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First circular

Summer 2014 program on the conservation and documentation of fossil trees
Tak Province, Thailand, 15
th
July – 15
th
August

2014


1




First circular





Summer 2014 program on the conservation and documentation of fossil trees

Tak Province, Thailand, summer 2014
15
th
July – 15
th
August

2014

Dates to remember:
SUMMER SCHOOL: July 15
th
– 17
th
, 2014
WORKSHOP: July 18
th
– 20
th
, 2014
VOLUNTEER PROGRAMME: 15
th
– August 15
th
, 2014

Description

In Bantak Petrified Forest Park, Tak, Thailand, seven large fossil
tree trunks have been excavated, including the longest known fossil
tree in the world, measuring over 72 meters in length.

The Northeastern Research Institute of Petrified Wood and Mineral
Resources, under the Nakhon Ratchasima Radjabat University
(Thailand), in collaboration with the Technological Educational
Institute (TEI) of the Ionian Islands (Greece) have initiated a project
with the aim of preserving these fossil trees by utilizing the
conjunctive efforts of multidisciplinary people who are interested in
fossil trees, conservation, geology and environment. The goal is to
protect this natural heritage site, educate people, and raise local,
national and international public awareness on the importance of
the fossil trees.

The TEI of the Ionian Islands have formed a technological umbrella
with the University of the Peloponnese (UOP) – Greece, the
National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) – Greece and
Eötvös University –Hungary, to assist the aims of above mentioned
program initiated by the Northeastern Research Institute of Petrified
Wood and Mineral Resources.

The summer 2014 program is part of the larger research and public
outreach aims of the above institutes, which are currently
conducting analytical research for the identification of the pathology
and structure of the Ban Tak fossil trees.





Arial view of Petrified trunk # 7 after
excavation

Northeastern institute
of Petrified Wood & Mineral Resources

TEI of the Ionian Islands, Zante, Greece



First circular
Summer 2014 program on the conservation and documentation of fossil trees
Tak Province, Thailand, 15
th
July – 15
th
August

2014


2


Organisers

The summer 2014 program is a vital step in the much larger goal to
protect, conserve and promote the Ban Tak Petrified Forest. The
Summer School, Workshop and Volunteer Program for the
Conservation and Recording of Fossil Trees is co-organised by

 The North-eastern Research Institute of Petrified Wood and Mineral
Resources (NRIPM), Thailand
 Division of Conservation of Cultural Heritage of the Technological
Educational Institute (TEI) of the Ionian Islands, Greece
 Petrified Forest Park, Tak province, Thailand
The above co-operating parties have successfully cooperated in
2013, organising the 2013 Seminar & Preliminary Workshop on the
Care of Outdoor Exhibits of Petrified Wood.


Summer 2014 Preliminary Program

The summer 2014 program is divided in 3 parts:

PART 1 - SUMMER SCHOOL: 15
th
-17
th
July, 2014
addressed to participants and volunteers

PART 2 - WORKSHOP: 18
th
-20
th
July, 2014
addressed to volunteers only

PART 3 - VOLUNTEER PROGRAMME: July 15
th
–August 15
th
addressed to volunteers only

*Volunteers must attend all three parts.

Group photo of the participants of the
2013 Seminar & Preliminary Workshop on
the Care of Outdoor Exhibits of Petrified
Wood, at the Northeastern institute of
Petrified Wood & Mineral Resources




Group photo of a visiting school Bantak
Petrified Forest Park
The aim of the summer 2014 program is to inform its participants about the knowledge, skills, experience and
scientific background required to care for fossil trees and protect them from weathering and erosion. The
important goals of this project are to conserve the integrity of the fossil trees so that future generations can learn
about their significant, natural heritage and to allow further research to be performed on the conservation and
history of the petrified wood. Attendants to this program will be able to begin understanding the progress in
finding the correct conservation methods and materials used to conserve exposed petrified wood in harsh,
climatic conditions, allowing continued research of fossil wood and protection of the surrounding areas.

Volunteers will further benefit by spending a total of four weeks alongside Evangelia Kyriazi, adj. conservation
lecturer at the TEI of the Ionian Islands, and learn from her experience in the conservation of fossil forests.

During their stay, volunteers will be living within the area of the Ban Tak Petrified Forest and engage themselves
in several activities for the recording and conservation of the Petrified Forest of Ban Tak. This is the first time
that volunteers are allowed into the Park to assist in its conservation program.


First circular
Summer 2014 program on the conservation and documentation of fossil trees
Tak Province, Thailand, 15
th
July – 15
th
August

2014


3

PART 1 - SUMMER SCHOOL: July 15
th
– 17
th
, 2014
The first three days of the summer 2014 program are dedicated to lectures on petrified forests, their
deterioration, conservation analysis and research. The speakers include:
 Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya, governor of Tak province, Thailand
 Nareerat Boonchai, paleobotanist from Northeastern Research Institute of Petrified Wood and Mineral
Resources, under the Nakhon Ratchasima Radjabat University (Thailand)
 Evangelia Kyriazi, Conservator, adj. Lecturer at the Technological Educational Institute (TEI) of the Ionian
Islands - Division of Conservation of Cultural Heritage (Greece)
 Miklos Kazmer, Professor and Head of the Department of Palaeontology, Eötvös University (Hungary)
 Herbert W. Meyer, Paleontologist, Florissant Fossil Beds Nat. Mon. Adjunct Curator, University of Colorado
at Boulder Research Associate, Denver Museum of Nature & Science National Park Service and Florissant
Fossil Beds National Monument (USA)
 Wickanet Songtham, lecturer and geologist at the Northeastern Research Institute of Petrified Wood and
Mineral Resources, under the Nakhon Ratchasima Radjabat University (Thailand)
 Supatra Boonlampoo, Artist for the Northeastern institute of Petrified Wood & Mineral Resources (Thailand)

PART 2 - WORKSHOP: 18
th
-20
th
July, 2014
The workshop is only addressed to volunteers, who must have attended all of the lectures before continuing to
Part 2.

