Paleo Expedition 2012 Blog
What an awesome day! We spent the afternoon getting to know everyone and we dove right in learning about Paleontology and Geology. We explored the museum a little and even had some time for swimming. Tomorrow we will be at the ropes course all day finding out about team work, communication and leadership skills (While having lots of fun!) We’ll hear from our Team Members tomorrow night, so stay tuned! – Jes & Brad
Gray M: Having an awesome time, super fun. We did team building activities today, we lost to a hula-hoop not fun. Everyone is really cool and awesome. Can’t wait for tomorrow.
LaDaryn L.: It is such a high honnor to be working among people who understand my interests and share common studies with my fellow students. I can honestly say that I am doing what I love! Paleontology and Achiology are the newest of my favorite studies, but of course nothing will ever beat Zoology in my books. I am delighted that I get the chance to explore beyond my thoughts and physically do what few people and kids of my own age get to do. Plus, I making new friends who I can bond with every day! 🙂
Jordan: Day one I got to meet everyone i was a little nervous but i noticed everyone else was too so it didn’t bother me. Everyone that was a part of the program was nice and kind, some were very talkative and some very shy but toward the end of the day we started to get to know each other better. My roommates for now are two guys named Jake and chance their pretty cool. Day 2 we got to meet a scientist named Dr. Nick (I can’t spell his last name) and he gave us a crash course on what we needed to know before we went out in the field. Did a rope course which was a bunch of team building exercises which made me feel like i knew everyone better and i trust all of them now. The team building helped us bond as a group and got to see everyone at their frustrated level and their talkative funny type like level. Then we ate some food which was awesome!!!! i ate a huge amount a little too much then we acted out a certain era from prehistoric times to present day which was funny well that’s all I have.
Chance: Today was an exciting day. We woke early, arrived at the museum and learned about Geology from Dr. Nick, the museum’s Curator of vertebrates. After our Geology 101 we loaded up and hit the ropes course. Our teamwork and leadership skills were tested as we were put through a series of obstacles and tricky games. In doing this we were all able to strengthen our teamwork skills and work more efficiently and work better together as a team. After a day at the ropes course our group definitely became closer, allowing us to know one another even more. I’m excited to get to know this group even more in the following week and become an even stronger team.
Reno M.: Today was pretty fun. Got to listen to Dr. Nick talk about geology. After that we headed out to the ropes course to learn to become a better team. We learned to incorporate all the ideas so we could find a solution to all the challenges. We conquered them all except for the hula-hoop, he beat us. After that we got to go swim at the hotel before we came back to the museum. Enjoyed an excellent dinner before we got to walk around the museum to learn. It is a little creepy with no one else here but I got over it. Then the hard part came. We had to dance out a part of the Earth’s history. I got the pre-Cambrian. Nothing really happened during the pre-Cambrian. I still think my team did pretty good though. Whelp time to get off but before I would like to go Thunder.
Jake S.: Yesterday when we were just sitting around, getting to know each other, everyone seemed pretty cool. I was probably the loudest and I’m betting I talked the most. Tried to really talk to people I wouldn’t in my normal routine, get to know them, and I’m glad I did. The classroom wasn’t too bad the first day, Jes and Brad and everyone made it fun. Couldn’t sleep until fairly late, so woke up kind of groggy today. Today, woke up stubbornly and got around. Ate breakfast at the hotel and left for the museum. Got to listen to Dr. Nick Czaplewski give us all a base on Geology (where it crosses with Paleontology) and he was extremely smart. He gave us a very good base, answered all of our questions thoroughly. After that we went to a ropes course until about four. We did a lot of team-building games that helped us develop as a team. Some were frustrating (like being beaten by a hula hoop) but we accepted failure and bonded as a team. I got a lot closer to the team, and we got to see how everyone works under pressure. We got back to the hotel and changed. Then we went swimming just to chill and relax after being outside all day. Then came back to the museum, ate Q’Doba (delicious) and went through the museum focusing on time periods of the earth. Then we got into groups of four and had to do — get this — an interpretive dance about that time period. It was interesting to say the least, and a lot of fun. Until I got tackled as part of our dance. Then we came back to the classroom, journaled, and am now blogging. I’ve really enjoyed the first full day with the group, and I’ve think we’ve come a long way towards becoming a close-knit group where we can count on each other. That’s all for today.
Daulton: Today was pretty fun. We went to the ropes course to learn about becoming a better person and a better team leader besides the hula-hoop laughing at us, besides that it was a good day. Then we came back to the museum had a bit to eat then we dance/acted out parts of time witch was really fun. It was a good day.
