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U Geophysicist to Help Celebrate New Yellowstone Visitor Center


University of Utah geophysicist Robert B. Smith — who studies earthquakes, volcanism and other geological processes at Yellowstone National Park — will speak at the park this Friday, Aug. 25, as part of a series of events celebrating the new $10.5 million Canyon Visitor Education Center

Smith is scheduled to speak at 7 p.m. in the theater of the new building at Canyon. His topic will be “Yellowstone Hotspot Theory.”

Utah media representatives wishing to contact Smith may reach him before midday Tuesday, Aug. 22 at his office at the university at (801) 581-7129, and after that on his cellular phone at (801) 557-2239.

A National Park Service news release about the new visitor center at Canyon is below.

Lee Siegel, science news specialist
University of Utah Public Relations
(801) 581-8993


National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior

Yellowstone National Park
P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

August 17, 2006 06-65
Nash or Vallie (307) 344-2010 or 344-2012


Grand Opening Next Week For New Canyon Visitor Education Center

Yellowstone National Park will open the doors to the new Canyon Visitor Education Center next week.

The grand opening will take place on Friday, August 25. It coincides with the 90th anniversary of the creation of the National Park Service.

Superintendent Suzanne Lewis will host the ceremony, which begins at 10:00 a.m., in front of the new building. The doors to the visitor education center will open to the public for the first time at the conclusion of the event.

The grand opening of the new facility marks the first major visitor center development in the park in three decades. Its state-of-the-art, interactive exhibits will help visitors learn about and understand the geology of Yellowstone and the “Supervolcano” which lies beneath.

The exhibits will include a large, unique globe which rotates on a film of water showing the location of volcanic hot spots around the world, a room-sized, fiber optic and LED animated topographic relief map of the geologic history of park, and life-size dioramas of wildlife found in Hayden Valley.

A full day of activities is planned to celebrate the event including special ranger programs, a concert by western folk recording artist Bruce Anfinson and an evening lecture by University of Utah geophysicist Dr. Robert B. Smith.

The new Canyon Visitor Education Center will serve over 600,000 visitors a year. $8.6 million of the $10.5 million used to fund the project came from entrance fees collected from the 20 million people who visited the park between 1997 and 2005.

More than $1 million was donated by the Yellowstone Association. Other important contributors to the project include the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation and Canon U.S.A., Inc.

Producers/Editors note: Details regarding logistics for coverage of the grand opening will be made available next week.


Public Affairs Office
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190
(307) 344-2013