Fossils and Geological Studies of South Dakota Part 2

Lesson Overview


In this lesson, students learn about fossils, how fossils record changes in organisms, and how fossils give scientists clues about the past environments. Students will learn about the fossil record as well as talk with a scientist who studies living clams in modern ecosystems and compares them to fossilized clams.

About the Scientist

Brook Long

Institution: South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

Hi! My name is Brooke and I am a paleontologist at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. I grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana and I used to pick up and collect shells from the gravel of driveways. In high school, I spent a lot of time hanging out with my friends on the weekends, but I also dedicated time to studying and learning. I enjoyed learning about how animals, people, and the earth all interacted. My favorite classes were geology, biology, and environmental science. So, when I went to college, I signed up as a geology major. I got to learn about rocks, how the earth was formed, the first life on earth, fossils, volcanos, earthquakes, and even National Parks! During college, I tutored the lower level classes and I realized I wanted to be a college professor. This career goal, plus my love of rocks, fossils, and curiosity led me to go to graduate school and I am currently working on earning my Ph.D.