The moment is finally here! Although we may have to wait a few more days because the biggest snowstorm of the 2015 is upon us…the bill requesting the American Mastodon to be the official state fossil is being brought before a committee! The committee hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, the 27th, but due to the likeliness of inclement weather this meeting will be rescheduled.
This quest by our school’s third grade students in October of 2013 is finally going to be heard by New Hampshire legislation and they are excited the moment has finally come!
Our Class with Representative David Borden
The media momentum for these ambitious students has built up over the last month or so, having recently appeared in the Concord Monitor, and also having been heard over the airwaves on NHPR (links below). Jeanne Timmons, a NH blogger and freelance writer, is also very excited to make our request known. She recently had our students answer some questions for her blog, and interviewed me as well. Her blog, mostlymammoths.wordpress.com, will be featuring an article on our students’ endeavor soon. She also gave our students a gift of two books, including one by author Dick Mol, a paleontologist who is greatly interested in mammoths and mastodons. He even wrote a letter to our class encouraging them in their endeavor and encouraging them to pursue paleontology!
One more special bit of information – the paleontologists that our class sought advice from when they wanted to know what fossils to consider have been helping us every bit of the way. Professor Will Clyde from UNH and Professor Gary Johnson from Dartmouth have been very encouraging, and at least one of them will be attending the committee hearing to speak in favor of our students’ bill!
Professors Will Clyde (left) and Gary Johnson (right)
I am going to end this blog post with a comment made by UNH Professor Wally Bothner, and also with links to the Concord Monitor and NHPR. Thank you so much for your support, and contact your local state representative to let them know that you want the American Mastodon to be New Hampshire’s Official State Fossil!
“I think what Thom’s students are doing is absolutely first rate. Their choice is magnificent, easily identifiable and “young enough” geologically (and archeologically) to relate to. Their grass root effort is also bringing our science to the forefront at a time when general understanding of the role geology plays in our daily lives is most needed as well as a means to emphasize the role we as a society are impacting it. Good for them!”