Vote Elasmosaur Video!

Our friends at Fox&Bee Studio have teamed up with us to get the word out about our elasmosaur being in the running for British Columbia’s official fossil. They’ve done an amazing job capturing our cuddly version of the elasmosaur in locations throughout the Comox Valley. Do you recognize them all?

Here’s the link to vote:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BC_Provincial_Fossil

Voting closes on November 23rd, so don’t miss your chance!

Elasmosaur Wants Your Vote!

Have you cast your vote for yet for the Provincial Fossil? The Comox Valley’s own elasmosaur is in the running and needs your support.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development has announced a final competition for a Provincial Fossil to be added to the official Provincial Symbols of British Columbia.

The online voting process uses a web-based questionnaire tool, SurveyMonkey, which allows one vote per computer profile and includes a simple verification step to avoid development of computer scripts for automatic votes.

Here’s the link where you can see all seven candidates and make your choice. The voting period will close November 23, 2018.

Science and Art Converge at 2018 BC Paleontological Alliance Symposium

Science and art will converge in Courtenay from August 17-20 as Key Note Speaker, Dr. Richard Hebda and Special Guest Speaker, Artist, Ray Troll, lead off the 2018 BC Paleontological Alliance Symposium in Courtenay.

Supported by the Vancouver Island Paleontological Society and the Courtenay and District Museum, the symposium will feature fifteen formal presentations, field trips and a fossil prep workshop. Historically, the BCPA symposiums feature an art exhibit of varied media and paleo-imagination and this tradition will continue. In tandem with the symposium, the museum will be hosting an exhibit of in-house and private fossil collections from May to December.

Symposium registration fees are $150 + GST for professional paleontologists and non-BCPA members; $120 + GST for BCPA members and $100 for students. This includes all activities except field trips and workshops.

Here’s more information on the symposium outline and guest speakers.

To download the registration form go here.

In Memory of Rolf Ludvigsen

By CDM Board Member Rick Ross

It is with much sadness we note the passing of Dr. Rolf Ludvigsen on December 10, 2016.

Rolf was an amazing person, a world renowned trilobite Paleontologist, a teacher, an author, and to many, a friend.

I first met Rolf in the early 80’s in the old Paleo Hut across from the current Courtenay Museum. He was sorting through fossils and holding court to many and all who came by. As avid amateurs, he patiently answered our questions and with dry wit pushed us to know more about fossils and their science.

He will be remembered fondly by many volunteers who assisted him in excavating the Elasmosaur found by Mike and Heather Trask on the banks of the Puntledge River. He was a resource and mentor to many who attended the British Columbia Palaeontological Association (BCPA) symposia and edited the BCPA newsletter. Rolf was a founding member of the BCPA giving a voice to the province’s fossil heritage.

As an author, Rolf published numerous scientific papers on his favorite subject–trilobites. Rolf also produced a newsletter for various trilobite researchers around the world from his home on Denman Island. His popular book, West Coast Fossils, co-authored with Graham Beard, is still sought after by worldwide collectors. Rolf also wrote Life in Stone: A Natural History of British Columbia’s Fossils.

Stamp It

The Comox Valley elasmosaur, discovered by Mike Trask in 1988 and housed in the Courtenay Museum, will be featured in the 2016 Dinos of Canada stamp series, which will be available in the last week of May. Canada Post sent out a press release the first week of April stating that they would also be placing a “cancel” on the Official First Day Cover (a collectors’ item — some 10,000 printed) with “Courtenay, BC” printed on them. The complete series includes: Cypretherium coarctatum (SK), Acrotholous (AB), Atrociraptor marshalli (AB), Bathygnathus borealis (PEI) and the Comox Valley elasmosaur.

Canada Post worked with experts in the field from the Canadian Museum of Nature to select dinosaurs that have been discovered in Canada. Canada Post went on to say, “As with most stamp sets, we also try to select dinos that would make the most stunning and interesting images and represent as many different regions of Canada as possible.”

Kids Summer Camp Program

To add to downtown Courtenay’s 2015 summertime fun, the Courtenay and District Museum and Palaeontology Centre is presenting two childrens’ summer camp programs in alternating weeks throughout July and August. These camps will provide fun and interactive opportunities for kids ages 5-9 to learn about dinosaurs, reptiles, and fossils through activities and crafts that encourage thinking, moving, and creatively exploring the museum’s palaeontology exhibits and collections.

In the first program, Sea, Sky and Land—Life in the Dinosaur Age, camp-goers will learn about the various reptiles and dinosaurs that existed in the dinosaur age, and about the habitats they adapted to. Each day will feature a different habitat; land, ocean, and sky, and explore how reptiles survived in these surroundings and competed with other animals alive at the time. Participants will also be able to see and learn about locally-found fossils from 80 million year old ocean environments.
For ages 5-9, running July 7-10, July 21-24, August 4-7 and August 18-21.

Where’d you go Dinosaur? is the second program and focuses on showing students how dinosaurs came to be millions of years ago. From the dawn of the dinosaurs, through their evolution and eventual extinction 65 million years ago, to discovering why fossils exist now, and what they reveal about these ancient creatures, day-campers experience miniature fossil digs, create volcanoes and make crafts to take home.
For ages 5-9, running July 14-17, July 28-31, August 11-14, and August 25-27.

Both camps $60, Tuesday to Thursday from 9:30 am to 12 pm. Fridays are optional. For an additional $20 a child and one guardian have the opportunity to go on a Fossil tour from 9am to 12pm. They will need their own transportation.

Note: Museum members receive a 15% discount on the programs.

For all of the details please visit our Summer Kids Program page or contact us at 250-334-0686 ext 5

BC Paleo Alliance Presents Rene Savenye Award to Pat Trask

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Pat Trask and Dr. Jim Haggart (Left to Right)

On May 10, 2014 the British Columbia Paleontological Alliance (BCPA) presented the Rene Savenye Award to Pat Trask, Curator, Earth Sciences at the Courtenay Museum during the BCPA annual conference at the University of Victoria.

The BCPA is a union of professional and amateur paleontological organizations working to advance the science of paleontology in the province by fostering public awareness, scientific collecting and education, and by promoting communication among all those interested in fossils.

The BCPA’s Rene Savenye Award was established in 2003 to periodically honour an amateur paleontologist who has demonstrated outstanding service to the science of paleontology or to paleontological education in British Columbia. The award was created in memory of the late Rene Savenye, noted British Columbia naturalist and amateur paleontologist. The two other recipients of the Rene Savenye Award are Graham Beard of Qualicum in 2005 and Dr. Charles Helm of Tumbler Ridge in 2011.

Congratulations Pat for over 20 years of promoting awareness of paleontology in the province and welcoming the public in discovering the wonderful science side of the Comox Valley.