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VIDEO: Charles Darwin Kicks Off NAPC 2009 and Kicks Up His Heels in the Process


Steve Miller Band sang “Time keeps on slippin’ ... into the future” and Charles Darwin tossed copies of his "latest book" to the crowd, as UC’s Arnie Miller announced, “This is not your grandfather’s NAPC!”

Date: 6/22/2009 12:00:00 AM
By: Wendy Beckman
Phone: (513) 556-1826
Photos By: Dottie Stover, photojournalist; video by Jay Yocis

UC ingot   Anyone who has ever studied geology knows that people who like rocks are…special. And anyone who is familiar with the paleontologists at the University of Cincinnati knows that UC paleontologists are…REALLY special.

Arnie Miller chaired the organizing committee for NAPC 2009.
'This is not your grandfather's NAPC!' announced Arnie Miller.

NAPC 2009 organizing committee chair Arnie Miller opened the Ninth North American Paleontological Convention officially opened its proceedings on the campus of the University of Cincinnati, introducing University of Cincinnati’s Senior Vice President and Provost Tony Perzigian. Perzigian quoted from the National Academies of Science report “Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future” and noted that it was especially appropriate for UC to be hosting the NAPC in the Darwin Sesquicentennial Year.

Perzigian then acknowledged Professor Arnie Miller, along with his colleagues at the Cincinnati Museum Center and other institutions for their efforts, which he deemed to be “strategic in their outreach to society.”

“I am especially happy about the ‘Education and Public Outreach’ day this Thursday,” Perzigian added.

Ellis Yochelson initiated the NAPC in 1969, which convenes every four years. He died in 2006.
Doug Erwin paid tribute to Ellis Yochelson, founder of NAPC.

An Olympic-themed entrance of Charles Darwin (aka Carlton Brett) was followed by the unveiling of the NAPC marquis.

Doug Erwin gave a brief tribute to NAPC founder and long-time friend and colleague, Ellis Yochelson, who died in September 2006.

With that, the NAPC was officially declared open and the sessions were off and running.

The week will be filled with an overview of where the field of paleontology stands now and where it’s going in the future. The next four days will be a good indication.

Yale University's Michael Donoghue.
Yale's Michael Donoghue gave a nod to the birthday boy.


More About Paleontology at the University of Cincinnati

UC Hosts Prestigious North American Paleontological Convention in the 'Year of Darwin'
Hundreds of paleontologists from around the world convene at the University of Cincinnati to discuss their research, science and evolution in the K–12 curriculum and the importance of public science literacy.

It's a 'Threepeat' for UC's Paleontology Program
UC’s paleontology program, within the Department of Geology of the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences, continues to be recognized as one of the nation's best.

Scientists Bring New Life to an Ancient Ocean — Covering Cincinnati and the Tristate
David Meyer and Richard Davis bring 'A Sea Without Fish: Life in the Ordovician Sea of the Cincinnati Region' to Joseph-Beth Booksellers for a book signing on Sunday, April 26, at 1 p.m.

University Conferencing's Christine Garrett assists a participant with check-in.
Lots of activities await the convention participants.

What Makes a Fossil?
It is the rare plant or animal that becomes a fossil, in the form of a mineralized Doppelganger of its former self. To then become part of the published fossil record is an even rarer occasion in that someone had to find that fossil and document it in writing somewhere.

Paleontologists Honor UC’s Arnie Miller for Significant Work
The Paleontological Society has awarded UC scientist Arnie Miller with the prestigious Centennial Fellow title in recognition of his contributions to the field of paleontology.

More About the North American Paleontological Convention 2009 (NAPC)
The 9th North American Paleontological Convention (NAPC) will be held on the campus of the University of Cincinnati, June 21-26, 2009. The centrally located Cincinnati region is world renowned for its Upper Ordovician fossils and strata, and has a long-established heritage of paleontological research and teaching.

About UC’s Year of Darwin 2009 Evolution: Evidence & Impact
Throughout UC's year-long celebration of the bicentennial of Darwin’s birth and the sesquicentennial of the On the Origin of Species, we hope to communicate the many contemporary applications of

  • Darwin’s theory of evolution by common descent, 
  • the breadth of Darwin’s research and its ramifications, 
  • the truth of Darwin’s work as a cornerstone of modern science and 
  • the multiple applications of evolutionary theory throughout UC research.

More Darwin Coming Events

Charles Darwin makes a special appearance at the opening of NAPC 2009 at the University of Cincinnati.