The workshop includes three days of lectures and practice that focus on photography of fossils for conservation
purposes, coding, labelling, recording and filing. Lectures will also include presentations on the pathology and
identification and recording of the preservation state of fossils. The workshop will be led by Evangelia Kyriazi,
adj. conservation lecturer at the TEI of the Ionian Islands, and experienced fossil conservator.


PART 3 - VOLUNTEER PROGRAMME: July 15
th
–August 15
th

 Volunteers must have attended all of the lectures of the six previous days before continuing to Part 3.
 Volunteers must have signed a statement that they will stay at Ban Tak Petrified Forest Park for at least a
month.
Volunteers will be assisting the first stage of the conservation project of the Ban Tak fossils, under guidance of
Evangelia Kyriazi, adj. conservation lecturer at the TEI of the Ionian Islands, and experienced fossil conservator.
They will be involved in setting up the newly established conservation lab, and in the creation of a
documentation system protocol, as properly recorded documentation is of very high importance for conservation.
The purpose of the program is to carefully document the condition of all the fossils in the Ban Tak Petrified (e.g.
record temperature and humidity readings and other environmental parameters) and perform conservation tests
(expected to take place in August, after the documentation of the fossils is complete).


First circular
Summer 2014 program on the conservation and documentation of fossil trees
Tak Province, Thailand, 15
th
July – 15
th
August

2014


4

Deadlines
The application deadline for the summer school and seminar program is June 20
th
; this deadline is set for all
applicant form submissions and valid travel details to attend the program.

Registration
For volunteer submission forms please contact the organizers at the following e-mail address:

Bantakpetrifiedforest@gmail.com

Registration Fee
All three parts of the summer 2014 program are free of charge.

Additional Information
Thailand

Thailand is much different from western countries. The
language is naturally very polite, and the Thais use a
polite particle that is added after most sentences “Crap”
for males and “Ka” for females. Thailand people are
generally very kind hearted and show their appreciation
and respect in the form of a “wai” (clasping hands close
to the face). This gesture should be used for greetings
and showing thanks, and is a good way for foreigners to
show they are putting forth an effort to learn the culture
of the kingdom.

There are also a few things foreigners should refrain
from doing while in Thailand (e.g. touching monks
(especially females), taking pictures of people without
permission, showing public displays of affection,
disrespecting the king or stepping on currency with the
kings face on it, etc.), also it would be good to note that
Thai people are very non-confrontational; yelling or
showing signs of anger toward a Thai will more than
likely end up in them ignoring or avoiding you. After all,
Thailand is considered “The Land of Smiles” and as its
name suggests the people who live here enjoy smiling
and being happy.

Shopping in Thailand is usually very inexpensive if you
shop in a market or bazaar, however the malls tend to
have the same price ranges of western countries. Basic
necessities like soaps, bug spray, clothes, etc. generally
range from $1 - $5 USD or 1 – 3 Euros.

Bantak Petrified Forest Park is located in
Northwestern Thailand
First circular
Summer 2014 program on the conservation and documentation of fossil trees
Tak Province, Thailand, 15
th
July – 15
th
August

2014


5


The area of the Ban Tak Petrified Forest
Tak is a province in the Northwestern region of Thailand. It has vast mountainous landscapes with numerous
waterfalls and a great diversity of flora and fauna. The area where the tree fossils are located is a small area with
the Ping River running through it called Ban-Tak.

The Petrified Forest Park it is located directly across the street from a hospital and only about 3km from the
nearest market area, which sells food, clothes, and other miscellaneous products.

Weather in Tak
The weather in Tak may be summarized as very hot summers, cold winters and a rainy season in June and July.
The area is a located in a large gravel deposit which makes temperatures very high in the summer when the sun
radiates heat from the stone so sunblock is a very useful product in the area. Additionally, much of the park is
lacking tree cover, so sunblock would be a very useful product during your stay at the park.


Additional Information for Volunteers
Volunteers will need to pay their own transportation (e.g. flight tickets, bus to Tak Province, etc.). As an
appreciation for their volunteer work, they will be offered accommodation and 3 meals per day.
Volunteers should bring comfortable running shoes, as they will be expected to walk in non-paved paths.
Sun-block, hats and white clothing will be useful as volunteers will have to spend time under hot sun.
A Thai phrase book or dictionary will prove useful in order to communicate with local people, as not many locals
speak foreign languages, and trying to communicate in Thai language will be will be highly appreciated.
Also, please bring a lot of towels as the forest park does not provide them.