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The Q? Blog

Teen Science Spotlight: How to Identify Fossil Plants

by Dan Kulpinski -- Oct 16, 2014
Dan Kulpinski

Dan Kulpinski is managing producer of the Q?rius website.

In this video, Youth Engagement through Science intern Tiffany explains how to identify the species of a fossil plant and what that information tells you.

Tiffany is a high school student from Maryland who has been a Youth Engagement through Science (YES!) intern at the Museum for three years – one in the Fossil Lab in the Department of Paleobiology and two in the Genome Program, where she spent one year in the Department of Botany and another in the Department of Inverterbrate Zoology. For one of her projects she collected plants from Plummer’s Island, Md., and learned how to identify them using DNA barcoding and genetic sequencing. Her intern experience deepened her interest in plants.

“Tiffany has been an exemplary student whose curiosity and passion for science has led her to explore Smithsonian science more in depth with YES,” said Elio Cruz, Youth Programs Coordinator at the Museum.

In this video, Tiffany explains how to identify a plant fossil’s species, what that information tells you, and why it’s important to keep museum collections as a record of plant life on Earth.

Learn how fossil plants can help explain the extinction of large dinosaurs – watch the “Mass Extinction: Solving the Dinosaur Mystery” webcast.


About the YES! Program:
Youth Engagement through Science (YES!) is a 16-week internship program for rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors from the Washington, D.C. region. Students get practical experience through a research internship with Smithsonian science staff, take exclusive behind-the-scene tours and field trips, participate in a college preparatory program, and create an outreach project for communicating science to peers. Interns also receive a $1,750 stipend.
Watch the YES! video and then learn more at the YES! website.

Categories: YES! Teen Interns