Revisiting Rockhounding and Fossils

A paleontologist holds a carnivorous dinosaur tooth found on the Colville River on Alaska’s North Slope, by Paxson Woelber via Wikimedia Commons

Rarely do we walk on the beach on Kachemak Bay without coming back with rocks and shells in our pockets. The simple act of picking things up and learning about them can be a rich part of exploring the outdoors, adding depth and a sense of belonging to the place. Collecting is a deep urge for a lot of us. Of course, you have to do it ethically, without harming the places we all love, and so there’s a bit to know about it. On today’s program, we’ll be talking about rockhounding with folks who get serious about geology and finding specimens to keep. And we’ll spend time with scientists who find real treasures, the fossils of dinosaurs that once lived in Alaska. I want to learn what kind of dinosaurs were here, why they were here, and how paleontologists have put that story together.


HOST: Charles Wohlforth


  • Robert Blodgett, paleontologist
  • David Yesner, archaeologist at UAA
  • Montana Hodges, author of books on rockhounding
  • Phillip Elliott, Mat-Su Rock and Mineral Club


BROADCAST: Thursday, October 20, 2016, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. AKDT

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Audio to be posted following broadcast


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Eric Bork, or you can just call him “Bork” because everybody else does, is the FM Operations Manager for KSKA-FM. He oversees the day-to-day operations of the FM broadcast. He produces and edits episodes of Outdoor Explorer, the Alaska-focused outdoors program. He also maintains the web posts for that show. You may have heard him filling in for Morning Edition or hosting All Things Considered and can still find him operating the soundboard for any of the live broadcast programs. After escaping the Detroit area when he was 18, Bork made it up to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where he earned a degree in Communications/Radio Broadcasting from Northern Michigan University. He spent time managing the college radio station, working for the local NPR affiliate, and then in top 40 radio in Michigan before coming to Alaska to work his first few summers. After then moving to Chicago, it only took five years to convince him to move back to Alaska in 2010. When not involved in great radio programming he’s probably riding a bicycle, thinking about riding bicycles, dreaming about bikes, reading a book, or planning the next place he’ll travel to. Only two continents left to conquer!

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