WHITEHORSE—Longtime Yukoner Earl Bennett is being recognized for his significant contribution to the understanding of Yukon Beringia. The Honourable Archie Lang on behalf of Tourism and Culture Minister Elaine Taylor presented Bennett with a Beringia Research Award at the Gold Show in Dawson City.
“It is an honour to recognize Mr. Bennett with this award for his broad contribution to Yukon’s important historical and scientific record,” Lang said. “His fossil donations and knowledge of palaeontology has helped to give scientists, students, visitors and other fossil enthusiasts opportunities to see, enjoy and study unique artifacts important to Yukon’s Beringia ice age history.”
Bennett’s donation to Yukon’s vertebrate fossil collection in 2008 of a partial American mastodon skeleton found on Bonanza Creek included several complete limb bones, shoulder blades and large pieces of the skull with teeth intact, all from one individual.
Prior to Bennett’s donation, the Yukon government fossil collection held only six identified specimens of American mastodons. Bennett’s donation has enabled the Yukon Palaeontology Program to make great advances in understanding American mastodons in Beringia.
Klondike MLA and Economic Development Minister Steve Nordick attended the award presentation followed by the unveiling of the publication Ice Age Klondike: Fossil treasures from the frozen ground by Yukon Palaeontologist Dr. Grant Zazula and associate professor and Canada research chair in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Alberta, Dr. Duane Froese.
Yukon’s Palaeontology Program established in 1996 works closely with Yukon’s placer mining industry to safeguard significant fossils for scientific research, study and public interpretation. Work is underway to expand Yukon’s palaeontological presence in Dawson City, collaborating with local placer miners to protect fossils and other important finds in the area.
Ice Age Klondike: Find out more about fossil treasures from the frozen ground .
Communications, Tourism and Culture