April 28, 2012
“What can fossils tell us about our planet’s past, present, and future?”
An interactive session led by Dr. Peg Yacobucci
Associate Professor in the Department of Geology at Bowling Green State University.
Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Paleontological Society.
Life has thrived on Earth for billions of years. The fossilized remains of these life forms are clues to how life on Earth has adapted to changing environments over time. We will explore some of these life forms—from single-celled plankton to giant dinosaurs—and the evidence their fossils give us for how our planet has changed over time. How can we use fossils to better understand what Earth was like in the distant past? What do fossils reveal about the processes of evolution? Why are mammals here today instead of dinosaurs? Can studying how life reacted to ancient climate change tell us how we might respond to future climate change? Let’s investigate the fossil record to reveal answers to all these questions and more!
Dr. Peg Yacobucci is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geology at Bowling Green State University. She also currently serves as the Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Paleontological Society. Peg received her Bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago and her Ph.D. from Harvard University. Peg has been fascinated by fossils since she first read a book about dinosaurs when she was in kindergarten. Today, much of her research focuses on cephalopods, the group that includes modern squid, octopus, and nautilus. Cephalopods have played important roles in ocean ecosystems for 500 million years, and over that time evolved into a wide variety of forms. One group, the ammonoids, are particularly interesting because they evolved very quickly but were prone to extinction as well. In fact, the entire group of ammonoids died out for good at the same time as the dinosaurs. One of the questions Peg is trying to answer with her research is why the ammonoids show this "boom and bust" pattern of evolution.
April 2012 - Hands-On Exhibits
After the interactive session the students will be escorted by their parents to have lunch and then to the hands-on portion of the event. There the students will enjoy the experience of interacting with various exhibits from the Bowling Green State University community.