A paleontologist’s treasure trove in the form of a dinosaur fossil quarry in Mantua was bought by the administration of Rowan University.
It consisted of a 65-acre quarry in Mantua. And it holds fossils dating back to the Jurassic Period when dinosaurs ruled the earth. This cornucopia will also lend valuable clues as to why these giant monsters went extinct some 65 million years ago.
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This has remained a mystery. Some blame it on a gigantic comet which hit the earth and wiped off 99% of all life forms from its surface. Others say that the volcanoes erupted and the ash and dust led to so much pollution that life became scarce on earth.
The quarry in Mantua Township will be set aside as an institute for citizen science by Rowan University. The purchase made by the university will be for a cool $1.95 million. The site is situated outside Woodbury-Glassboro Road.
The university dean and admin members worked in synch with the state senate president, Steve Sweeney and Mantua officials to better the future status of the site. The site has been the private property of the Inversand Company for nearly a hundred years.
“This is an extraordinary opportunity for Rowan University, one that places us at the forefront of innovation and scientific discovery,” says Rowan President Ali A. Houshmand. “As a University, we have an obligation to preserve this unique educational treasure, right here in our backyard, for future generations.”
“Our vision for the fossil quarry goes beyond educating schoolchildren. We will transform it into an internationally prominent center of research for people of all ages. We are looking forward to continuing to partner with Mantua Township and Gloucester County to accomplish that.”
The Inversand Company was going to close the site. This was to preserve the fossils buried deep down beneath the surface. However, now Rowan University will be the proud new owner of the site.
The research will continue unabated and a nucleus for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) will be established once and for all. A distinguished paleontologist, Dr. Kenneth Lacovara, will be overseeing the activities at the center.
This will lead to even more discoveries and add to our pre-existing knowledge of the fossil past. The R&D opportunities that have been opened up are virtually limitless.
Now, Rowan University too can be at the leading edge of innovation and technology. It was a dream of the admin and board of trustees of the university to preserve the paleontological heritage for future generations.
It is not just for the sake of educating and inspiring children. Adults can also profit from the immense database of informational wealth that will be generated at the center of excellence.
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Since many years, Mantua officials had worked in close coordination with Dr. Lacovara to unearth the riches buried deep within the earth. Over 8000 individuals have worked in the vicinity so far. And they have included Boy Scouts as well as the elderly among their ranks.