With a solid Skype or Gchat video connection, Adam and Matt are able to travel from their labs at Ohio University and Yale University to your classroom! Like the podcast, the visit is free. It’s all about spreading our enthusiasm for fossils! Each time we work with elementary and middle-school teachers to create short lectures tailored to the interests of the students and their curriculum.
Get in contact with us at borths(at)ohio(dot)edu or adam.pritchard(at)yale(dot)edu and we will arrange a visit in-person (if your classroom is in the New Haven, CT area or Southern or Central Ohio) or digitally (if your classroom has an internet connection). From the museum at Ohio University or Yale we can introduce students to actual fossils collected in Madagascar, Egypt, and Tanzania and show them the labs and equipment used to do paleontological research! Even if you don’t think a discussion with paleontologists fits your class schedule, please send us questions your students ask and we will do our best to answer them, or find the scientists who can answer them even better than us!
Also on this page you will find materials and links that might be useful to anyone looking to teach or learn about paleontology! If you are an educator working with any student or broader audience, feel free to use anything we produce for Past Time to spread the word on the evolution of life on this planet and don’t forget to contact us with question you have about the fossil record!
Here’s a few other resources for you to share with your classrooms!
Brian Switek has been blogging about paleontology, evolution, and extinction since 2006. He is a prolific writer, his most recent book is called My Beloved Brontosaurus, and his blog is an excellent place to see what’s new in the world of old bones.
ARKive is a repository for natural history images and videos. The project is a collaboration between professional documentarians and educators and is an incredible tool for surveying the diversity of life in vivid detail.
The Evolution series on NOVA is spectacular in its own right, but the webpage associated with the program is even more useful, providing clips from natural history documentaries, online courses for science educators, and free images for illustrating evolutionary concepts.
Animal Diversity Web is hosted by the University of Michigan’s Museum of Zoology. An ever-growing bestiary of life on Earth, the goal of the website is to provide authoritative descriptions of the features and behaviors of everything in Kingdom Animalia. There are also teaching resources available at ADW designed for K-12 students and college students.
One of our goals in Past Time is to highlight the active questions, the living, breathing mysteries that motivate scientists to keep exploring. Science Daily aggregates press-releases and research summaries on the latest discoveries in fields as diverse as Sociology and High-Energy Physics. New fossils pop on Science Daily a lot, too. Further evidence that paleontology is an active field, even if its subjects are long dead.
A massive project organized by the evolutionary biologists at UC-Berkeley. They have resources targeted at students from kindergarten through college including discussion forms, image libraries, and lab ideas.
Darrin Naish has been blogging and writing about the diversity of tetrapods (four-limbed vertebrate animals) since 2006 and he now hosts a natural history podcast also called Tetrapod Zoology! His topics and questions are as diverse as tetrapods themselves including the hunting strategies of pterosaurs and the likely identification of mystery creatures like the Montauk Monster. Discussions generated in the comments section by the Tetrapod Zoology community are often as informative as the original blog post.
History of the Earth is a daily podcast that compresses the history of life into a single year. Each episode is just a few minutes, so it’s easy to keep up with host Richard Gibson, a geologist, as he discusses the animals and the places that have revealed the history of the Earth! Start at the beginning (even though the project started in March 2014) and anticipate a fascinating year!
Rather than using interviews, Dragon Tongues is constructed by the host, Sean Willet, around the story of a fossil organism and the scientists who were part of the discovery process. With ethereal music and an introspective storytelling style, Dragon Tongues is paleontology’s answer to the Memory Palace podcast. It’s beautiful work and the episodes are between 12 and 20 minutes, so it easily fits into a commute to school or the office.
Palaeocast is a paleontology podcast dedicated to introducing listeners to paleontologists. In interviews with active researchers that can last up to an hour, they delve into the questions and observations of scientists at work. They have addressed a wide range of topics from the study of footprints to the development of oxygen-breathing organisms.