Kris: Having a great time!!! Met a lot of new people and doing alot of new things! I know we’ve only been here for 2 days,but it feels alot longer…We’re pretty much getting a basic understanding of paleontology so that we’ll know what to do once we get digging for fossils.We went to a ropes course today and learned alot about working together and listening to each other ideas. About 13 more days to go and I plan to make the most out of each and every one of them!!!! >:)
Justine E.: Today is they day that we all met for the first time. I was really nervious but it all worked out for the better. We all get along great. There are only 2 other girls besides myself. Thats really good cause that means that we all will spend a lot of time together and become good friends. After that we went through the museum. Really cool as always. Then we went to our hotel and went swimming. That’s about all we did today. Day 2- Today Dr. Nick came in and talked to us about time and geology and how that all plays into paleontology. Really informative and really cool. I didn’t know that layers had so many different ways of laying. Guess what they say is true, “You learn something new every day!” That ended about 9:00 or so. After that we went to the ropes course and did some group activities. One involved a hoola-hoop that was really light weight, we had to bring it from chest level to the ground. Harder than it sounds. It kept going up instead of down! After a while we decided to move on. We could not believe we got defeated by a hoola-hoop! We left the ropes course around 4:45pm and headed back to the hotel to swim. After swimming for a while we came back to the museum and did a few games. Now you are caught up to present time to when I wrote this blog. 😀 lol
Laura G.: Hello family!! Happy Fathers Day Dad, if you’re reading this 🙂 Today was a pretty fun day. We got to listen to Dr. Nick, and he gave us a very in depth geology/paleontology lesson. After that we went to ropes course, which was very fun, and a bit frustrating, but a great learning experience. All of us get along well, and I feel like I have known all the members of the expedition longer than just a day. Jes gave us a rundown about some of the key eras, and then we got to do some interpretive dance about whatever period we were assigned. Me, Kris, and Dalton were pretty creative with our area. It was pretty, ah, fun and entertaining. We also got to go swimming, as we did yesterday, and I think we’ve found all of us enjoy the hot tub better than the pool. All in all, today was a pretty great day, and a great way to start off the expedition. Tomorrow we’ll be doing some studies in the museum. Jes is a lovely artist. Hope y’all are having a nice weekend!!!
Kristin H.: Today has been great! Started off on a ropes course where we struggled as a team but then came together and accomplished a lot. Although we lost to a hoola-hoop, we succeeded in teamwork and listening to our peers. Throughout the ropes course, not only did I learn things about my fellow explores but also about myself. Later in the day, we came back to the museum and got a crash course on paleontology and got to do a interpretive dance over a time period. Needless to say LaDaryn can do a pretty crazy money!! Going through the museum with a person that is knowledgeable and can answer ones questions is VERY helpful. Can’t wait for tomorrow to see what that brings. Glad to have all these people here with me. They are funny and great to be with!
Ernest V.: The nostalgic feelings and memories are flowing once again. I have vivid memories of last year’s Paleo Expedition and, as a Peer Mentor, I’m apprehensively excited for my fellow expeditioners to experience this once in a lifetime odyssey. Today, with the help of the always amazing Dr. Nick Czeplewski, we summarized basic geologic events and the processes which affect them. Also, as a team, we perused the different branches of paleontology and their overall significance to the geologic time scale, which may have involved interpretive dances and so forth. Later on, we tested our newly joined team at a ropes course, which thankfully didn’t involve the more humbling activities. Overall, the last two days couldn’t have been a better start to the expedition. I, as everyone else, am very excited to see what the next two weeks hold.
Days Two and Three
Hi everyone! We started off yesterday learning about Geology with Dr. Nick Czaplewski, a curator of Vertebrate Paleontology here at the Museum. He will be joining us in the field when we go to Black Mesa in a few days. Afterward we headed out to a ropes course where we met with challenges that taught us about our group, team building, and leadership skills. It was a lot of fun! Today we had a full day of learning the excavation and fossil preparation skills we’ll use in the field. We spent the day in the Vert Paleo Lab “micro” picking( looking for the really small fossils through microscopes-like fish scales, teeth, small bones, etc. that were mixed with sand.) We also worked on a “macro” fossil (a large ) using scalpels and brushes and prepared the specimens the same way the paleontologist do. This is great practice for when we get to Black Mesa and Ashfall. After a full day we relaxed by watching a movie in the auditorium and played games using our new paleontology knowledge. Tomorrow we will be traveling to the Museum of Osteology and then to the OKC Zoo for a behind the scenes tour. Be sure to read what our team had to say about their first days in the ”Team Member Perspectives” Section and check out our new pictures! – Jes & Brad
Gray M.: Had an awesome day in the lab. Going to sleep in the museum tonight. Watched Jurassic Park. Having a great time.
Jordan: Today we worked with scientist here at the museum behind the scenes with cataloging, micro-picking, and helped uncover bones in a field jacket. I’m tired today and passed out during our movie we got to watch. I got ice cream and played a game today were we got to work together again. I’m tired I’ll cya.
Chance: Today we all got learn about what all goes on here behind the scenes at the museum. From jacketing a fossil in the field to preparing in in the prep lab to even cataloging the fossil into the museums records. We also got to try and experience micro-picking, sorting through small animal remains under a microscope like Gar scales and fish teeth. Tomorrow will be a fun day as we head to the zoo and the Museum of Osteology to learn more about comparative anatomy.
Kris: Today was pretty much completely positively absolutely AWESOME. Got to go to the museum’s restricted areas (because we’re V.I.Ps) and see the different steps of discovering and documenting a fossil. It takes a lot more time and steps than I thought. But I have to say that my favorite part was when Jes sent us all on a scavenger hunt throughout the ENTIRE MUSEUM. So much work. So much FUN. This is getting better and better. 🙂
Reno M.: Well today was pretty fun. We got to work withn the vertabrate paleontologist in the collection rooms. We helped remove a field jacket and and look for micro fossils. We also got to catorgorize some fossils. After that we had bar-b-que for dinner. When dinner was over we had a challenge to as a team to find some questions around the public part of the museum. And last but not least we watched Jurassic Park in the auditorium. