Dr. Green Shares His Passion for Science, the Earth and Mastodons
Dr. Jeremy Green, an associate professor of geology at Kent State University at Tuscarawas, spent time this summer sharing his knowledge and research of prehistoric mastodons with other scientists from around the world at the Valley of the Mastodons exhibit and workshop event held at the Western Science Center history museum in Hemet, California. The museum houses one of the largest collections of fossilized mastodons – prehistoric relatives of elephants – in North America. Dozens of individual mastodon fossils were unearthed during the excavation of Hemet’s Diamond Valley Lake, earning the city the nickname “Valley of the Mastodons.”
Green was invited to the museum to work side by side with a diverse group of scientists to advance scientific and public knowledge of mastodons and to present a research talk to the general public and school children on what tooth wear can tell us about diet in extinct animals, especially the mastodon.
“This workshop represents a unique opportunity where a group of experts could come together and share ideas and research,” said Green. “We were able to do this in an open manner where the public could attend, participate and ask questions.”
Green explained that understanding how mastodons’ diet changed through time across its natural habitat in North America may lead to a better understanding of what caused the mastodon, an animal that was so common in our region only 10,000 years ago, to go extinct.
Green has been conducting and publishing research in paleontology for about 15 years, since he was a junior in college. “The first fossil species I ever got to work on as an early student was the American mastodon, so this workshop was a nice bit of nostalgia for me,” he said. Working alongside other experts in the field and with the museum’s dynamic fossil collection, Green was able to collect new research data on mastodons.
“There’s still so much to learn, and science helps us fill in those dark areas of understanding,” said Green. “Sharing and hopefully promoting a passion for science and the scientific process in other people is what I love about my job.”
Green has been a professor at Kent State Tuscarawas for eight years and teaches several courses, including All About Dinosaurs, Earth and Life Through Time, and All About the Oceans.
“I love educating students about the Earth, especially its history and past life and how that life has changed through time,” said Green.
Green’s latest research on mastodons has recently been accepted for international publication.