SteamPlant will host the Colorado fossil find that shook the world on September 19 – by Brooke Gilmore

After a year of Zoom and outdoor lectures, the Collegiate Peaks Forum Series will reopen its lecture series with a reception and presentation by two outstanding paleontologists. The event will take place at the Salida SteamPlant Ballroom and Theater on Sunday, September 19.

The reception will take place in the SteamPlant Ballroom at 5:30 p.m., followed by a talk in the theater at 7:00 p.m. Reservations are required for the reception. Please RSVP to [email protected] with your name, contact information, and number of attendees in your group. COVID-19 safety protocols including limited capacity, social distancing and masking will be in place.

Speakers at this celebratory CPFS reopening event will be Dr. Tyler Lyson, curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and Dr. Ian Miller, formerly of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and currently a scientist in leader and innovation. Officer of the National Geographic Society.

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They will present “The Colorado Fossil Discovery That Shook the World”. Sixty-six million years ago, a six-mile-wide asteroid slammed into Earth and caused the extinction of more than 75% of life on Earth, including the dinosaurs. It was the worst day for life on Earth. How and when life rebounded from extinction has been shrouded in mystery due to a poor fossil record.

A new find east of Colorado Springs preserves a remarkably comprehensive fossil record with whole fossil mammals, turtles, crocodiles and plants, and paints a picture of how and when life rebounded after the darkest hour of the earth. Drs. Lyson and Miller will present their findings and discuss their importance in tracing the regeneration of land plants and animals after the asteroid destruction.

Dr. Tyler Lyson is curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, where he is responsible for the fossil reptile collection. Dr. Lyson earned his Ph.D. and a master’s degree in geology and paleontology from Yale University and a bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College. Lyson was a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History before joining the Denver Museum in 2014.

Dr. Ian Miller is Chief Scientist and Head of Innovation at the National Geographic Society. From 2006 to 2021, he served as Curator of Paleobotany and Director of Earth and Space Sciences at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Dr. Miller earned his Ph.D. and MA in Geology and Paleobotany from Yale University and BA from Colorado College.