Whale of a lecture kicks off museum's spring series

Alton Dooley

Alton C. "Butch" Dooley

Alton C. "Butch" Dooley of the Virginia Museum of Natural History will speak at Radford University on Tuesday, Feb. 5, about the difficulties of determining the age of the numerous marine fossils found in eastern Virginia's Carmel Church Quarry.

Dooley, the museum's curator of paleontology and acting director of research and collections, will present his lecture, "Ghost Strata: Determining the age and depositional history of the Carmel Church Quarry," at 7 p.m. in RU's Hurlburt Student Center Auditorium.

The free public lecture is part of the Radford University Museum of the Earth Science's spring lecture series.

The quarry, near Richmond, is considered by paleontologists to be one of the richest marine fossil deposits east of the Mississippi River. It contains whale, shark, manatee and crocodile species.

"The Carmel Church Quarry in eastern Virginia is well known for its fossil whales and other marine animals. But determining the age of this deposit has been a painstaking process that has taken many years of work," Dooley said. "We'll examine the Carmel Church deposits as a case study of how paleontologists determine the age of a fossil deposit."

To learn more about the Museum of the Earth Sciences and its lecture series, contact Associate Professor Steve Lenhart at (540) 831-5257 or slenhart@radford.edu.

Jan 29, 2013
Chad Osborne
(540) 831-7761