A marvelous thing happened today.


A shark flew!

(Today was the University of Alberta’s Open House, and I spent a while in the afternoon talking to prospective students about majoring in science. The shark was clearly getting a bit pooped by the time I took this video at take-down, but it is lovely nonetheless. I fear I may need to purchase one, because this is certainly the sort of practical thing every grad student needs…)

It seems I’ve been doing a lot of outreach-type activities the last few weeks – today’s open house, a “Discover Science” day to celebrate the opening of the new Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies, and a talk for the local Girl Geek chapter’s monthly dinner. I like doing these sorts of things for a variety of reasons. I feel it’s important to show people that scientists are just regular folks, that science can be very accessible, and to make science a bit more transparent to the public. I like encouraging people to get involved in science. I also feel that since I have benefitted from government scholarships, and thus I have been paid by taxpayer money, that it is important for me to be ‘giving something back’, as it were. Finally, I also find science outreach fun, and so I do it for me, too.

Here’s a couple of shots from the Discover Science day, featuring a palaeo-themed Biological Sciences booth manned by myself and Currie Lab postdoc Angelica!

Angelica shows off a mammoth tooth. Pro tip: these are really popular with non-palaeontologists because they look so unlike teeth.

 Yours truly with a selection of friends. Many of these casts are also used in our PALEO419 labs, although we also had a few sturdy real fossils to show off.

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