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HOT SPRINGS, SOUTH DAKOTA

Hands-On Paleontology: Excavating and Preserving Mammoths in the Black Hills

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Road Scholar
Program #8925RJ
6 Days | 5 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderate
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Elevation Note
Most activities are at the 3,100 - 3,500 foot elevation.

Itinerary for Sep 22 — Sep 27, 2013

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Type: Hotel

Description: New property opened in 2004. Outdoor area with benches for relaxing and viewing the scenery and is within walking distance of Mammoth Site.

Contact info:
1401 Highway 18 Bypass
Hot Springs, SD 57747 USA
phone: 605-745-4411
web: www.stayusahotel.com

Room amenities: Coffee-maker, hair dryer, iron, Internet access, & TV.

Facility amenities: Expanded breakfast menu, hot tub, business center with Internet access, fitness room and elevator.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Ranges from $89 - $139.
You must call the hotel directly for reservations @ 605-745-4411. Tell them you will be with South Dakota/Regional Traveling Studies group and ask if the Road Scholar rates are available for your dates.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day One: Sunday, September 22 - Arrival/Orientation/tour of Mammoth Site
Note: This afternoon's tour of The Mammoth Site requires walking to the site (approximately 6-7 blocks long with an up-slope hill going to The Mammoth Site). If you don't want to walk, a ride will be provided.

Afternoon: The group will meet at 3:45 PM in the hotel hospitality room to walk to the Mammoth Site for an introduction tour (if you don't want to walk, a ride will be provided).

Dinner: This evening's group dinner is at Woolly's across the street from the hotel.

Evening: Meet your Road Scholar Director in the hotel hospitality room for a short welcome, orientation of the week and introductions.

Lodging: USA Stay Hotel & Suites

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: New property opened in 2004. Outdoor area with benches for relaxing and viewing the scenery and is within walking distance of Mammoth Site.

Contact info:
1401 Highway 18 Bypass
Hot Springs, SD 57747 USA
phone: 605-745-4411
web: www.stayusahotel.com

Room amenities: Coffee-maker, hair dryer, iron, Internet access, & TV.

Facility amenities: Expanded breakfast menu, hot tub, business center with Internet access, fitness room and elevator.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Ranges from $89 - $139.
You must call the hotel directly for reservations @ 605-745-4411. Tell them you will be with South Dakota/Regional Traveling Studies group and ask if the Road Scholar rates are available for your dates.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Two: Monday, September 23 - Excavate or Lab work at Mammoth Site//Evening Lec...
Note: Must be able to stand, bend, kneel and handle a small container of sediment while excavating in the bonebed (indoors) and participating in lab work (indoors). If you have physical limitations, the staff will help you find a location within the bonebed and lab that will work for you.

Breakfast: The expanded continental breakfast opens at 6:30 a.m. in the hotel hospitality room.

Morning: Participants will split into two or three groups (depending on number of participants) for the excavation and lab work. World renown Dr. Larry Agenbroad (when his schedule allows) principal investigator of the site and/or Justin Wilkins, In-situ Bonebed Curator and Secondary Educator will provide excavation instruction and an overview of the bonebed before each group begins working as well as continuing supervision and instruction during the week. Lab director, Olga Potapova, oversees all aspects of the lab work. All groups will have equal time to work in the lab, the bonebed excavation site, molding and casting, and an exhibits walk/talk along with a mapping demonstration. The lab group will rotate their work in three major areas: Bone preparation, molding and casting, and screen picking bonebed sediments for small fauna, etc. In addition, Olga Potapova, Collections Curator and her assistants will also take you on a behind the scenes tour of the lab specimen storage area. The bonebed group will work up close and personal with the In-situ Bonebed Curator, Justin Wilkins, who will supervise and teach you excavation techniques to be used in the bonebed. Also interact with other experienced workers and volunteers during your excavation experience. Practice your excavation techniques as you help piece together life in the Ice Age. Fossil finds may be actual portions of the animal, such as bones, teeth, and shells; imprints of tracks and trails; or maybe replaced by minerals such as silica, iron and manganese. Excavation continues in the previously opened areas of the site both in lateral and vertical dimensions. Work begins at The Mammoth Site at 8:00 am.

