The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

July 18, 2013

Fossil hunting builds teamwork

OSKALOOSA — Cargill did a team-building exercise by unearthing mammoth bones Tuesday afternoon.

Nine members of the Technology Innovation Leadership Team rolled up their sleeves to dig for mammoth fossils and build some team cohesion at the mammoth dig site in rural Mahaska County.

“I’m a William Penn University graduate, so I know Dr. North,” said Cargill Director of Technical Services Brent Rogers said. “We try to keep Cargill and William Penn close.”

Rogers said he had received an invitation two weeks ago from William Penn officials to come to the dig site.

“My son and I came out and we had an enjoyable experience,” Rogers said.

After the visit, the Cargill Technology Leadership Team held a meeting and decided to do a team-building exercise and tie in a community service element too.

“We’re all science nerds,” Rogers said. “It’s more like fun.”

Rogers said the Cargill team members also are interested in helping with establishing a mammoth learning center in the area.

Rogers said the Cargill employees arrived at 12:30 p.m., and would spend the afternoon at the dig site.

“We discovered a tooth,” he said.

Dave Brenzel of the Indian Creek Nature Center in Cedar Rapids was overseeing the dig site Tuesday.

Brenzel said he was pleased that the eastern end of the excavation pit is productive with mammoth fossils.

“This side is just as productive as the other,” he said. “It’s going to be a fun fall.”

Brenzel said he was glad to have the Cargill employees working at the site.

“They’re scientists too,” he said. “It’s a quid pro quo. They’re biochemists” so they lend their expertise in helping analyze the fossils and dig site..

Brenzel said that Mahasksa County Conservation Board Naturalist Laura De Cook will bring a group of local teachers to the dig site in early August before classes begin.

 

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