Pikes Peak Pebble Pups

Pikes Peak Pebble Pups

Saturday, August 23, 2014


Two Colorado Springs Mineralogical Society Earth Science Scholars worked at the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument during the summer. The Earth Science Scholar program is for teenagers who are part of the Pebble Pup rock and mineral study program. The Pebble Pups serve local youth in grades K-12. Blake Reher started in June. Jenna Salvat started in August. Both teenagers worked as interpretive rangers in the paleontology demonstration lab (fossil learning lab) where they took park visitors on a deep and meaningful journey of science and discovery. During school this fall Blake and Jenna will continue their work on Saturdays at the new visitor center.

Blake Reher is an active junior member of the Colorado Springs Mineralogical Society (CSMS). He is also the program assistant for the CSMS Pebble Pups and Earth Science Scholars. Blake’s Earth science poems and science articles can be found in newspapers and magazines. Blake presented a paper at the University of Denver last year. Blake has earned his black belt in Kempo Karate, and is active in Boy Scouts, but his real passion is paleontology and geology. Blake is 15 years old.

Blake Reher takes a short break from examining plant and insect
 fossils contained in Eocene lake shales. Photo © by Steven Veatch.

Jenna Salvat is a coauthor on a paper presented at the University of Denver and at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. She is planning a career in the geosciences. Jenna is a member of the CSMS and is active in research and field investigations. She is in 8th grade.

Jenna Salvat trained at the fossil learning lab at the
Florissant Fossil Beds. Photo © by Steven Veatch.

View of the fossil learning lab at the Florissant Fossil Beds
 National Monument. Photo © by Steven Veatch.

The fossil learning lab is a busy site during the summer at the monument.
In addition to teaching about Florissant’s fossils, Blake and Jenna
showed visitors why protecting and preserving fossils
 is so important. Photo © by Steven Veatch.

Blake and Jenna work at the monument under the National Park Service’s “Volunteer-In-Parks” program where they are trained in various capacities to help the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument in its mission to interpret local fossil resources to the public. Both of the teen park rangers, using the resources of the fossil learning lab, provided memorable experiences with Florissant’s fossils to visitors of all ages.

Florissant is known for the diversity of its late Eocene plant and insect fossils preserved in the shales of an ancient lake and the petrified redwood stumps preserved by volcanic mudflows. Together these fossils provide a window to a period of climate change during the late Eocene and to an ecosystem that thrived at Florissant 34 million years ago.

Welcome! This is the gateway to adventure and discovery

Through this blog pebble pups and junior members of the Colorado Springs Mineralogical Society can access their lessons, work on assignments and projects, and receive details about field trips in the Pikes Peak Region. This Internet program is also suitable for young people who are interested in Earth science but do not live near a rock club or gem and mineral society or for young people anywhere who want a deeper dive into these topics. The only requirement is that all participants must be members of the Colorado Springs Mineralogical Society and must fill out the CSMS membership form (under important websites) and send their registration and membership fee in. Steven Veatch is the senior instructor and will need an email from you with your name, address, phone number, and permission from your parents to participate in this program.