Paleo Expedition 2009

Paleo Expedition 2009 Blog

June 11

What did you do? Are you excited for more? 

Jordan: Well I think that today was interesting and went better than I ever could have guess! It was nice getting to see the collections room again, and getting a closer look at the artifacts! I am wondering if my family will ever figure out how to look at this! Haha... but today was lovely and I would love to look at the stars after that presentation! I cannot wait to get out in the field. But I am ready to sleep! 

Noah: Today we got started. We toured the collections room which contained all of the things that they don't have room for in the exhibits. We also toured the lab where we should be working tomorrow. Good BBQ for dinner. An astronomer came in and told us about what we could see out there quite informative to say the least. We got our bedding arrangements set up I'm sleeping on the floor. Tomorrow we're going to the ropes course and working more in the lab. 

Carlie: My favorite things we did today: I liked the paleo collections, especially the tallest dinosaur. haha yeah. I also liked seeing the lab. I'd like to make a cast and mold. I'm super excited for the ropes course tomorrow. Now comes talk and sleep. 

Tyler: Today we went to the lab and just took a tour, but tomorrow we will get to actually go and prep some of the fossils that they have been working on. And tomorrow we get to go to the ropes course. FUN!!! 

Lorene: Well… the first day has come and gone! It was really exciting meeting the people I will be spending time with and learning more about what we are going to do. Today we looked at this collection of fossils and they were so awesome. The lab was really cool too, we will be working in that more tomorrow. Well i will talk too you soon goodnight 🙂 

Derick: The first day is always the most interesting, because everyone is just getting to know each other I enjoyed looking at the collections, and can’t wait to work in the lab. I,m having a great time and can’t wait for the ropes course. 

Nancy: After being dropped off, we watched a few videos of the campsite we will be staying at. Then, we talked about our expectations for each other and for ourselves. Agreeing that we would all be respectful of everyone, we then visited the V.P. Collection room where we say hundreds of bones ranging from the tip of a pencil to ones bigger than our entire body! Next, it was time for dinner from Rudy's in the interview room. Finishing our dinners we went to see our rooms which were very nice with couches, tv's, kitchen area, 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. The girls had one room and the guys another. We went back to the museum afterwards and Mr. Glen Kilgour who talked to us about the constellations and galaxies. An hour passed by and it was then 9 o'clock. It was time for us to get ready for tomorrow and start our blogging. Now it's time for bed and tomorrow we will be going on a ropes course and lab. I'm SOOO excited! 🙂 

James: Today was a great intro to the Paleo Expedition 09. Even though i'm horrible with names, I think i have them down now. We went to the collection room, the lab, and saw an astronomy presentation by Glen Kilgour. For dinner we had BBQ. Our hotel room is very decorative with many OU posters, pictures, and banners. The first day was great, and I will post more pictures up soon 😀 

Rachel: I had a great first day! I liked getting to know everyone and looking at the fossil collections. It is amazing how many fossils the museum has, and I enjoyed getting the opportunity to look at them. Tomorrow we will be working with fossils in the lab. I can't wait! I'll try to post some pictures I took later. 

June 12 (Part One)

Well today was a great day! I have a question. What was the lab work like? Was it what you expected? What did you enjoy the most?

Rhys: The lab work was awesome. I had a blast using the air-scribe on the big jacket. The micro-fossils were really cool too. I am now able to identify fish skulls with extreme ease. Hahaha. I really enjoyed it though. 

Jordan: Haha Rhys ran out of time… goodness auto up dates. ANYWAY... Today was exactly how I expected, although I have worked in that lab before, so I guess I had an advantage. But I had fun, I liked the fossil in the sand the most. I was very proud about the amount of work I got done. 

Tyler: My favorite thing to do in the lab was the micro fossils. I found two mammal teeth. I also found a heel bone of a mammal. The macro fossils were cool too. I can't wait to go to the field. 

Rachel: I liked both the micro and the macro fossils. The micro fossils were a lot less boring than I expected them to be. They were easier because you didn't have to worry about breaking them. I was kind of nervous about touching the macro fossils because they look really delicate. I had a lot of fun, and I can't wait to get onto the field at Utah! 

Lorene: Today was so much fun! I really enjoyed the ropes course. It took a lot of communicating and cooperating but we all did good. We also went to the lab too go find fossils in these jackets. It was really fun because nobody knew what they were gonna find. Looking at stuff under the microscopes were really coo to. I think everybody enjoyed that. I can't wait to go to Utah and do real field work! 🙂 

Carlie: Well.. .uhhh... today was awesome. Macro and micro!!! I liked both a lot. i like micro because YOU were finding the fossils, plus the microscopes were pretty 'spiffy' hehe. i think i may have like macro a little more because it was like a puzzle trying to uncover something you already know is there. Or I guess it’s more like a present your dying to open. I like using all the tools. I'm ready to use the big rock pick. =D 

Noah: Lots of small fossils very fun though. Bigger fossils harder afraid I was gonna break some stuff.

