the Virtual Fossil Museum
am Roger Perkins, the Virtual Fossil Museum's primary
I am currently a bioinformaticist (computational biologist).
can be seen at Google
Scholar. Evolutionary biology (especially Precambrian
and Cambrian), paleontology, and science education advocacy
interests. I also contribute to the Palaeos and Western
first placed the Virtual Fossil Museum (VFM) online sometime
in 1999 (no longer sure of date), a time when not information
on fossils and evolution across geologic time. Even the mighty
Wikipedia was years away. Back then there was a nice site maintained
by UC Berkeley, and a number of other sites that, like VFM,
were built and maintained by passionate amateurs. Most of these
amateur sites are long gone, and some can't even be found in
contributors listed in the table below, I would be remiss if
I did not single out John Adamek and his colleagues at the Fossil
Mall, who from the start gave us full and unconstarined
access to images and content, shared his extensive paleotology
library, and even gave us many fossils to, in turn, give away
to teachers. There were never any conditions attached to his
contributions that enabled VFM to, in turn, contribute to scientific
partial list of Virtual Fossil Museum contributors across
Holocene time, with a link to their web sites or blogs,
etc, if I know it and they don't mind.
Dan Damrow, paleontologist
Kong Li, Ph. D.
Dr. Marlena Garofalo
Ramblin Ralph Cooper
Dr. Alexei Kouprianov
Robert E. Woodruff, Ph.D.,
UF Taxonomist Emeritus
decided, since we are after all a grass roots, amateur and
ad hoc undertaking by an all-volunteer consortium, to let most
be available as they are being built, revised, edited and augmented;
this makes the site easier to build and edit, when all can
see it as it evolves. A proud moment was being recognized
in the Netwatch section of the prestigious journal Science in
the June 17, 2005 edition. Traffic to the site peaked around
2005 at some 3000 visitors per day, or about one million per
year. After 2010 traffic has still averaged at some 1000 visitirs
Kits and Lesson Plans:
Over many years Robert Drachuk has contributed pictures
of fossils and provided paleontological consulting
to the Virtual Fossil
Museum. He has also through the years generously contributed
many fossil specimens to science through public museums.
He has long been
that sell fossil kits to the educational community.
Recently, he decided he could produce better kits at
a better value,
and built his own website, Educational
Fossils. Now, the Workforce Development
for Students and Teachers Unit of Pacific Northwest
(PNL) has developed teacher’s
lesson plans designed around Robert’s fossil
kits. In science, this is known as collaboration, and
both Robert and PNL. Robert tells us that he has only
just begun developing a line of fossil
kits ranging from the general for primary-age students,
to thematic kits for more advanced classroom activities
in secondary schools and beyond. Good luck Robert!
should get to have a kit of traces of past life that
they can touch and feel. This would foster an understanding
the inextricable linkages of all living things today,
and how fragile life can be on a planet earth they
will be custodians
of all too soon.
final thought: Have
you ever seen a wild thing feel sorry for itself?
physics publications just for the sake of
nastolgia, as this is the only place I keep the list.