Lunch: Today you will be having lunch with The Mammoth Site Staff. It is a time for you to meet the people working behind the scenes and for them to interact with you, the working participants. Lunch will be served at the Mammoth Site.

Afternoon: Participants will split into two or three groups (depending on number of participants) for the excavation and lab work. World renown Dr. Larry Agenbroad (when his schedule allows) principal investigator of the site and/or Justin Wilkins, In-situ Bonebed Curator will provide excavation instruction and an overview of the bonebed before each group begins working as well as continuing supervision and instruction during the week. Lab director, Olga Potapova, oversees all aspects of the lab work. All groups will have equal time to work in the lab, the bonebed excavation site, molding and casting, and an exhibits walk/talk along with a mapping demonstration. The lab group will rotate their work in three major areas: Bone preparation, molding and casting, and screen picking bonebed sediments for small fauna, etc. In addition, Olga Potapova, Collections Curator and her assistants will also take you on a behind the scenes tour of the lab specimen storage area. The bonebed group will work up close and personal with the In-situ Bonebed Curator, Justin Wilkins, who will supervise and teach you excavation techniques to be used in the bonebed. Also interact with other experienced workers and volunteers during your excavation experience. Practice your excavation techniques as you help piece together life in the Ice Age. Fossil finds may be actual portions of the animal, such as bones, teeth, and shells; imprints of tracks and trails; or maybe replaced by minerals such as silica, iron and manganese. Excavation continues in the previously opened areas of the site both in lateral and vertical dimensions. Work ends at The Mammoth Site at 4:00 pm.

Dinner: Walk across the street from the hotel to Woolly's Grill for dinner tonight. You may eat there anytime between 4:00 to 5:30 p.m.

Evening: 6:30 pm. lecture in hotel hospitality room. Evening lecture topic: Geology of the Black Hills and surrounding areas by Justin Wilkins.

Lodging: USA Stay Hotel & Suites

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: New property opened in 2004. Outdoor area with benches for relaxing and viewing the scenery and is within walking distance of Mammoth Site.

Contact info:
1401 Highway 18 Bypass
Hot Springs, SD 57747 USA
phone: 605-745-4411
web: www.stayusahotel.com

Room amenities: Coffee-maker, hair dryer, iron, Internet access, & TV.

Facility amenities: Expanded breakfast menu, hot tub, business center with Internet access, fitness room and elevator.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Ranges from $89 - $139.
You must call the hotel directly for reservations @ 605-745-4411. Tell them you will be with South Dakota/Regional Traveling Studies group and ask if the Road Scholar rates are available for your dates.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Three: Tuesday, September 24 - Excavate or Lab work at Mammoth Site//Evening Lec...
Note: Must be able to stand, bend, kneel and handle a small container of sediment while excavating in the bonebed (indoors) and participating in lab work (indoors). If you have physical limitations, the staff will help you find a location within the bonebed and lab that will work for you.

Breakfast: The continental breakfast opens at 6:30 am in the hotel hospitality room.

Morning: Participants will split into two or three groups (depending on number of participants) for the excavation and lab work. World renown Dr. Larry Agenbroad (when his schedule allows) principal investigator of the site and/or Justin Wilkins, In-situ Bonebed Curator and Secondary Educator will provide excavation instruction and an overview of the bonebed before each group begins working as well as continuing supervision and instruction during the week. Lab director, Olga Potapova, oversees all aspects of the lab work. All groups will have equal time to work in the lab, the bonebed excavation site, molding and casting, and an exhibits walk/talk along with a mapping demonstration. The lab group will rotate their work in three major areas: Bone preparation, molding and casting, and screen picking bonebed sediments for small fauna, etc. In addition, Olga Potapova, Collections Curator and her assistants will also take you on a behind the scenes tour of the lab specimen storage area. The bonebed group will work up close and personal with the In-situ Bonebed Curator, Justin Wilkins, who will supervise and teach you excavation techniques to be used in the bonebed. Also interact with other experienced workers and volunteers during your excavation experience. Practice your excavation techniques as you help piece together life in the Ice Age. Fossil finds may be actual portions of the animal, such as bones, teeth, and shells; imprints of tracks and trails; or maybe replaced by minerals such as silica, iron and manganese. Excavation continues in the previously opened areas of the site both in lateral and vertical dimensions. Work begins at The Mammoth Site at 8:00 am.

