made by the Mu­seum in 2016 and how tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vances are help­ing to in­crease our un- der­stand­ing of the Earth’s his­tory, as well as the his­tory of Mars.

Car­rie Ann Lunde, head of mar­ket­ing and pub­lic re­la­tions at the Tyrrell ex­plains the cur­rent ver­sion of Speaker Se­ries has been run­ning since 2005, al­though there have been var­i­ous in­car­na­tions of lec­ture se­ries through­out the years.

“For ex­am­ple, it started out as the “Heaton Lec­ture Se­ries” in honor of one of our first sci­en­tists who passed away in 1984, one year be­fore the Mu­seum opened its doors to the pub­lic,” she ex­plains. “The in­tent of that se­ries was to bring in very high-qual­ity speak­ers speak­ing on cur­rently “hot” top­ics. The se­ries has al­ways sought to pro­vide a mix­ture of staff lec­tures (re­lat­ing to cur­rent palaeon­to­log­i­cal re­search) and guest sci­en­tist lec­tures that re­late in some way to palaeon­tol­ogy. The broader idea has been to pro­vide op­por­tu­ni­ties for the lo­cal com­mu­nity to hear about cur­rent sci­en­tific ac­tiv­i­ties from the source, to pro­vide staff with a form of en­gage­ment, and to pro­vide our sci­en­tific/ tech­ni­cal staff with up-to-date re­search ac­tiv­i­ties.”

She said a broad range of pa­trons come out for the se­ries. The av­er­age at­ten­dance is be­tween 70-80, and is com­prised of mem­bers of the com­mu­nity and be­yond.

“Most of the at­ten­dees are staff and lo­cal com­mu­nity mem­bers, but some­times a speaker of note or an in­trigu­ing topic will draw a univer­sity au­di­ence from the Univer­sity of Cal­gary, Mt. Royal Univer­sity, Univer­sity of Al­berta, and palaeon­to­log­i­cal en­thu­si­asts and am­a­teurs from Cal­gary and sur­round­ing area,” said Lunde.

She adds that up to 22,000 have also viewed the se­ries on­line.

The first of the 2017 se­ries is this Thurs­day, Jan­uary 19 at 11 a.m.

Dr. Dave Eberth opens the 2017 Speaker Se­ries this Thurs­day with “Fish, Mud, Mars and Time: the Royal Tyrrell Mu­seum’s Great­est Ge­o­logic Hits in 2016.”

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