Witte Museum receives $250,000 grant for conservation, preservation of fossils

‘If you have dinosaurs, they will come. Everybody loves dinosaurs,’ Witte’s paleontology curator says

SAN ANTONIO – Thousands of dinosaurs and prehistoric animal fossils have been found all across Texas -- even right here around San Antonio.

There are excavations going on throughout the year, and now, thanks to a new grant, the Witte Museum will be able to find so much more.

“Every time I discover a fossil, it’s always exciting. I’m always, you know, just giddy because every time you uncover a fossil, you’re the first person to ever see that,” Dr. Thomas Adams, paleontology curator at the Witte Museum said.

Dr. Thomas Adams has been a paleontologist for 25 years and finding dinosaur and prehistoric animal fossils to him never gets old. His discoveries can be more than 100 million years old.

“Paleontologists, both from the state and outside the state have been coming to Texas to make discoveries and collect fossils for decades. It’s been a very long history of exploration of what we call Texas deep time,” Dr. Adams said.

Texas is a hotbed for dinosaurs and prehistoric animals, well at least it was when they were roaming the earth.

“There are excavations and research happening today as we speak. And for the Witte, we are going to be building a program that allows us to go out and explore Texas and do more,” Dr. Adams said.

Thanks to a grant from the Institute of Museums and Library Services, there are big plans on the horizon.

“We just got a grant for $250,000. And that grant is for us to both re-house and conserve the current collections that we have -- the current paleontology and geology collections,” Dr. Adams said.

The Witte will be recognized as a state and federal repository, which means they’re going to be able to go out and get permits to collect fossils on state and federal lands.

And that means the exhibits will grow!

“If you have dinosaurs, they will come. Everybody loves dinosaurs. Whether you’re three years old or ninety three years old. And of course, dinosaurs are really important because they’re the gateways to science. They’re the gateways of learning and education. And it really does have an impact on children,” Dr. Adams said.

About the Authors

Max Massey is the GMSA weekend anchor and a general assignments reporter. Max has been live at some of the biggest national stories out of Texas in recent years, including the Sutherland Springs shooting, Hurricane Harvey and the manhunt for the Austin bomber. Outside of work, Max follows politics and sports, especially Penn State, his alma mater.

Azian Bermea is a photojournalist at KSAT.

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