Lunch: Enjoy your sack lunch at the Mammoth Site along with a short presentation about the History of the Mammoth Site and hear from the site's Development Officer and Secondary Education Director.

Afternoon: Participants will split into two or three groups (depending on number of participants) for the excavation and lab work. World renown Dr. Larry Agenbroad (when his schedule allows) principal investigator of the site and/or Justin Wilkins, In-situ Bonebed Curator will provide excavation instruction and an overview of the bonebed before each group begins working as well as continuing supervision and instruction during the week. Lab director, Olga Potapova, oversees all aspects of the lab work. All groups will have equal time to work in the lab, the bonebed excavation site, molding and casting, and an exhibits walk/talk along with a mapping demonstration. The lab group will rotate their work in three major areas: Bone preparation, molding and casting, and screen picking bonebed sediments for small fauna, etc. In addition, Olga Potapova, Collections Curator and her assistants will also take you on a behind the scenes tour of the lab specimen storage area. The bonebed group will work up close and personal with the In-situ Bonebed Curator, Justin Wilkins, who will supervise and teach you excavation techniques to be used in the bonebed. Also interact with other experienced workers and volunteers during your excavation experience. Practice your excavation techniques as you help piece together life in the Ice Age. Fossil finds may be actual portions of the animal, such as bones, teeth, and shells; imprints of tracks and trails; or maybe replaced by minerals such as silica, iron and manganese. Excavation continues in the previously opened areas of the site both in lateral and vertical dimensions. Work ends at The Mammoth Site at 4:00 pm.

Dinner: Walk across the street from the hotel to Woolly's Grill for dinner tonight. You may eat there anytime between 4:00 to 5:30 p.m.

Evening: Evening lecture at the hotel hospitality room. Dr. Larry Agenbroad will enlighten the group with personal experiences, stories and slides relating to his trips to Siberia and the Jarkov Mammoth Project and history of The Mammoth Site.

Lodging: USA Stay Hotel & Suites

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: New property opened in 2004. Outdoor area with benches for relaxing and viewing the scenery and is within walking distance of Mammoth Site.

Contact info:
1401 Highway 18 Bypass
Hot Springs, SD 57747 USA
phone: 605-745-4411
web: www.stayusahotel.com

Room amenities: Coffee-maker, hair dryer, iron, Internet access, & TV.

Facility amenities: Expanded breakfast menu, hot tub, business center with Internet access, fitness room and elevator.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Ranges from $89 - $139.
You must call the hotel directly for reservations @ 605-745-4411. Tell them you will be with South Dakota/Regional Traveling Studies group and ask if the Road Scholar rates are available for your dates.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Four: Wednesday, September 25 - Excavate or Lab work at Mammoth Site//Evening Lec...
Note: Must be able to stand, bend, kneel and handle a small container of sediment while excavating in the bonebed (indoors) and participating in lab work (indoors). If you have physical limitations, the staff will help you find a location within the bonebed and lab that will work for you.

Breakfast: The continental breakfast opens at 6:30 a.m. in the hotel hospitality room.

Morning: Participants will split into two or three groups (depending on number of participants) for the excavation and lab work. World renown Dr. Larry Agenbroad (when his schedule allows) principal investigator of the site and/or Justin Wilkins, In-situ Bonebed Curator and Secondary Educator will provide excavation instruction and an overview of the bonebed before each group begins working as well as continuing supervision and instruction during the week. Lab director, Olga Potapova, oversees all aspects of the lab work. All groups will have equal time to work in the lab, the bonebed excavation site, molding and casting, and an exhibits walk/talk along with a mapping demonstration. The lab group will rotate their work in three major areas: Bone preparation, molding and casting, and screen picking bonebed sediments for small fauna, etc. In addition, Olga Potapova, Collections Curator and her assistants will also take you on a behind the scenes tour of the lab specimen storage area. The bonebed group will work up close and personal with the In-situ Bonebed Curator, Justin Wilkins, who will supervise and teach you excavation techniques to be used in the bonebed. Also interact with other experienced workers and volunteers during your excavation experience. Practice your excavation techniques as you help piece together life in the Ice Age. Fossil finds may be actual portions of the animal, such as bones, teeth, and shells; imprints of tracks and trails; or maybe replaced by minerals such as silica, iron and manganese. Excavation continues in the previously opened areas of the site both in lateral and vertical dimensions. Work begins at The Mammoth Site at 8:00 am.

