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Volunteers at Cooper Center Honored

Jan. 30, 2014

With more than six million fossils and artifacts reflecting the 180 million years of life recorded in Orange County, the John D. Cooper Center needs a lot of helping hands. Recently, the center gave a hand to its hard-working volunteers and their accomplishments.

"Our volunteers are critical to the success of the Cooper Center," said Jere Lipps, center director. "They work in a variety of areas from curation to web/video production to education to 3D scanning and printing. We rely on volunteers to accomplish many of the scientific and educational goals of the center."

In addition to Cal State Fullerton students, members of the community volunteer as well.

Among those honored was Susan Torello of Anaheim Hills as the volunteer of the year. Torello, a retired software engineer with a bachelor's degree in anthropology, contributed more than 400 hours of service in the past year and has kept the archaeology database accurate and up-to-date. Torello also received a database curation certificate by completing required training and 100 hours of artifact/specimen curation.

Curation training certificates were awarded to volunteers Richard Schnur, Marya Sierra, Aldo Cruz, Kathy Gonzales, Jerry De Vries, Denise Fachko, Donna Minick, Amanda Mishler, Bob Platoni, Myron Speaker, Megan Wilson-Thuler, Heather May, Stevy Hernandez, Kathleen Rock-Payne, Juli Grundy, Kasey Cole, Mariela Mendoza and Anne Handberry.

To achieve a curation training certificate, students and volunteers are required to complete orientation, artifact or specimen curation, and archival materials training, as well as complete 40-100 hours of artifact or specimen curation.

Fossil preparation training certificates were awarded to CSUF graduate students Kathy Gonzales and Gabriel Santos. They completed fossil preparation training with the associate curator of paleontology and completed 150 hours of supervised fossil preparation in the Cooper Center paleontology laboratory.

A research certificate was awarded to Stevy Hernandez, who developed a poster of research findings for presentation at a professional meeting, as well as a report on the findings.

In addition to volunteers, interns from Cal State Fullerton, UCI and Citrus College were acknowledged, including Roseanna Garcia, Danny Weiherer, Isaac Magallenes, Gabriel Santos, Conrad Spargur and Stacy Guzman.

For more information on the Cooper Center or volunteer opportunities, visit, call the Cooper Center at 714-647-2100 or email .

Tags:  Community