The art of science: Life as the Tate Museum educator

Russell J. Hawley is the curator at the Tate Museum of Geology, which is located on campus at Casper College. Russell began working at the museum in 1997, after a summer internship, and has been living and working in Casper ever since. A man with a long interest in both dinosaurs and drawing, these interests led Hawley to take on a career in geology. Hawley has also been able to combine his artistic and scientific talents in such a way to become published author. *Fossil Critters of Wyoming*, published in 2006, is an informative, illustrated history of the paleontological fossil history of Wyoming, which spans the entire prehistoric timeframe. According to Hawley, only in Wyoming are all the fossil eras found. A well-illustrated text, it is full of interesting facts. Being a curator at the Tate has been very rewarding for Mr. Hawley. He is largely self-taught, although he has said he has taken several classes and has been educated by several mentors who are well-versed in science that have helped him along the way. However, he has found the most fulfilling aspect of his job is the ability to recreate prehistorical plants and animals in his artwork. An example is the Miniochoerus—which is a little herbivorous, or plant-eating, animal. It looks like a cross between a camel, a pig and a prairie dog. Mr. Hawley says recreating these lifeforms has a feeling of great accomplishment and discovery. The Tate houses many specimens and fossils, most native to Wyoming, everything from rocks and other minerals to an almost complete skeleton of a mammoth estimated to be about 11,600 years old. This mammoth is known as Dee and every month the museum hosts an event known as ‘Coffee, Tea, and Dee’ in which locals and visitors may visit the museum and enjoy coffee and refreshments free of charge. [image: dee.png] #davis #oilcity #news