KEYSER - Attention fossil fans of all ages! A pop-up museum of paleontology is coming to WVU Potomac State College on Saturday, Nov. 9. This museum is being hosted at the Mary F. Shipper Library and is the result of a collaboration between the library and the STEM division.

For the News Tribune
KEYSER - Attention fossil fans of all ages! A pop-up museum of paleontology is coming to WVU Potomac State College on Saturday, Nov. 9. This museum is being hosted at the Mary F. Shipper Library and is the result of a collaboration between the library and the STEM division.
This celebration of extinct life will run from 9:30 -11:30 a.m., beginning with two short presentations. The first presentation, “The Story of Shield Croc,” will be presented by Nick Gardner, PSC library program coordinator, who will share the exciting story of a rare fossil crocodile species, Aegisuchus or shield crocodile, known only from skull fragments.
Gardner will discuss how this animal lived, its environment and its place in the evolution of crocodiles and alligators.
Gardner completed a master’s degree in information and library science from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. He also studied ecology and evolution as an undergrad. Gardner has writing several papers on fossil reptiles which have been published in The Anatomical Record, Palaeontologia Electronica, and PLoS ONE.
The second presentation, “The Fossil Life Aquatic with Nathan Van Vranken,” will be presented by Van Vranken, PSC professor of geology and biology.
Van Vranken has carried out research on Cretaceous aquatic fossil vertebrates of the intercontinental USA for the past decade. His research has primarily focused on mosasaurs, a group of ocean-going lizards, but he has also worked on ichthyosaurs (superficially dolphin-like marine reptiles) and extinct fish (including the needlefish-like belonostomids and the barracuda-like Enchodus).
Van Vranken’s work has been published in multiple scholarly journals, such as Alcheringa, Palaeontologia Electronica, and The Journal of Paleontological Sciences. Van Vranken has also edited books for the Dallas Paleontological Society.
He completed his master’s degree in geology at the University of Texas at the Permian Basin.
After the presentations, visitors can touch and see numerous exhibits of genuine fossils from throughout the southeastern United States, including locations in Florida, Maryland, Texas, and West Virginia, and realistic replicas of fossil dinosaurs and other extinct species.
Additionally, the public is welcome to bring fossils they may have in their own collection to display or to seek assistance from Van Vranken and Gardner in identifying them..
Free parking is available on Campus Drive or behind the Administration Building. The Library is ADA compliant for mobility-impaired individuals.
For more information, contact the library at 304.788.6901 or email ngardner@mail.wvu.edu.