Upon arrival, Edelman Fossil park was crowded with groups of middle school aged children. They were all housed under two large tents which were being used as makeshift outdoor classrooms. At one of the stations the students were learning about what makes a fossil such as dead animals or certain plants. The second station was giving an explanation about the different fossils found at the park including sea turtles and mosasaurs. All of the children’s hands were raised excitedly to answer question after question.
Jean and Ric Edelman Fossil Park can be found at Rowan University in Mantua Township. Dr. Kenneth Lacovara, founding Dean of the School of Earth & Environment, is the leading researcher at the park. He is best known for his discovery of the Dreadnoughtus schrani, which is the name of one of the largest herbivore dinosaurs ever discovered.
Dr. Lacovara has studied and researched on five different continents. He also has his hands in elements of 3D printing and computer modeling in order to study dinosaurs. Graduating from Rowan in 1984 with a BA in geography and minors in biology and anthropology, Lacovara went on to University of Maryland for a masters in coastal geomorphology and a doctorate in geology at the University of Delaware. He also presented at a TED talk conference in Vancouver, which 1.2 million people have watched. His research has been published in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post.