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Women in Paleontology

Meet Lanie!

A bit about Lanie, a world-class preparator and paleontologist at the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center, in her own words. "I grew up in Wahpeton, ND, and for as long as I can remember I've had an interest in paleontology. It always amazed me that the world was such a different place a long time ago. I got a Bachelor of Science in Geology from the South Dakota School of Mines and technology in 2013. As a student, I volunteered at the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, SD, and with the Forest Service in SD & NE with their Passport in Time program. I also participated in my university and worked at the Museum of Geology. Also as a student, I did a summer internship and summer job at the Wyoming Dinosaur Center in Thermopolis, WY. After college, I worked as a preparator and museum technician at Badlands National park for four or five years. Now I work at Triebold paleontology Inc., it’ll be three years this month." 

 

Lanie, when asked about some of her greatest paleontology achievements, stated, "

I consider being a well-rounded fossil preparator an achievement. I’ve worked on things as big as an Apatosaurus, and as small as an Icthyornisand. And everything in between. It's nice to know that I can handle whatever we find next."

 

Lanie's advice to those interested in working in paleontology?  "Experience is key. Doing internships and related volunteer projects is a great way to get your foot in the door. The field of paleontology is very rewarding if you are willing to work hard."

 

 

 

Meet Elaine!

 

After years of battling low self-esteem and a negative mindset, Elaine inadvertently discovered her passion for dinosaurs and paleontology and her life was never the same.  Elaine's love for all things dinosaur led her to volunteer with Orlando Science Center and the Wyoming Dinosaur Center, where she became certified in lab and field work and has returned year after year.  In the process of pursuing her passion, Elaine has made life-long friends and has come to realize we all have the power to enjoy our lives and to make a positive difference in the world.  Elaine's experience led her to write the book Passion in the Bones and, most recently, to join filmmakers Tony and James Pinto as executive producer of their upcoming documentary Why Dinosaurs? which celebrates dinosaurs and the people who love them.

Be sure to follow @whydinosaurs for updates about the documentary!

Social Media platform links

Instagram @dinosaurlaine

What is something that you consider to be one of your greatest achievements in the field?

Elaine considers one of her greatest achievements to be her volunteer work.  “Not only has volunteering with the Wyoming Dinosaur Center allowed me to acquire valuable training and hands-on experience in the lab and field, it has also led to friendships with amazing individuals including award-winning paleontologist Dr. Dean Lomax and WDC paleontologists Bill Wahl and Jessica Lippincott, all of whom helped inspire me to write my book.  Also, my volunteer work with Orlando Science Center led to my friendship with Dinosaurs Will Always Be Awesome podcast creator Jimmy Waldron who continues to be so supportive of my paleontological pursuits.”

What is something that you want to share with those interested in working in the field?

“If you’re going to pursue paleontology as a career, make sure to never lose your child-like enthusiasm for it.  Even when your job is also your passion, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day stresses of life that can sometimes take the fun out of it.  When such challenges come your way, remember to step back and take time to channel your inner ‘child’ who fell in love with paleontology in the first place. That genuine excitement will create positive energy that can keep you moving forward in a positive direction even when your circumstances are weighing you down.”

 

Meet Lindsey!
Meet Lindsey Davis, a paleontologist, museum educator, and science communicator in Raleigh, NC. Lindsey is originally from Lovettsville, Virginia and has earned her Bachelor of Social Work and will earn her B.S. in Biology in June from Meredith College. She is passionate about all things paleontology and wildlife biology. She has experience working with museums, conducting research on bats and paleontology, and doing science communication! It is her goal to study prehistoric animals and their ecosystems to learn what we can do for the conservation of modern animals. 

 

Lindsey considers one of her largest achievements to be "putting myself out there and making so many connections in the field in the last year. I’m proud of myself for having the confidence that I can be a great paleontology educator, especially given the fact that I’m still an undergrad. Some of the connections I’ve made and opportunities I’ve had are things that many people don’t have until graduate school or later, and I’m humbled by that fact."

 

For those interested in working in paleontology Lindsey's advice is, "It sounds cliché, but don’t give up on your dreams. I almost gave up only a year and a half ago, but then I realized I wouldn’t be happy doing anything else and that this is what I’m meant to do. Paleontology is rarely easy, but the joy it can bring you is unparalleled. Put yourself out there and make connections by sending emails or a DM, and take advantage of any volunteer opportunity that you can!"

 

Social Media platform links

@paleolindsey on Instagram 

@paleolinds on Twitter

@lindseyrosedavis on TikTok

 

 

 

 

Meet Skye!  Skye is a paleontologist from Alabama with a B.S. in geology from Auburn University. She is what she calls a "jack-of-all-trades" when it comes to paleontology, with experience in the lab, the field, and the classroom!
During her undergraduate career, she worked as a research assistant and worked on dinosaur bone histology, San Salvador meiofauna (studying animals that live on the bottom of watery locales), and marine wood borers in the Gulf of Mexico. Skye has been a volunteer fossil preparator for almost 4 years and has had the opportunity to work hands-on with fossils. She also worked as a teaching assistant for an Alabama dinosaur class, where she taught students about Alabama geology and paleobiology. Her journey has also allowed her to conduct fieldwork in Alabama, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico!
Skye, when commenting about her greatest achievement thus far, said, "I consider my greatest achievement to be the spot where I am right now. The places I've been, the things I've learned, and the people I've met. I think 5-year-old me would be very happy to see where she ended up and continues to go. I'm not exactly where I want to be yet, but I'm very grateful to have learned that it's all about the journey."
Skye's advice to those interested in working in paleontology?  "If you want to do something, do it. If others try to dissuade you from doing it, do it anyway. In the end, you will be so much happier because you chose what you love, not because it made a lot of money or appeased someone else. Do it because you love it and are passionate about it."

