When some of us think of dinosaurs, our first thought is probably a scene from Jurassic Park or The Land Before Time. We might have seen both films when we were young, and they have likely shaped our understanding of dinosaurs and prehistoric life. What may be surprising is that they aren’t as wrong as one might think.

That’s not to say we should take them as scholarly works, either. Jeff Bond, education coordinator at Ogden’s George S. Eccles Dinosaur Park, teaches that popular, sensationalized paleontology can sometimes be closer to the spirit of the real deal than one may believe.

Bond teaches the park’s summer lecture series, among other responsibilities at the park, and shares some of his expertise with the community.

Bond explained why he thinks it’s important we educate ourselves on prehistoric life. He cited a few practical reasons, one of which being that fossil fuels are at the root of our economy and understanding the processes that go into making them will help us make better decisions about them as a public.

He also said that if we want to reduce our chances of becoming extinct, we need to understand extinction.

On June 17, Bond taught a course called “Treasures in Amber.” This program covered the fossils that have been discovered in amber, but some interesting facts about the mineral itself.

For example, the Greek word for amber is electronicos, which is where the word electronics comes from. Amber can actually store static electricity, which made it more valuable than gold at one point in history.

For these facts and more, the summer lecture series is open at Ogden’s George S. Eccles Dinosaur Park every Saturday at 1 pm and 3 pm. The final course of the summer is August 19.

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