Trilobite fossil from the Burgess ShaleIn 1909, Charles Doolittle Walcott discovered one of the most important fossil locations in the world, the Burgess Shale, on the southwest side of a ridge between Mt. Field and Wapta Mountain, in Yoho National Park. The Burgess Shale provides an amazing window into what the world looked like half-a-billion years ago. Understanding the contents of the Burgess Shale and the sequences of the Earth’s physical processes will help us to better understand how life has evolved and how it may continue to evolve.

The Burgess Shale Geoscience Foundation is a pre-eminent earth-science education organization, based in Field, British Columbia. Established with charitable status in 1989, its mandate is to increase science literacy through the appreciation, interpretation and educational value of the Burgess Shale fossils and their related geology, as well as the earth science processes that define our understanding of the whole planet… the Earth we share. One of the primary objectives of the Foundation is to promote integrating earth sciences into the K-12 curriculum so that the students of today, soon to be citizens and decision-makers of the future, will be much better equipped to deal with the global, earth-related issues challenging our civilization. The fascination of science, as illustrated by the incredible fossils of the Burgess Shale, can stir the enthusiasm of students, engage their curiosity, and expand their knowledge and understanding of and appreciation for the earth science related issues affecting the planet.