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Snowmass paleontologist shares Ice Age understandings

Jan 11, 2017

Paleontologist Stephanie Lukowski will speak about the scientific understandings from the Snowmastodon dig site as part of the Naturalist Night series.
Credit Elizabeth Stewart-Severy/Aspen Public Radio News

The so-called Snowmastodon site at Ziegler Reservoir in Snowmass is the largest fossil discovery in Colorado history. Scientists from across the world are still working to understand the changing environment in which those plants and animals lived. Stephanie Lukowski is the Ice Age Discovery Center’s paleontologist. Elizabeth Stewart-Severy met with her outside of the Discovery Center in Snowmass.

The Snowmass site is a rare high-elevation fossil dig, and paleontologists have compared evidence from this area with other fossil dig sites.

“We up here, we’re going to be impacted more strongly and more quickly by climate change than other regions,” Lukowski said.

Scientists were only able to examine about 10 percent of the ancient lake bed at Ziegler Reservoir, but Lukowski said it may be possible to reopen the dig when the reservoir is emptied for maintenance.

Lukowski will be speaking about the scientific understandings from the Snowmastodon site on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, as part of the ongoing Naturalist Night series.