Virtual Field Trip Details
VFT Information
Title:Agate Fossil Beds National Monument
Description:Rangers will introduce students to Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, and spend time with them describing a large diorama exhibit in the visitor center.

This sensational, life-sized exhibit focuses on the sometimes bizarre animals that roamed these prairies 20 million years ago and are known today through their fossils discovered nearby.  They will learn about fossilization and the geology of the area.

Curious to know what you might see and explore at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument? We wouldn't blame you if you were; in fact, we'd encourage you to browse the sampling of landscape and collections images found in our photo gallery. We must confess, however, that no photograph worth even a thousand words could conceivably capture the wonderfully beautiful and shocking wide-open spaces that surround and contain the monument's famed fossil quarries. Even the details, the photographs of plants and wildlife, leave one wanting to feel the wind brushing your sun-warmed skin as you walk the park's hiking trails. Not to be missed either is the monument's one-of-a-kind museum collections featuring 20-million-year-old fossil mammals and gifts the Cook family, owners of the historic Agate Springs Ranch, received from Chief Red Cloud of the Oglala Lakota, who visited often with family and friends in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Subject(s):ScienceSocial Science
Grade Levels:KindergartenGrade 1Grade 2Grade 3Grade 4Grade 5Grade 6Grade 7Grade 8Grade 9Grade 10Grade 11Grade 12
VFT Type:Talk to the Expert
Meeting Time:Scheduled upon request by the teacher
Duration:40 minutes
Registration Info:To register for this program, contact the program provider (see Provider Information below). For questions about equipment, desktop applications or other concerns, contact your local ESU distance learning specialist. Click here for a list of ESU contacts.
Tech Requirements:Video conferencing systems or desktop application software such as Lifesize ClearSea or Zoom.  
Additional Cost Info:

Provider Information
Provider Name:Agate Fossil Beds National Monument

During the 1890s, scientists rediscovered what the Lakota Sioux already knew—bones preserved in one of the world's most significant Miocene Epoch mammal sites.

Yet, this place called "Agate" is a landscape that reflects many influences—from early animals roaming the valleys and hills, to tribal nations calling the High Plains home, to explorers passing through or settling in the American West.

Agate staff can offer a variety of VFT experiences....from fossils to Native American culture.

The mammals found at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument date from the early Miocene Epoch some 19 to 21 million years ago. Scientists describe the Miocene Epoch as the period of time from 5 to 23 million years ago. At that time, today's Great Plains region was drying out. Flowering plants proliferated, and the abundant animals, including birds, responded to a new food source: grasslands that replaced forest and jungle. Although slightly different anatomically, some of these creatures resemble those of today. Others of these long extinct animals that succeeded the dinosaurs came in bizarre shapes and sizes that influenced people's imagined monsters of yesteryear.

Don't let the name fool you. Agate Fossil Beds National Monument features more than world-class fossil exhibits and a hiking trail to the Arikareean-age Agate Springs quarries. One of visitors' most surprising—and frequently unexpected—discoveries, the Cook Collection, has nothing at all to do with fossils. What the Cook Collection consists of is Native American artifacts the Cook family received in the late 1800s and early 1900s from close family friends like Red Cloud, Chief of the Oglala Lakota.



Contact:Contact our helpful rangers to reserve a time for the activity.
Phone Number:308-665-4110