(Belcamp, Maryland –January 4, 2013) The mastodon master, Dr. Carlyn Buckler of the Museum of the Earth, will be toting a baby mastodon tusk to the Bel Air Library to share with future scientists on Monday, January 7 at 6:30 pm. Her talk will focus on the fossilized remains from these ancient ancestors of the elephant found in the U.S. and explore the citizen science Mastodon Matrix Project that allows people of all ages and abilities to experience the process and nature of science. Registration is required and spaces can be reserved by calling (410) 638-3151.

Dr. Buckler is visiting Harford County to help kick off the Mastodon Matrix Project where participants will analyze dirt from a real mastodon dig and submit their results to the Museum of the Earth in a science experiment.

In conjunction with Cornell University, the Paleontological Research Institution in August 1999 became involved with mastodon excavations in New York State. There was no chance of scientists sifting through the 22,000 pounds of sediment or “matrix” found around these bones in a realistic amount of time. So excavators have turned to “citizen scientists” and created the Mastodon Matrix Project.

The Mastodon Matrix Project is an open-ended, educational journey into discovering an Ice Age past. Participants in this hunt will comb through the matrix and experience what it is like to do real scientific research. There may be shells, twigs, seeds and other fossils or even fragments of the mastodon itself. Whatever is found, or even not found, will propel our knowledge of these great animals forward.

Take a turn as a citizen scientist and search for a mastodon at the Whiteford Library on January 17, January 31, and February 21 at 6:30 pm, the Bel Air Library on January 23, February 6, and February 20 at 6:30 pm, or the Aberdeen Library on April 24, May 8 and May 22 at 6:00 pm. More sessions at the Edgewood and Fallston Libraries are being planned for the summer.

Harford County Public Library operates eleven branches located throughout Harford County, Maryland. The library serves over 175,000 registered borrowers of all ages and has an annual circulation of 4.5 million. Harford County Public Library is committed to connecting people with information and promoting the love of reading within the community.


Photo caption #1: Participants in the Mastodon Matrix Program at Harford County Public Library will analyze dirt from a mastodon dig and submit their results to the Museum of the Earth in a real science experiment.

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