Lunch: Enjoy your lunch and a noon presentation at the Mammoth Site. You will be working with Justin on a Tooth Molding and Casting project.

Afternoon: Participants will split into two or three groups (depending on number of participants) for the excavation and lab work. World renown Dr. Larry Agenbroad (when his schedule allows) principal investigator of the site and/or Justin Wilkins, In-situ Bonebed Curator will provide excavation instruction and an overview of the bonebed before each group begins working as well as continuing supervision and instruction during the week. Lab director, Olga Potapova, oversees all aspects of the lab work. All groups will have equal time to work in the lab, the bonebed excavation site, molding and casting, and an exhibits walk/talk along with a mapping demonstration. The lab group will rotate their work in three major areas: Bone preparation, molding and casting, and screen picking bonebed sediments for small fauna, etc. In addition, Olga Potapova, Collections Curator and her assistants will also take you on a behind the scenes tour of the lab specimen storage area. The bonebed group will work up close and personal with the In-situ Bonebed Curator, Justin Wilkins, who will supervise and teach you excavation techniques to be used in the bonebed. Also interact with other experienced workers and volunteers during your excavation experience. Practice your excavation techniques as you help piece together life in the Ice Age. Fossil finds may be actual portions of the animal, such as bones, teeth, and shells; imprints of tracks and trails; or maybe replaced by minerals such as silica, iron and manganese. Excavation continues in the previously opened areas of the site both in lateral and vertical dimensions. Work ends at The Mammoth Site at 4:00 pm.

Dinner: Walk across the street from the hotel to Woolly's Grill for dinner tonight. You may eat there anytime between 4:00 to 5:30 p.m.

Evening: Lecture at 6:30 pm. in hotel hospitality room. Justin's presentation is entitled "Mammal Teeth and Mesozoic Mammals."

Lodging: USA Stay Hotel & Suites

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: New property opened in 2004. Outdoor area with benches for relaxing and viewing the scenery and is within walking distance of Mammoth Site.

Contact info:
1401 Highway 18 Bypass
Hot Springs, SD 57747 USA
phone: 605-745-4411
web: www.stayusahotel.com

Room amenities: Coffee-maker, hair dryer, iron, Internet access, & TV.

Facility amenities: Expanded breakfast menu, hot tub, business center with Internet access, fitness room and elevator.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Ranges from $89 - $139.
You must call the hotel directly for reservations @ 605-745-4411. Tell them you will be with South Dakota/Regional Traveling Studies group and ask if the Road Scholar rates are available for your dates.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Five: Thursday, September 26 - Excavate or Lab work at Mammoth Site//Evening Lec...
Note: Must be able to stand, bend, kneel and handle a small container of sediment while excavating in the bonebed (indoors) and participating in lab work (indoors). If you have physical limitations, the staff will help you find a location within the bonebed and lab that will work for you.

Breakfast: The continental breakfast opens at 6:30 a.m. in the hotel hospitality room.

Morning: Participants will split into two or three groups (depending on number of participants) for the excavation and lab work. World renown Dr. Larry Agenbroad (when his schedule allows) principal investigator of the site and/or Justin Wilkins, In-situ Bonebed Curator and Secondary Educator will provide excavation instruction and an overview of the bonebed before each group begins working as well as continuing supervision and instruction during the week. Lab director, Olga Potapova, oversees all aspects of the lab work. All groups will have equal time to work in the lab, the bonebed excavation site, molding and casting, and an exhibits walk/talk along with a mapping demonstration. The lab group will rotate their work in three major areas: Bone preparation, molding and casting, and screen picking bonebed sediments for small fauna, etc. In addition, Olga Potapova, Collections Curator and her assistants will also take you on a behind the scenes tour of the lab specimen storage area. The bonebed group will work up close and personal with the In-situ Bonebed Curator, Justin Wilkins, who will supervise and teach you excavation techniques to be used in the bonebed. Also interact with other experienced workers and volunteers during your excavation experience. Practice your excavation techniques as you help piece together life in the Ice Age. Fossil finds may be actual portions of the animal, such as bones, teeth, and shells; imprints of tracks and trails; or maybe replaced by minerals such as silica, iron and manganese. Excavation continues in the previously opened areas of the site both in lateral and vertical dimensions. Work begins at The Mammoth Site at 8:00 am.

