In paleobotany, and all other areas of botany, broad dissemination of the nature and significance of botanical information to lay persons, teachers, other scientists, and government officials is needed more than ever, in order to better educate them about plants and the value of understanding plant biology and diversity and the patterns and processes of evolution. The following is a template for sharing such information; merely substitute specifics from your area of inquiry in place of the underlined words. The plant fossil record, while incomplete, provides information about the history of plant life as well as contributes an historical perspective important in developing and shaping diverse investigations, including molecular approaches, of extant plants or other organisms. Major discoveries are not entirely the result of chance; in some cases specific questions were or are being pursued; examples are presented of fossil hunters who searched for, and found, evidence of 1) the pre-Silurian existence of land plants; 2) the presence of gametophytes in the Early Devonian; 3) the Devonian occurrence and radiation of seed plants; and 4) the Early Cretaceous radiation of angiosperms with great variation and innovation in floral evolution. In addition to such benchmark events, much has been learned about [insert specifics about your own field here] how and why plants have evolved; how different plants are related to one another; homology of tissues (meristems) or organs such as roots, leaves, or reproductive structures; the composition of past communities or vegetation associations and what they tell us about past climates, adaptive strategies; variations in reproduction, and importance of competition; and the distribution of various taxa throughout time. Integrating data from fossils with that derived from modern plants, at all levels from molecules to whole organisms, promises to enrich our knowledge and allow for predictions of future changes.

Key words: education, evolution, fossil hunters, paleobotany