Phillips named “Hometown Hero” by Jackson Convention & Visitors Bureau

Phillips named “Hometown Hero” by Jackson Convention & Visitors Bureau

JACKSON, MS - This is a news release from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks. 

George Phillips, Paleontology Curator at the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks' Museum of Natural Science, was recently named a "Hometown Hero" by the Jackson Convention & Visitors Bureau. Phillips is a respected researcher and an exemplary ambassador for science to the state of Mississippi. The state's fossil collection has grown to more than eight times its original size under Phillips' stewardship over the past eleven years. George was recently featured on the History Channel's hit show,American Pickers, and he was even able to charm the show's hardened deal-drivers into donating a valuable duck-billed dinosaur femur, originally collected in Mississippi, to the museum!

"What really makes George Phillips a 'Hometown Hero' is his daily interaction with Mississippians," stated Phillips' supervisor, Matt Roberts, Ph.D., MDWFP Museum of Natural Science Research Coordinator. Many times each week, George identifies fossils for walk-in visitors and via e-mail. Phillips, along with conservation educator Nicole Smith, plans and hosts the annual MississippiFossil Road Show (FRS), an event held at the museum that pairs citizen fossil enthusiasts with experts from throughout the southeastern United States.FRSis one of the museum's best-attended events, drawing around 1,200 visitors annually! Scientists gather new data about which fossils are being collected and where, while the public learns more about their finds and how to be better collectors. A host of other activities highlight Phillip's dedication to public service. He:

  • hosts visiting American and international scientists,
  • provides training for museum volunteers regarding paleontology exhibits,
  • constructs kits forEnvirothon(a state-wide youth science competition), the Boy Scouts of America for the Geology badge, and for Mississippi high schools participating in the Science Olympiad, and
  • introduces Boy Scouts to career paths in science and conducts field trips for college-age students to Mississippi's paleontological research sites.

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