Monday, August 13, 2001
Uncovering the Secrets of Our Past: Geologist Discusses Human Ancestor Fossils Discovered in Ethiopia at Free Public Lecture
Scripps Institution of Oceanography / University of California, San Diego
FOR RELEASE: August
UNCOVERING THE SECRETS OF OUR PAST: GEOLOGIST DISCUSSES HUMAN ANCESTOR FOSSILS DISCOVERED IN ETHIOPIA AT FREE PUBLIC LECTURE
Prominent scientist Dr. Giday WoldeGabriel, lead geologist of
the team that recently made international headlines with the discovery
of fossils nearly 6 million years old, thought to be the remains of
the oldest human ancestor yet discovered, will give a free public lecture
at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San
WHEN: Thursday, August
23, at 7 p.m.
WHERE: Sumner Auditorium,
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
WHO: Giday, a geologist
at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, played a key role on
a team with University of California at Berkeley researchers that recently
announced the discovery of fossilized remains of what may be humanity's
earliest known ancestor. During "Africa Holds the Secrets of
Our Past: A Geological Perspective," he will discuss the methods
used to discover the fossil-rich patches in eastern Ethiopia's Middle
Awash region. He also will discuss the geology of the important fossil
sites, the discovery of the hominid fossils, and the ancient environments
inhabited by these ancestors.
WHY: The discovery
is thought to be the first evidence of forest-dwelling hominids who
lived between 5.2 and 5.8 million years ago. The ancient bones and teeth
are challenging assumptions of early human evolution and views of the
environment in which human ancestors evolved from walking on four legs
to two, and moved from forests to grasslands.
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Giday's geological research in Ethiopia is supported by the University of California's Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics through the University Collaborative Research Program at Los Alamos.
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Note to broadcast and cable producers: University of California, San Diego provides an on-campus satellite uplink facility for live or pre-recorded television interviews. Please phone or e-mail the media contact listed above to arrange an interview.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, at University of California, San Diego, is one of the oldest, largest and most important centers for global science research and education in the world. The National Research Council has ranked Scripps first in faculty quality among oceanography programs nationwide Now in its second century of discovery, the scientific scope of the institution has grown to include biological, physical, chemical, geological, geophysical and atmospheric studies of the earth as a system. Hundreds of research programs covering a wide range of scientific areas are under way today in 65 countries. The institution has a staff of about 1,300, and annual expenditures of approximately $155 million from federal, state and private sources. Scripps operates one of the largest U.S. academic fleets with four oceanographic research ships and one research platform for worldwide exploration.
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