Lake Alajuela

This past Monday, Bruce McFadden, principal investigator of the PCP PIRE program, arrived with a group of 10 middle school and high school teachers –  participants in the GABI RET program. Together with Jorge Moreno and the PCP PIRE interns, they will be exploring fossil localities throughout Panama, learning about science – not as a collection of facts, but as science in action.

The first site to be visited was the locality of Alajuela, a lake in Chagres National Park, an hour from Panama City.

Bruce McFadden, director of the GABI RET program, introduces participants to Lake Alajuela

PCP PIRE intern Evan and supervisor Jorge explain to the GABI-RET participants how to create and prepare a plaster jacket.

Fragments of a fossil turtle, in place, shown with scale.

Evan Whiting, PCP PIRE intern, prepares the fossil turtle for a plaster jacket.

Laura, of the GABI RET program, searches for fossils along the shores of Lake Alajuela.

Scott, of the GABI RET program, finds the first fossil of the day – a megaladon tooth!

PCP PIRE intern Robyn Henderek finds the second fossil of the day – a lemon shark tooth!

Close up of fossilized lemon shark tooth.

Megan of the GABI RET program.

Jason of the GABI RET program examines the stratigraphy along the shores of Lake Alajuela.

Wesley von Dassow, PCP PIRE intern, demonstrates the dip (tilt) of the beds (horizontal layers of rock).

Honey, of the GABI RET program, displays a newly excavated shark tooth.

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About Michelle

I am a STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) undergraduate student adamant in my desire for two things - to conduct research, and to participate in and promote science outreach for the general public. I am currently working towards a Bachelor of Science in Geology, with a minor in Geography. Apart from my job as a full time student, I work as a fossil preparator at the John D. Cooper Center (Orange County's Paleontological and Archeological Repository) and as a STEM Ambassador at the Univeristy Center for Careers in Teaching.

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