California State University, Fullerton

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OC’s Prehistoric Past Revealed

Oct. 22, 2012

Man pours liquid nitrogen into bottles

David D. Bowman, chair and professor of geological sciences, funnels liquid nitrogen into bottles for an exploding volcano demonstration at the Oct. 13 Prehistoric OC event

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Orange County community members learned about the county's archeological and paleontological past at three recent events organized by the Dr. John D. Cooper Archaeological and Paleontological Center.

More than 1,000 people attended "Prehistoric OC, An Adventure Through Time" at Ralph B. Clark Regional Park, which featured presentations and customs by the Kizh Gabrieleño Band of Mission Indians; a volcano experiment by Cal State Fullerton's David D. Bowman, chair and professor of geological sciences; and the Atalatl Games, a competition using a throwing device favored by ancient people, along with other activities and exhibits.

Prehistoric OC community events also were held at Caspers Wilderness Park and the Santa Ana Zoo.

"All three events were successes," said Jere Lipps, director of the Cooper Center, a partnership between Cal State Fullerton and Orange County-OC Parks. "Our aim in presenting the events was to inform the people of Orange County about the Cooper Center, their prehistoric heritage and its value, and to engage them in a fun science experience with the hope that it might provide reasons to delve further in science."

Additionally, Orange County residents got an up-close look at the county's vast archaeological and paleontological resources, Lipps explained. "We want to encourage citizens to utilize these resources, as well as find citizens who might like to support the center and OC Parks in some way."

The center plans to host community events this spring in efforts to further promote awareness about the county's artifacts and fossils and to increase interactions with the community, Lipps added.

Cal State Fullerton and the Orange County have partnered to manage, curate and display archaeological artifacts and fossils found from the development of Orange County. The collection includes evidence of human activity dating back more than 10,000 years, along with specimens of rare animals that occupied the region beginning 180 million years ago. The center is named in honor of the late John D. Cooper, CSUF emeritus professor of geological sciences, who was dedicated to preserving the collection.

To see more images from the Oct. 13 event, go to CSUF Photos on Flickr. For more information about the Cooper Center, go to the center website or call 714-647-2100.

By: Debra Cano Ramos, 657-278-4027

Tags:  Events