GPO Summer Travel Series: Cave Dwellers, Fossil Finders and Dinosaurs Galore

July 20, 2018

Is it just us, or is the thought of dinosaurs roaming … and ruling … the Earth pretty mind-blowing? If you’re as captivated by the early days of Earth as we are, you’re going to love this next destination in our GPO Summer Travel Series. But first, all the prehistoric talk has got us feeling prehistoric ourselves. Let’s stop for some coffee. You’re going to want to be awake for this expedition … we’re on our way to Agate Fossil Beds National Monument in Nebraska!

Before we get there, order your Official National Park Handbook Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, Nebraska. It provides a glimpse of what life was like in North America 20 million years ago, long before the arrival of man, when now-extinct creatures roamed the land that we know as Nebraska. The handbook, brought to you by the National Park Service and Department of the Interior, explains why this land became part of the National Park System, what fossils are found there, and where this monument is located. It includes tips to visitors, a reading list, and information on other sites in the National Park System. The most numerous fossils found at Agate were the remains of the pony-sized rhinoceros Menoceras. The site is also known for fossils of the gazelle-like camel Stenomylus and the early horse Miohippus. The handbook provides sketches of and information on these early animals. In addition to fossils, the park has an extensive collection of Plains Indian art and artifacts, including a shirt from the famous Sioux chief, Red Cloud, who lived on the land in the 1800s.

Have we got you eager to find more fossils? Lucky for you, there are more than 230 other national parks that preserve fossils today! Junior Paleontologist Activity Book includes a map of those parks that preserve fossils across the United States. So take a look! Fossil finding adventures may be closer than you realize. This booklet also helps children ages 5 and up dig for clues as Paleontologists do. They’ll learn about ancient life, complete fun activities, and explore just some of the national parks that offer a look into the past. Play a game to learn about how fossils form and discover different fossil types such as vertebrate and invertebrate fossils. Plus, interested to know when the first fish or flower appeared on Earth? Read fascinating descriptions of the eras of geological time, all the way from the Precambrian to the Cenozoic Era.

Did you know caves are ideal places to preserve fossil remains for thousands or even millions of years? Grab your headlamps and helmets and get ready to be amazed by stalactites, stalagmites and cave-dwelling creatures. With the Junior Cave Scientist Activity Book, you and your family will explore a fascinating and fragile underground world, learn about the values of caves and karst landscapes, and complete fun educational activities. Etiquette isn’t just for the dinner table. Before your big cave expedition, read through this book so you (and your junior cave scientists) know how to practice proper cave etiquette. Yes, it’s a real thing! As the booklet points out, it’s important to never disturb the fossils you find while on a caving adventure. The book also provides useful tips on being cave safe. The National Park Service recommends going into a cave with not one, not two, but three reliable sources of light. It really is as dark as it seems in a cave!

Thanks for coming along the road to fossilization. Rest up and we’ll see you back here again for more summer travels.

More from our Summer Travel Series:

GPO Summer Travel Series: Beach Health and Safety

GPO Summer Travel Series: California, Here GPO Comes

GPO Summer Travel Series: Exploring the Everglades

GPO Summer Travel Series: A Cape Cod Vacation

GPO Summer Travel Series: Your Trip to Yellowstone

GPO Summer Travel Series: Discover the Grand Canyon

GPO Summer Travel Series: What to Do and See in Washington DC

Don’t forget to check out our latest catalog America The Beautiful.

The GPO Online Bookstore – Easy Access to Federal Publications


Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Cat Goergen is the PR Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations office.

Keeping the Kids Entertained… and Educated

December 27, 2012

This week as holiday breaks from school and winter weather keep the kids indoors, parents are looking for ways to keep them entertained–and educated– at the same time.

Fortunately, many Federal agencies this year provide the perfect solution with publications that are both fun AND educational, and with which the kids might actually learn something besides how to shoot down some “Angry Birds” on their new tablet! 😉 From dinosaurs to fossils, freedom runners to astronauts, these fun facts will prove more fascinating than fiction.

Here are a few that I (and my eight and six year-old nephews) particularly enjoy:

     Junior-Paleontologist Junior Paleontologist Activity Book, Ages 5-12, Explore, Learn, ProtectFor the kid who thinks dinosaurs are dynamite

In this illustrated color booklet, a child can learn about ancient life, complete fun activities, and explore some of the 230 national parks that preserve fossils and offer a look into the distant past.

And after completing the age-appropriate activities in this book, your child can then go online to request his or her free Junior Paleontologist badge from the National Park Service.

 Junior-Explorer-Geology-Fossils Junior Explorer Geology and Fossils Activity Book
For the kid who wants to be a “rock star”>/p>Fossils are the “rock stars” in this activity book as well. Includes fun facts, a crossword puzzle, and activities about rocks and fossils for explorers ages 8 to 12, along with a free Junior Explorer Certificate from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Introduces basic kid-friendly concepts about geology, types of rocks and formations, and a glossary of terms. Focuses on Earth features– rock formations, canyons, caves, craters and more– that formed over long periods of time and that cannot be replaced as humans remove and make use of them, and the role of geologists to manage these non-renewable natural resources.

It also lists great public lands managed by the BLM that tourists can visit and explore these fossil-rich landscapes.

 Underground-Railroad-Activity-Book Discovering the Underground Railroad: Junior Ranger Activity BookFor the child who wants to change the world

Provides activities for children ages 5-12 to learn about the history of the underground railroad and the Emancipation Proclamation.

Children who finish the age-appropriate activities can send in to the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program to receive a free Junior Ranger badge from the National Park Service.

Gently covers topics including: the meaning of freedom and slavery; the hardships and daily life of slaves; the importance and travel routes of the “Underground Railroad;” safe refuge choices; key dates and laws relating to slavery and emancipation; and key figures including Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglas and abolitionists Levi and Catharine Coffin, among others.

Celebrating 30 Years of the Space Shuttle programFor the kid or teen with stars in his or her eyes

For older kids, teens and adults with stars in their eyes (and dreams of space), this could be the book for them.

A tribute to everything accomplished during NASA’s Space Shuttle program’s 30 years of operation, this colorful book is chock-full of stunning color photography and interesting facts of every shuttle mission and its crews, from deploying the Hubble Telescope to the inspirational Sally Ride, the first American woman in space.

From its first mission on April 12, 1981, to its last, on July 21, 2011, the Space Shuttle program defined NASA and served as an inspiration to future engineers and astronauts worldwide.

Beginning with the orbiter Columbia and continuing with Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavour, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Space Shuttle has carried people into orbit; launched, recovered, and repaired satellites; conducted cutting-edge research; and helped build the largest human made structure in space, the International Space Station.

All of these books can also be found at the following locations:

  • Buy it at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, (202) 512-0132.
  • Find it in a federal depository library.

Hopefully, these books will help our readers beat the winter blahs as families have to stay indoors due to the weather.

After all, as this famous (albeit anonymous) quote says: “Education is the best gift you could ever receive, because once you have it, no one can ever take it from you.

About the Author:  Michele Bartram is Promotions Manager for GPO’s Publication and Information Sales Division in Washington, DC, and is responsible for online and offline marketing of the US Government Online Bookstore ( and promoting Federal government content to the public.

%d bloggers like this: