Vertebrate Paleontologist & Morphologist
University of Chicago, Postdoctoral Researcher
Feel free to contact me with outreach opportunities!
Adrienne Stroup (right) and I (left) are all ready to share the wonderful world of dinosaurs with elementary-aged kids and their families during a Dozin' with the Dinos overnight event at the Field Museum of Natural History. PC: Dozin' with the Dinos staff.
I have had the pleasure of working at the Field Museum of Natural History these past few years. My main activity is working as showcase staff for the Dozin' with the Dinos overnight program, telling elementary-aged students and their families about various sets of fossils or birds. I have also volunteered for Members Night and did a couple showcases for Meet a Scientist, one featuring birds and one featuring pterosaurs.
I was also a speaker for the Life Long Learning Series program for continuing adult learning. I gave two sets of presentations, one on the evolution of flight (5 talks) and one on echolocation across the animal kingdom (2 talks). These talks were hosted at public libraries and senior centers across Chicago. This series was a really neat program which gave speakers training to remove jargon and make accessible presentations, and it was great fun sharing my work and other evolutionary trivia with the audience.
Tours and School Visits
High school students learn just how big the teeth of "Supercroc" are at the Maroon Tutor Match Career Exploration Day. PC: Maroon Tutor Match Team.
As a member of the Sereno Fossil Lab, I have given countless tours of the prep lab throughout the years to school groups 1st grade through high school, families, and occasionally donors. For some of the school groups it was just a tour, other times I would do quick powerpoint presentations to show various aspects of paleontology, and if there was enough time, we would make little tooth casts from prepared molds to take home.
I have also been invited to give talks to elementary schools (Andrew Jackson Language Academy, Hamilton Elementary School, Little Chute Middle School) ranging from 4th grade to 7th grade. I worked with the teachers to figure out what they were currently studying and which aspects of paleontology would fit in well with their curriculum. I have covered general paleontology as well as more specific areas like dinosaurs and prehistoric food webs, paleomicrobiology, paleogeology, and paleoecology depending on curricula.
A meeting of the Paleontology Club (PaleoClub) from the early years. PC: Maria Viteri.
During the fall of 2014, a few of my friends and I were discussing how there are clubs for all sorts of sciences at the University of Chicago, but there was no club for students interested in paleontology, even though the University is well-known for it's paleontology program. Over the course of that school year, we founded the University of Chicago Paleontology Club, a group of paleontology enthusiasts and students looking to become paleontologists. Since then, we have invited grad students, postdocs, professors, paleoartists, museum curators, etc. to give talks about their work. We have also brought students to the Field Museum for behind-the-scenes tours and gone on annual trips to the Ordovician of Ohio to learn about the geology and invertebrates in that area, 444-485 million years ago.