OLLI Shares: Ancient Life in Alabama

Most people wandering the forests and streams of our beautiful Alabama wilderness leave with nothing more than sore feet and a sense of peace. George Martin leaves with so much more. Martin is a retired soil scientist for the US Department of Agriculture and amateur fossil collector who has been preserving and donating specimens to research institutions for more than a decade. One of Martin’s most impressive specimens was a 40 cm (16”) long fossilized turtle which he painstakingly extracted and prepared for further study.

Recently, Martin shared this and some of his other spectacular finds with students in Dr. Bill Deutsch’s Ancient Life in Alabama class at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Auburn. Ancient Life in Alabama is one of 9 classes being offered through OLLI Shares, a program bringing together OLLI members from Auburn University, the University of Alabama, and the University of Alabama at Huntsville, to expand their opportunities for lifelong exploration and collaboration. Following the class, Martin and Deutsch traveled to Tuscaloosa to present the turtle fossil to the Alabama Museum of Natural History where OLLI at Auburn students were joined by OLLI Shares members from across Alabama on an exclusive tour of the museum with the Curator, Dr. Adiel Klompmaker.

Last Updated: October 19, 2021