Nancy: The lab was not what I expected in the beginning. I thought that it would be a lot more tedious and boring, but it was surprisingly fun. It was sorta like fishing. It took patience, but it was rewarding in the end. We did both the micro and macro lab (micro-small mammal bones and teeth, macro-big dino bones) for about 5 and a half hours today. Of both, my favorite was definitely the micro lab because it was more exciting than the macro in the sense that you never know what you are going to find (which was hopefully a mammal tooth). The macro was harder and takes much longer because it's easier to break whereas the micro are already broken. Overall, I thought it was very fun, and I would love to do the micro again. 

Derick: I really enjoyed the macro fossils in the lab but the micro fossils severely discouraged me.

James: Looking for the micro fossils required some patients, but you get a nice little rewarding feeling when you find a nice, juicy mammal tooth 🙂 Finding the significant fossils were tough. 

June 12 (Part Two)

Ropes Course at OU. Did you learn anything about yourself? Did you move outside of your comfort zone? Do you think team work is important in the field of paleontology?

Tyler: Yes, I learned to think outside the box. I really like the ropes course it was awesome! 

Jordan: Today we pushed ourselves to the limit. Not physical, but mental. I must say that some of the tasks where very hard to figure out, but I was impressed at how well we worked as a team. It made me very excited about upcoming trip! I was pushed very hard on the "up and over" task. I hate heights… but I did it.. I almost opted out… but I did it... and I must say I am proud of that. I have learned not to seconded guess myself and others. Team work is important in every part of life! 

Rachel: I really didn't think I would be able to do the "up and over" but I did anyway. I was really impressed at how we cut down our time on the "cheese log" from 2:47 to fifteen seconds! It showed me how well we work as a team. I also learned just to throw out any idea, even if it sounds crazy. 

Noah: Cool fun. 

Carlie: I learned not to immediately shoot down an idea, cause it may work.=D and to push myself, and if you fall down, to get up. =D and team work is important, although we all tried to compete with each other on a few of the games. I'm ready to put it to the test out on the field! 

Lorene: Today was a blast!! We all learned to try new ideas and work together and just come closer as a team. We did all these challenges where we had to trust each other but also compete some of the time. I cannot wait to see what happens and what other challenges we may have to face. :] 

Nancy: After doing the ropes course with my fellow paleo mates, I learned that teamwork is definitely important. Some other things were to always say your ideas no matter how dumb they sound because it may be the best plan. What I learned personally was that you can't always be the leader. Sometimes you have to be the follower because some people may be better at one thing than another. As of stepping outside my comfort zone, I don't get embarrassed too often so it wasn't too bad. 

Derick: The ropes course was a lot of fun and i learned how to communicate with the other members of the team. 

Rhys: The ropes course was a lot of fun. Even if it didn’t involve ropes... I never knew that you could have so much fun with beanie babies and blindfolds. (If you weren’t there please don’t ask.) As for the comfort zone I didn’t ever really leave it so it was cool. But that was fun. Please forgive for the short blogs and constant use of the word awesome. I’ve never blogged before this thing. 

June 13

Today we looked at how the fields of Geology and Paleontology work together. What did you find out? What was your favorite part?

James: Very excited for this 😀 We are about to leave for it. Derek is packing. He says that he is a morning person, but he is actually quiet. He is drawing in his journal at the moment. Tyler is THE MAMMAL TOOTH MAN. Charles is munchin' on an apple. Holli is getting everything ready for us. Rhys is next to me on Myspace. Noah is eating and blogging away. Carlie is just chilling on the couch waiting to leave. Lourine is watching Nanci blog. Nanci is blogging. Jordan and Racheal is still eating breakfast. That's what's going on so far in DAY 3. 

Tyler: Day 3 was really fun. I learned a lot about cross bedding it was pretty interesting. Dr. Rich Cifelli was cool and funny. I really liked the bird power point the Golden Eagle was really cool. 

Lorene: Today was a really fun day! We got up and ate a delicious healthy breakfast(like always haha) and then we learned a lot from Rich and then we went to Canadian Creek and walked through the river and got our toes all ooey -n- gooey 🙂 and then later that day, we got a power point presentation about all different types of birds we got too see. i think everybody's favorite, including mine, was the golden eagle. He can carry everything up top a mountain goat!! well every day gets so muich better and I’m excited to see what happens next :] 

Noah: It was pretty cool learned some neat stuff. 

Jordan: I thought the Geo and Paleo interaction is very interesting. I really liked walking in the water. haha. However I did not, at all, in the least… like my wet socks >< but hey that is life! I think that everything relates to Geology, so it is hard to say. 

Nancy: Today we visited the North Canadian River and Lake Thunderbird. While there, we looked at the rock beds to see the layers. We found a few at Thunderbird and at the Canadian River we looked at ripples in the mud and sand due to wind and water current erosion. My favorite thing I did today was learning about the different species of birds in the Utah area from the ornithologist who takes care of the birds in the museum, and going to the bird collection and seeing all the different species of birds. 

