Fossilized Fish Tell Tales of Park’s Past
Arvid Aase, Fossil Butte National Monument, Wins National Award for Interpretation
by National Park Service
November 15, 2006
(Kemmerer) - Museum Specialist Arvid Aase from Fossil Butte National Monument in Kemmerer, Wyoming is the winner of the 2006 Freeman Tilden Award for excellence in interpretation. Aase created “Fishing the Layers of Time,” a series of 26 interactive fossil exhibits that connect people to the park’s extinct aquatic ecosystem.
Aase developed a community wide scavenger hunt using fossils from ancient reptiles, birds, plants, insects, mammals, and fish to tell the story of the park’s 50 million year old lake bed.
Aase selected and acquired the relics used in the program. He coordinated partnerships to fund and house the exhibits. He designed the guidebook, map, fossil cases, rubbing plates, and interpretive signs for the project. In addition, he created a temporary exhibit that travels to libraries throughout the state.
National Park Service (NPS) Chief of Interpretation Corky Mayo presented Aase with the prestigious award on November 9 at a ceremony during the interagency National Association for Interpretation Workshop in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
“Arvid demonstrated creativity in his use of fossils as keys to unlock the rich history of the park. His scavenger hunt energized not just park visitors participating in the program, but the entire town of Kemmerer by involving dozens of businesses, civic groups and museums in the venture,” said Mayo.
For 25 years, the NPS and the National Parks Conservation Association have presented the Freeman Tilden Award to a NPS employee who has made an outstanding contribution to public interpretation or education. Aase was one of seven regional winners eligible for the national award. He received a cash honorarium and a sculpted bust of Freeman Tilden. Tilden helped define the art of interpretation through his books, especially his landmark work, Interpreting Our Heritage.