Welcome to the Sternberg Science Camps Blog! My name is David. I’m the Director and lead instructor for the Sternberg Science Camps.
Let me tell you, in abbreviated fashion, how a pop-up book brought me to Kansas.
When I was three years old, living in California, my uncle got me a pop-up book of dinosaurs. Now I work at a museum in Kansas.
Oh… Too brief…
So this pop-up book of dinosaurs also featured pop-up paleontologists! Little paper people digging up little paper dinosaurs. Apparently, digging up dinosaurs and showing them off to everyone was an actual job grownups do! At age 3, that sounded like the raddest way I could possibly spend my time. I quickly set to work practicing by digging up a small stick in the backyard, which I proudly proclaimed was a mammoth tusk. I carried the “tusk” around for quite some time, telling everyone I could about it. From kindergarten onward, I was *that kid* in all my classes. If I had my way, everything I did would somehow incorporate fossils and prehistoric creatures. EVERYTHING.
Along the way, I dabbled a bit in Boy Scouts and did a lot of camping with my family. Scouts was fine, but I was far more interested in looking for cool rocks and flipping logs for critters than building towers with poles and twine. (I definitely picked up a ton of useful skills in the Scouts, but the culture of it never really jived with me.) Then, one summer in high school, my parents got me signed up for a paleontology camp in Alberta, Canada. BOOM. BEST TWO WEEKS EVER. While on that camp, I got recruited as a counselor for a science camp program in Oregon. Three summers later (by then I was a junior in college at Oregon), I was leading that same paleontology camp with my own group of high school students. This was, next to that pop-up book, one of the most impactful experiences of my life. I loved teaching the students new skills. I loved talking to them about their interests and goals, and how they could work to achieve them. I loved helping them explore and learn and grow. This is what I needed to be doing, somehow.
While I still had my sights set on being a professor or some such occupation eventually, these camp experiences – as a student, and as an instructor – stuck in my brain. An overall successful misadventure in graduate school later, and I landed here at the Sternberg, intent on establishing my own outdoor science education programs.
Four years later, and the Sternberg Camps are flourishing. I could not be more thrilled to be working with such bright, driven, inquisitive students each summer. I can’t wait to see what paths they take, and what discoveries and contributions they make along the way.
Thanks for reading! I’ll have a few new posts up soon. One, about the use of music as a sneaky team-building tool in outdoor education, and a guest post from camps intern and alumna Maggie Wolf, about her work this past fall curating field data from the high school biology camps.
A new paper published in the Journal of Mammalogy describes a new species of big-eared climbing rat from Chiapas, Mexico. The new species, Ototylomys chiapensis Porter et al. 2017, the La Pera big-eared climbing rat, is characterized by a host of unique morphological and molecular characters. Based on these data, the specimens collected from 11 kilometers northwest of Berriozabál at Pazo de Petrόleo were identified as unique and different from the previously described Ototylomys phyllotis. The Sternberg specimen (FHSM 9092), which includes both skin and skull, was included in the species description (paratype) and currently is the only known individual collected outside of the type locality described above. This specimen, originally identified as O. phyllotis, was collected in 1970, 26 kilometers north of Ocozocoautla. It is suggested that this species could be critically endangered due to only two known localities and the reduction in the extent and quality of the habitat at or near these locations. The authors located this specimen in the Sternberg mammalogy collection by searching VertNet, a global database with which Sternberg shares its data in order to make the data more accessable and maximize the use of our invaluable collections. This is just one case of the value of scientific collections in our museum, as well as those around the world.
Porter, C.A., N.E. Beasley, N. Ordόñez-Garza, L.L. Lindsey, D.S. Rogers, N. Lewis-Rogers, J.W. Sites, Jr., and R.D Bradley. 2017. A new species of big-eared climbing rat, genus Ototylomys (Cricetidae: Tylomyinae), from Chiapas, Mexico. Journal of Mammalogy 98 (5), pp. 1310-1329.
Curtis J. Schmidt
Zoological Collections Manager
Photograph of the paratype of the La Pera big-eared climbing rat (Ototylomys chiapensis Porter et al. 2017) housed in the Sternberg mammal collection.
Welcome to the 2017 KAS meeting at Fort Hays State University! We are proud to host the meeting this year and are excited to see you there!
This year the opening dinner will be held at Fort Hays State University’s Sternberg Museum of Natural History. The dinner will be Friday evening at 7:00pm.!
The museum is located at 3000 Sternberg Dr. in Hays.
Let us know what you would like to present! Please submit your abstract using the button below .
To register for the meeting and join us this year, just click on the button below and fill out the form.
We will be offering field trips throughout the afternoon on Friday. Choose your own adventure! All of the field trips will end before the opening dinner.
Print and fill out the registration form and bring it in to the museum or call today to pre-register! Registration will reserve your spot and classes are filling up fast so HURRY UP!
February 18 – 19 and 25 – 26, 2017
2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
$10.00 registration fee, $5.00 for Sternberg Museum Members
Course will be taught in two part intervals, parts 1 on Saturdays and part 2 on Sundays. You do not need to take each part in order – (example, if you can make Sunday Feb. 19, but not Saturday Feb. 18, you can participate in part 1 the following weekend). The course will be held at the Sternberg Museum in the Engel Education Classroom on the 3rd floor.
The course is basic in nature, with a reasonable amount of details to get you a good understanding of getting started with keeping bees in central/western Kansas.
We will discuss:
We will not discuss:
With Valentine’s Day coming up, what better way to show your love than with the gift of discovery! Give your loved ones a Sternberg Museum Membership.
Individual – $35.00 (Seniors & Students: $25)
Family – $65.00 (Seniors/Senior Couples: $55)
Lifetime Family – $1000.00
Sponsor’s Club – $125.00
Curator’s Club – $275.00
Director’s Club – $550.00
If you have additional questions, contact Brad Penka at email@example.com or call 785-628-5569.
On Friday, February 24th, join us at the Museum from 6-9pm for our first Game Night!
We will have a variety of kid and family-friendly nature and science-oriented games up in the Museum for everyone to enjoy! We’ll have board games, contests, puzzles, and much more to get kids excited about fun with natural history.
Cost is $10 for Museum members, and $13 for non-members.
To join us, print and fill out the registration form below. You can also pick up a copy at the Museum front desk.
Hello there! For reasons we are still looking into, the link we sent out yesterday to the December members newsletter is redirecting to this page (what was our November 2016 newsletter).
Here is a link to the December 2016 members newsletter that definitely works. We hope you enjoy it, and we apologize for the inconvenience.