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Re: WANT TO HELP MARYLAND HAVE A DINOSAUR...?



In a message dated 3/11/99 8:51:32 AM Eastern Standard Time,
th81@umail.umd.edu writes:

> 
>  Not a bad deduction, but in fact that was total coincidence.  I had no idea
>  Kranz was going ahead with this particular thing this week: I had just
>  wanted to shift the discussions on the list from things we've talked to
>  death about to something for which everyone has some aspect they can bring
>  to the table (namely, dinosaur exhibits, either as creators or viewers).
>  

Actually nobody did although I had been aware of this possibility as Peter and
I do keep in contact regarding things paleo.There are actually four bills (2
house and 2 seante) with one from each dealing with appropriating money and
property for the Dino Park and the other two for the Md. Science Center's Dino
Hall. I can strongly and emphatically encourages support of the latter. 

>  Now, as for the Maryland dinosaur site:
>  
>  Ah, politics!  Without going into too much of the details here, not all the
>  land on which the site is proposed is currently State owned: in fact, it is
>  currently privately owned and actively used.  Needless to say, there would
>  be complications with this which will need to be resolved prior to any park
>  formation.  Would I like to see the site protected somehow: yes.  

Absolutely agreed! Especially when the state of Maryland or any of the
municipalities are concerned. There is also a "wild card" element that despite
it's good intentions, coud screw eveything up for not jus my own research but
for everyone! this is where my doubts lay. Even in my site is left alone, the
very proximity of the park next to it would greatly increas the problem I now
encouter with rampant trespass and fossil theft.  I just cannot be there 24 hr
a day (but if someone wishes to be philanthropic and fund me for the next 20
or 30 years, I'd be glad to dod so!) so security is already a pressing issue.


>Is this
>  the best way to do it: maybe.

Agreed.


>  
>  Kids collecting at the site?  I've worked some of the area, and I will
>  expect that most kids will be disappointed.  This is NOT Dinosaur National
>  Monument: dinosaur fossils are very few and far between, and are very, very
>  scrappy with rare exceptions.

As for my own experience, it took me nearly two years befoe I started finding
useful material. But I stuck with it and the finds started happening. Now 10
years later, I can spot a Hybodont tooth, Deinonychus tooth or mammal jaw (all
<10 mm long!) form a couple meters away and standing erect!

Most kids and other avocationals would be sorely disappointed. 



  Plenty of lignatized wood, though.  Also,
>  since the Arundel is the most important eastern North American
>  mid-Cretaceous formation, and since this is the best site for the Arundel,
>  and since there is much more to understanding a fauna and flora than just
>  the dinosaurs, I am REALLY distressed at the idea of having people bringing
>  lots of fossils home in their pockets: who knows what science will miss
that
>  way?  Current arrangements result in new vertebrate finds from this site
>  going to a certain national museum of natural history, where they can be
>  very well taken care of...

My problem is having untold numbers of persons (x2 feet per person ) trampling
along the hillside and crushing the really important and very small stuff. I
have in fact, collected teeth and fragments of bone, shell, and teeth,  IN and
proximal to boot tracks and dig holes left behind by certain poachers! It's
become so common that I instinctively stary searching these areas first and
invariably fins something! Another recent experience wher Tom Holtz and Mike
Brett-Surman and Myself conducted a "dig" with the discovery Channel there
utilizing volunteers from Discovery and some of Tom's students. Nearly all
wernt home without finding a thing although there were a couple of exceptions.
So this place is difficult to work....


>  
>  Speaking of the scientific understanding of the site, our own Tom Lipka is
>  *the man* with regards to scientific collecting and synthesis of the
>  Arundel.  Yes, Peter Kranz was really instrumental at bringing new
attention
>  to the Arundel, and at getting lots of public attention for Maryland
>  dinosaurs, and has made some important finds there.  Meanwhile Lipka has
>  been patiently and systematically exploring the site, cataloguing and
>  synthesizing the geological and paleontological data, and has ALSO made
some
>  important discoveries, which he is describing through the scientific
>  literature rather than with press conferences.  Stay tuned.  (Tom's not one
>  for much self-promotion, so I'll promote him here!)
>

First off  my profound thanks to Dr. Holtz for this kind word of support! It
is both very much needed and appreciated! I also wish to second Tom's
attribution of Dr. peter Kranz's initial efforts and his booklet which
impelled me to scour the Md. "countryside" for the elusive Arundel. My initial
and subsequent successes are due in large part to Peter.


>  Would I help out with such a park: darn tootin'.  Quite frankly I don't
>  think they could afford me as a full-time staffer (I have a fair idea of
the
>  salaries within the Maryland State system (since I'm already a Maryland
>  State employee), and a park job would be a major pay cut), but I AM local
>  and as Prince Georges County's resident dino-man it would be silly for me
>  not to be involved.  Particularly if I can promote the "e" word (evolution)
>  in the park exhibits...
>
I wonder who they could hire to permanantly staff the place? Will the countym
or the state manage it?  My friends at the Md. Geological Survey would be most
welcom and able administrators but according to many of them, they are faced
with extinction each and every fiscal year! Unless it's woven into the fabric
of my current research and existence as well as impending grad school, this
even counts me out! Like I said previously, if someone wants to pay me to
live, eat,sleep and work there, we'll talk! (Hey, that's what I do there now!
Hmmmm..)



>  I'm sure Lipka, and Stanford, and I will let you know what happens.
>  
>

I certainly will.!


Thomas R. Lipka
Paleontological/Geological Studies
 AKA The Institute for Advanced Arundel Research ;-)