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Network Nebraska Connects Students to Fossil Finds in Volcanic Ash

Posted on Oct 01, 2018 by Stephanie Stenberg
Tags: CAP, State and Regional Network Spotlight

Located in northeast Nebraska, Ashfall Fossil Beds was originally discovered in 1971 and opened as a state historical site and museum in 1991. It has been attracting on-site student field trips for over 25 years. 

Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park was connected to Network Nebraska via fiber in October of 2017. Since the fiber connection, over 40 Virtual Field Trips have been delivered to 960 students across Nebraska and the United States. To learn more, visit


"Among the many excellent virtual field trips that Nebraska has to offer, Fossil Finds in Volcanic Ash is among the most unique."

Tom Rolfes, Education IT Manager

The 30-minute tour provides a close-up view of the dozens of fossil skeletons perfectly preserved in the glassy volcanic ash. Students get a first-hand look at some of the rhinos, horses, and camels that were wiped out by a supervolcanic eruption twelve million years ago. "Among the many excellent virtual field trips that Nebraska has to offer, Fossil Finds in Volcanic Ash is among the most unique", said Tom Rolfes, from the State Office of the CIO. 

About Network Nebraska
Network Nebraska serves 100% of Nebraska's public K-12 school districts, Educational Service Units, and tribal, community, and state colleges, as well as the four campuses of the University of Nebraska. With 425,000 daily end users, Network Nebraska is one of the 15 largest E-rate consortia in the U.S. Network Nebraska is jointly managed and operated by the State Office of the CIO and the University of Nebraska. 


Network Statistics
Community Anchor Program member since: July 14, 2004
Institutions served:
Public Libraries: 21
K-12 schools: 1,007
4-year Universities: 11 (University of Nebraska, 3 state colleges, 7 private colleges)
Healthcare Institutions: 1 (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Community Colleges: 8 (6 community colleges, 2 tribal colleges)
Museums, Science Centers, Aquariums, Zoos, etc.: 4
State Government Buildings: 1
Local Government Buildings: 2