For Immediate Release
May 7, 2003

On May 10, Tumbler Ridge resident and amateur palaeontologist Larry White will begin an intensive six-week training session with the renowned scientists and technicians at Alberta’s "Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology" in Drumheller.

Dr. Charles Helm, Vice President of the TRMF, and Rich McCrea, Canada’s leading authority on dinosaur footprints, initiated discussions with the Tyrell staff, prompting the museum’s generous offer to provide field and lab training to an amateur with an interest in palaeontology.

Larry White and his wife Crys have been members of the TRMF since its incorporation and, when the opportunity arose for someone to work alongside the technical minds of Canada’s most prestigious Dinosaur museum, Larry volunteered. With degrees in Physics and Oceanography and experience in Applied Mechanical Engineering through his Naval training in the Canadian Armed Forces, Larry was endorsed by the TRMF as a candidate for training. In addition to his personal interest in palaeontology, having himself discovered an as-yet unidentified dinosaur bone in a rock very close to the site of the skeletal material scheduled for excavation this summer, Larry plans to live in Tumbler Ridge for many years and apply his knowledge to the community’s ongoing scientific projects.

Under the tutelage of palaeontologist Kevin Kruger, Larry will begin with a rotation of ten days in the field, primarily in the area around Drumheller, followed by 4 days in the lab, for up to six weeks. During this time he will study the collection, cataloguing, preparation and display of fossils and bones. The Tyrrell is providing his training at no cost, and Larry will live in his own camper in nearby RV park to keep living costs low. He said he is anxious to learn the internal processes of the Tyrell and rekindle his own passion for research and data collection.

For Tumbler Ridge, it means having a "resident amateur/expert" to assist with excavations, expeditions and serve as an interpreter for guided tours and a liaison for visiting scientists and students. He has been appointed a technical advisor to the TRMF and describes his role as "the Board’s information guy." It also means that the link between the Tyrell and the TRMF is firmly established and will continue to strengthen…a relationship that bodes well for the future of Tumbler Ridge. As Larry states, "The fact that the Royal Tyrrell Museum is willing to make this offer indicates the significance of our find. They wouldn’t commit the time and effort to teach me if it weren’t for good cause. That tells a lot about what we’ve got up here."

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