Rhys: Hey this is the night before we leave and my last post till we get back from the field. Today was pretty awesome with the presentations and all. We got to learn a lot from Rich (not Rick) about geology and took a trip to Purcell and lake thunderbird to look at rock layers and other things like that. The ornithology presentation was awesome too. My new favorite bird is the Golden Eagle. Flying goats are awesome by the way. Hahaha (the golden eagle hunts goats and flies off with them) Had to repack and that sucked but it had to be done. This is awesomeness signing off. 

Derick: The geo portion of the day was very insightful, i enjoyed going to the different places to observe the bedding areas. I also liked to play in the quick sand at the Canadian. King of hearts. 

Carlie: Alright, we listened to rich lecture and teach some interesting stuff. There were only a few things he talked about that went over my head. i enjoyed the deposition of rock part. I liked the nine weeks in school i learned about that. i was waiting for rich to quiz us on where a fault or an intrusion or a folding occurred. I think some of the things rich was teaching us we'll just have to actually see, find, and do to get the full just of it. His lecture was probably my favorite part. Then we went to the south Canadian river and Lake Thunderbird. Fun, interesting, and hot. Then we watched a presentation over birds we'll see at the site. we got to see a collection of them too. Great fun. Then we ate a luscious dinner at hide a way pizza. Well, Imma hit the hay. Can’t wait till tomorrow. 

June 14

Albuquerque or bust! We have been driving a lot today. Tomorrow we head into the field. No more computers. No more cell phones. Peace, quiet and fossils! We have had an amazing day and shared our goals for the field. Unfortunately we have had no time to blog this evening. So send us your support and happy thoughts. We are off....

Carlie: I am so very excited. You can’t even imagine how excited i am. OMG! =D i can handle no computer and cell phones. Sometimes is nice to be without contact to the outside world. Haha. We'll be in our own world; an awesome world. I can’t wait to be in the complete dark and see all the stars i can see. I can’t wait look for birds. I can’t wait to experience all of the chores, get a taste of the paleo life. I can’t wait to hang out with everyone all at once all day long! And most of all.....I cannot wait to get dirty and find some fossils!!! This is my last blog until the 22nd! I love you(you know who you are =D) bye 

June 22

We have completed a fantastic week of vertebrate paleontology! After a great week, we're now resting in Page, Arizona, enjoying real showers, swimming pools and ice cream. Unfortunately, we have limited internet access so there will be no new posts until tomorrow. Pictures will be up soon, though! We're now off for a float trip and will arrive in Flagstaff tomorrow.

June 23

Hello from Flagstaff! Due to computer malfunction participants will not be blogging until we return OU Thursday evening. So sorry! I will also add LOTS more pictures at that time 🙂 It has been another amazing day for our Paleo Explorers. Today we woke up (very) early and floated down the Colorado River to the start of the Grand Canyon. It was amazing! We ALL jumped in the 48 degree water and it was really, really cold. We have video! After lunch we drove to Flagstaff and hiked around Sunset Creator Volcano. It is an entirely different environment and so different than the desert we have been in for the last week. The volcano was beautiful. There is a cloudy sky this evening, so we are not going to the Lowell Observatory. 🙁 Instead we are taking a swim before we write in our journals about another wonderful day. We say it all the time on our trip, but here it is again; THANK YOU WHITTEN-NEWMAN!!!! This is truly a once in a life time adventure. Tomorrow is drive day! All the way to Amarillo, Texas. We will be in touch soon.

June 24

Hello, everyone! After a long day of driving, we've stopped for the night in Texas. We'll be back at the University tomorrow afternoon and will post soon after.

June 25

After some more driving and more sandwiches, we have made it safely back to the Museum! We arrived this afternoon and are busily working on our presentations for Saturday. We have a lot to reflect on and are already getting a little misty eyed about our goodbyes. Tonight we will be working away, eating some yummy pizza and getting a good night’s sleep. Talk to you tomorrow!

Derick: My favorite thing about the trip was finding a new dig site for next year. I'm also very glad to be back in Oklahoma. 

Jordan: Tonight was awesome!!! 

June 27

It has been an amazing expedition and it is all ending way too fast! Last evening we worked on our presentations, shared our favorite memory and how we have grown, watched Jurassic Park and then were off to sleep in the galley under the dinosaurs. Such a sad night, no one wants to say good bye. This morning we are going to be busy perfecting our presentations before Closing Ceremonies begin at 11:30 am. What a trip!

Rachel: I'm glad to be home, but it was over too fast! I miss everyone already. Can't wait for the reunion! Has anyone decided when it is going to be yet? I also heard that they are going to take someone back to the site next year to teach the new people. Is that going to be done? 

Jenny: I miss everyone too! The expedition was a blast and I learned SO much! I wish I could go out prospecting again. In fact, the other day I went to a local park with one of our summer classes and found myself glancing down to see if there were any fossils. Hehe 😉 Hope all is well! Ttyl. 

Nancy: I miss it too! Fourth of July was so much fun! I spent it in California where to this second that I am typing, the fireworks are still going off. I hope everyone had a great independence day too! I miss you all 🙂 

James: It's been 1 week since the expedition ended. I miss it so much.