Dr. Carlyn Buckler, director of the Mastodon Matrix Project in Cornell, N.Y., visited the Bel Air library Jan. 7 to share her enthusiasm for mastodons with replicas of a few finds her team had excavated in New York. Teeth and tusk examples were the highlights of the evening as she explained to more than 50 audience members how important it is for regular citizens to get involved in citizen science projects.
Buckler was invited to Harford County to kick off the library's involvement in the Mastodon Matrix Project in which Harford residents will help trained investigators sort through and analyze the sediment or "matrix" found around the bones from a real mastodon dig and submit their results to the Museum of the Earth. Interested participants of all ages can take a turn as a citizen scientist and search through the matrix at the Whiteford library on Jan.31 and Feb. 21 at 6:30 p.m.; the Bel Air library on Feb. 6 and Feb. 20 at 6:30 p.m.; or the Aberdeen library on April 24, May 8 and May 22 at 6 p.m. More sessions at the Edgewood and Fallston libraries are being planned for the summer.
The Mastodon Matrix Project is an open-ended, educational journey into discovering an Ice Age past. Participants in this hunt will comb through the matrix and experience what it is like to do real scientific research. There may be shells, twigs, seeds and other fossils or even fragments of the mastodon itself. Whatever is found, or even not found, will propel our knowledge of these great animals forward.
Harford County Public Library operates 11 branches located throughout Harford County. The library serves more than 175,000 registered borrowers of all ages and has an annual circulation of 4.5 million. Harford County Public Library is committed to connecting people with information and promoting the love of reading within the community.