Meet Evan!
Evan is a paleontologist at the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center that specializes in 3D scanning and printing.  She has taught students on numerous continents and is among the very best in the world at taking two-dimensional scans and morphing them into printable three-dimensional skeletons.  Her innovative approaches to leveraging technology in paleontology is revolutionizing research and displays globally.

When asked about some of her greatest paleontology achievements she replied, "I’ve had the opportunity to work on world-class mounts that are displayed all over the world and bring joy to many people globally. I’ve also had the chance to pioneer new technologies and integrate them into the paleo world."


Evan's advice to those considering working in paleontology, "You will always get dirty, scraped, bumped, cut, bruised and there will be days when both your body and brain are exhausted by the work you’re doing, but it is totally worth it."

 

Thank you Evan for all you do!!!

Meet Holly Simon, paleontologist and Assistant Director at the Whiteside Museum of Natural History (WMNH) in Seymour, Taxes.  Holly is originally from Fort Worth and has lived in Seymour for 5 years. She's always had a fascination for paleontology and reptiles. As Assistant Director she is a productive member of the WMNH dig team.  She loves that through the museum she is able to learn more about paleontology and is happy to help provide educational experiences to visitors and contribute to scientific research.  For her, it's the greatest thing in the world to share her passion for the natural world.

 

We asked Holly what her biggest achievement to date is.  She answered, "Definitely my biggest achievement is being able to have the position I do at my age, and also being surrounded by incredible mentors that encourage my passion."

 

We also asked her for advice to aspiring paleontologists.  Her answer?  "My advice for people who are interested in working in the field is to take every opportunity that is thrown at you and soak up all the resources you can get and run with it."

 

Holly is an absolutely amazing individual!  Follow her at:

Instagram: hollymander98

Tiktok: hollymander98

 

 

 

 

Meet Kathryn, a fantastic 3D paleo specialist and educator. She has prepared, restored, and mounted dinosaurs for museums and galleries all over the world! 
By combining rapid scanning technology and 3D printing, Kat, “Learned to transform dinosaurs into light—then into math—and back again!"  
Dubbed the “Spinosaurus Queen” because of her love of the awesome animal, she realized one of her lifelong dreams when she scanned an tusk Spinosaurus arm!
Fascinated with dinosaurs and prehistoric life ever since she was 6 years old, her grandfather would take her to the Tyrell Museum, which only strengthened her love of these wonderful animals. Since then, she has always tried to incorporate dinosaurs in every part of her life and has always been known as "The Dinosaur Lady!" 
She studied Paleontology, Sciences, Tourism, and New Media at the University of Lethbridge, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, Alberta College of Art and Design and the University of Alberta.  
Kathryn's advice to aspiring paleontologists?  "Dinosaurs are for everyone and never let anyone stand in the way of following your dreams."
Follow Kathryn's work at:

 

 

 

Meet Myria Perez!  

Myria is a paleontologist and fossil preparator out of Dallas, Texas.  She is also an AAAS IF/THEN Ambassador.  Myria began her paleontology path by volunteering at the Houston Museum of Natural Science when she was 12. It was there she learned from the museum curators how to excavate and prepare fossils, as well as how to share scientific knowledge with visitors.  Myria went on to attend Southern Methodist University (SMU), where she worked in the fossil lab between classes in for Geology and Anthropology degrees.  The fossils she worked on are now on display at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) exhibit called Sea Monsters Unearthed: Life in Angola's Ancient Seas. 

During college she conducted research at the NMNH on the taphonomy of England's ichthyosaurs (including some found by MaryAnning).  Her SMU senior thesis was written on Eunotosaurus.  Today, she cleans fossils from Pachyrhinosaurus specimens from Northern Alaska while inspiring young girls (really anyone) in STEM.  

Fossil Crates asked Myria what is one of her greatest achievements in the field of paleontology?  “My biggest achievement was/is being brave to ask questions. If I wasn't brave enough, I wouldn't have asked the curators at the Houston Museum if I could volunteer. If I wasn't brave enough to ask, I wouldn't have been able to find out I could work with Dr. Louis Jacobs at SMU in the fossil labs on campus and be a part of building an exhibit in D.C.!"

Fossil Crates also asked what advice she would give to those interested in working in the field of paleontology:  "Find a mentor. A good mentor will push you to your potential and share with you opportunities you'd never dream of. Paleontology is also a small field and it is important to network and learn from others, and who's better to learn from than your own mentor?"

Follow Myria via the links below:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/paleontologica/?hl=en 

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4cPe2Z0UkxfmnCWFL7YZtg

Tumble Podcast: https://www.sciencepodcastforkids.com/

 

Meet Emily Keeble: Digital paleontology expert. Currently Emily makes models of Triassic archosaurs for biomechanical modelling as part of the DawnDinos project. Her childhood dream of working at the London Natural History Museum came true with her work on the Digitising Darwin project where she got to work on specimens collected by Charles Darwin himself on the voyage of the Beagle! Emily also is a contributing writer for PBS Eons and the popular DK books.

Emily’s advice to aspiring paleontologists: Something that took me a long time to learn is that to succeed in palaeontology, you really have to put yourself out there, and keep putting yourself out there. Reach out to people about collaboration or mentorship; ask for help when you need it and make friends! It's scary, but very worth it.

@deinonychusfloof
Twitter: @ekeeble1