Lunch: Lunch at the Mammoth Site. Finish your Tooth Molding and Casting with Justin.

Afternoon: Participants will split into two or three groups (depending on number of participants) for the excavation and lab work. World renown Dr. Larry Agenbroad (when his schedule allows) principal investigator of the site and/or Justin Wilkins, In-situ Bonebed Curator will provide excavation instruction and an overview of the bonebed before each group begins working as well as continuing supervision and instruction during the week. Lab director, Olga Potapova, oversees all aspects of the lab work. All groups will have equal time to work in the lab, the bonebed excavation site, molding and casting, and an exhibits walk/talk along with a mapping demonstration. The lab group will rotate their work in three major areas: Bone preparation, molding and casting, and screen picking bonebed sediments for small fauna, etc. In addition, Olga Potapova, Collections Curator and her assistants will also take you on a behind the scenes tour of the lab specimen storage area. The bonebed group will work up close and personal with the In-situ Bonebed Curator, Justin Wilkins, who will supervise and teach you excavation techniques to be used in the bonebed. Also interact with other experienced workers and volunteers during your excavation experience. Practice your excavation techniques as you help piece together life in the Ice Age. Fossil finds may be actual portions of the animal, such as bones, teeth, and shells; imprints of tracks and trails; or maybe replaced by minerals such as silica, iron and manganese. Excavation continues in the previously opened areas of the site both in lateral and vertical dimensions. Work ends at The Mammoth Site at 4:00 pm.

Dinner: Walk across the street from the hotel to Woolly's Grill for dinner tonight. You may eat there anytime between 4:00 to 5:30 p.m.

Evening: Meet at 6:30 pm. in the hotel hospitality room. Final lecture by Justin relating to current research of the "Arctodus Simus Skull" from The Mammoth Site and will focus on the Giant Short-faced Bear and potential implications for Pleistocene ecology. Enjoy a social time after the media lecture to say goodbye to new friends and fellow "Mammoth" workers.

Lodging: USA Stay Hotel & Suites

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Six: Friday, September 27 - Independent departures from hotel anytime before ...
Note: Independent departures.

Depart From: Program ends with independent departures from hotel. Hotel checkout is at noon.

Breakfast: Continental breakfast at hotel served from 6:30 AM to 10:30 AM.

Meals Included: Breakfast


Free Time Opportunities


Hot Springs, SD
Hot SpringsThe following are a few of the unique locations and sites in the Hot Springs, SD area: The Mammoth Site; hot mineral water bath houses in city of Hot Springs; Evans Plunge-World's largest natural warm water indoor swimming pool; Wind Cave National Park is within a 15 minute drive north and the Wild Horse Sanctuary is located a few miles south of Hot Springs. Browse in the Antique Stores and Art Galleries in the downtown area or take the challenge of golfing on one of the area's finest 18 hole golf courses also located in Hot Springs. Call Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce for more information at 1-800-325-6991.
For additional information, visit: www.hotsprings-sd.com
State ParkDrive through Custer State Park and watch for herds of Bison, pronghorn antelope, deer, Bighorn Sheep and wild turkeys. Stop and take a look at the Game Lodge where President Coolidge and Grace stayed during the summer of 1927.
For additional information, visit: www.custerstatepark.com
Black Hills and Badlands Visitor's SiteVisitor's center located on the Eastern edge of Rapid City. Displays of the area and printed information is available (maps and brochures).
For additional information, visit: www.blackhillsbadlands.com
South Dakota Tourism DepartmentPhone: 605-773-3301 for general information about the entire state of South Dakota. A free South Dakota Vacation Guide can be mailed to you upon request.
For additional information, visit: www.travelsd.com

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
5 nights of accommodations
14 meals: 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners
5 Expert-led lectures
10 Hands-on experiences

Ratings

4.9
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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