RAPID CITY, S.D. (June 14, 2013) -The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology will play host next week to nearly 200 biologists, geologists, tribal representatives and other stewards of natural history preservation at an international conference.
The 28th annual meeting of the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections will be June 17-22 on the Mines campus.
Representatives from major museums and universities with biology, geology and paleontology collections around the world will attend from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany and South Africa. The School of Mines will highlight its Paleontology Research Laboratory, home to more than 500,000 specimens, as a state-of-the-art collections repository, which is part of its 128-year-old Museum of Geology.
Registration and day-trips to area geologic attractions such as the Badlands, Mount Rushmore, Custer State Park and Wind Cave National Park will occur on Monday with meetings and other conference events slated for the remainder of the week.
Among the week's highlights are the Tuesday evening unveiling of a new permanent display on Nimravids, false saber-toothed cats, at the Museum of Geology and Thursday's Integrated Digitized Biocollections (iDigBio) and Natural Science Collections Alliance (NCSA) symposium featuring a series of internationally-renown professionals.
The Nimravids Through Time features Nimravid specimens collected from South Dakota dating back to 1924, with the last one collected in 2001. Display creators Clint Boyd, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow, and Mindy Householder, resident scientist and preparator at the Museum of Geology, will be available to discuss the exhibit and how the pieces were prepared. The display will be officially unveiled Tuesday evening during a private reception.
Thursday's iDigBio/NCSA symposium highlights the challenges and approaches to digitizing natural history collections and the dissemination of natural history data. Speakers include representatives from New York Botanical Garden, the U.S. Geological Survey, Boston University, New York Natural Heritage Program, Florida Museum of Natural History, Tulane University, OCLC Research, and the Museum of Paleontology at the University of California, Berkeley.
The international Society's mission is to improve the preservation, conservation and management of natural history collections to ensure their continuing value to society.
Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, S.D., offering bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls more than 2,400 students from 32 countries, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1. The average starting salary for 2012 graduates was $62,696 with a 96 percent placement rate. Find us online at www.sdsmt.edu.