Year 10 student Jacksan Beaty from Stuart High School, Whyalla, is the first recipient of the James Moore Memorial Prize – a palaeontological experience which honours the memory of the late Mr James Moore, whose life was cut short because of a car crash.
Mr Moore, a Flinders palaeontology researcher, was due to visit Brothers Islands, a South Australian palaeontological site, in January 2015 with colleagues from the Flinders University palaeontology laboratory. To honour this expedition, Jacksan travelled with the Flinders team to this site, accompanied by members of the Moore family and Dr Lee Arnold, a dating expert from the University of Adelaide.
This was followed by a hands-on experience in the University’s palaeontology laboratory, where Jacksan learned to prepare, sort and identify the rocks and fossils collected from the expedition. He attended lectures on various aspects of Australian palaeontology and participated in laboratory activities that helped him identify the Brothers Islands fossils.
However, this wasn’t the end of the immersive experience: Jacksan also accompanied the Flinders team on a second expedition to a fossil site at Bone Gulch near Wentworth, NSW. This second field trip offered the opportunity to experience a completely different excavation style to that seen at the Brothers Islands. With a wide range of palaeontologists, geologists, archaeologists and dating experts from South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria present on the dig, Jacksan saw firsthand the camp logistics, geological surveying, sediment sampling and fossil excavation.
Expeditions with the palaeontology team will be held each year for high school students through the support of the James Moore Memorial Fund. Flinders University, together with the Moore family, encourages you to support the fund to ensure James’ passion for palaeontology can live on and inspire future generations.