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Dr. Donald Henderson to lecture at Speaker Series

 

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The Royal Tyrrell Museum’s speaker series continues this week with Dr. Donald Henderson, focusing on ancient marine reptiles in Western Canada.
    The Tyrrell is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2010, and this winter, the Speaker Series is dedicated to “25 years of discovery: highlights of paleontological research at the Royal Tyrrell Museum.”
    On Thursday, January 28, Dr. Donald Henderson from the Royal Tyrrell Museum will present a lecture entitled “Ichthyosaurs and orogenies: Finding ancient marine reptiles in the mountains of western Canada”.
    There is much more to the fossil record of ancient reptiles than just dinosaurs, and the mountains of western Canada provide good evidence for this. A happy coincidence of geography and climate during the Triassic Period, in combination with geological processes over the past 250 million years, has revealed a diversity of ichthyosaurs (“fish-reptiles”) from this part of the world. These fully aquatic reptiles ranged in body size from a 1m Grippia to the largest known marine reptile – the 23m Shonisaurus.
    This talk will look at the geological history of the west coast of North America, and why it is important for fossil discoveries, and review the evolution and biology of the ichthyosaurs and their close relatives that once inhabited this part of the world.
    Dr. Henderson has been Curator of Dinosaurs  at the Tyrrell since 2006, but his interests include more than just dinosaurs. He first worked at the Museum as a student during the summers of 1994 and 1995, and during those summers he participated in two expeditions to the mountains of northeastern British Columbia to look for marine reptiles from the Triassic Period.
    For the past three years he has participated in further expeditions to other remote mountainous regions of BC and Alberta searching for marine reptiles from both the Triassic and Cretaceous periods.
    The Speakers Series lectures will be on Thursdays, from 11 am – noon at the Royal Tyrrell Museum auditorium.  These presentations are free.


Hussar girl Olympics bound

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    Grade 5 Hussar student, Kayla Sandum, 11, received a birthday treat that will be hard to beat. 
    While holidaying with her family in Mexico last week, she telephoned her grandmother, Jackie Sandum on January 21, as they both share the same birth date.
    Jackie had some exciting news for her: Kayla was a winner of the ATCO Celebrating Excellence Challenge that she had recently entered through her school, the Hussar School and would soon be off to Vancouver to see an Olympics sporting event, all expenses paid.
    The ATCO challenge was open to all of Alberta students in Grades 4 through 12.  Students were invited to submit a composition in their own words on how they pursue leadership and strive for excellence in sports, arts, culture, education or community involvement.
    Two students (one male and one female) from each of Alberta’s 83 constituencies were randomly drawn and rewarded with a trip of a lifetime to Vancouver.
    Mrs. Moczulski, Grade 5 and 6 teacher at the Hussar School saw a commercial for  the ATCO challenge and explains, “I thought this would be a good chance because it was a random draw, so the kids would not be judged on the quality of their writing.”
    On her return from the Christmas vacation, Mrs. Moczulski organized for the students to enter the competition.
     “Some of the kids said ‘we never meet anybody who ever wins anything’, I said ‘well there’s always a chance.’ I won a trip when I was in Grade 9 so I said it was possible for anyone to win!," she said.
    The Grade 5 and 6 students in Language Arts class then wrote an essay about pursing excellence and submitted their application on-line to ATCO.
    Kayla was one of those lucky few winners.
    “You always enter kids in contests and always encourage them to do their best, it’s nice when they actually get rewarded for their efforts,” added Mrs. Moczulski.   
Kayla told The Mail she was very excited when she heard the news, and will be taking her mother, Corey, on the trip.
    She hasn’t forgotten about her teacher.
    "She said ‘if I win a trip again I’ll take you’,” laughs Mrs. Moczulski. “Actually her mom is our parent council president and she has also instituted a hotmail program in our school so she has put a lot of work in this year so it’s neat that Corey gets to go too.”
    Kayla hopes to be able to see the figure skating event, she is a skater herself, and although she doesn’t have a sight on being a future Olympic skater, she really enjoys watching this event.

Lawson Commits to University of Alaska Fairbanks

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The Drumheller Dragons would like to congratulate Sam Lawson on his recent verbal commitment to the University of Alaska Fairbanks for the 2012-13 season.
    Lawson, a 1993-born, 6’0”, 165 pound centre from Calgary, Alberta, recently entered his first season with the Dragons.  Last season, Sam played for the Calgary Rangers in the Southern Alberta Midget League, where he and his teammates earned a bronze medal in the 2009 Sutter Cup.
    With his commitment to UAF, Lawson joins his Dragons Teammate, Justin Tateson, who has committed to the Nanooks for the 2011-12 season, as well as Dragons alumni Brandon and Dion Knelsen, who are currently in their senior years with the school.
    “I’m ecstatic,” comments Lawson.  “The UAF Program is exactly what I was looking for as a student-athlete.  The calibre of their academics, athletics and coaching are outstanding.  I feel very proud, fortunate and grateful for the opportunity to become a Nanook.”
    Dragons’ Assistant Coach and Assistant Director of Player Development, David Ferrari, adds, “The Dragons are extremely excited for Sam and his family.  His growth this year as one of the few 16-year old players in the AJHL has been impressive.  We’re proud that Sam is a Dragon and we’re excited to watch him continue to develop both with us and the Nanooks.  This is just the beginning for him.”
 


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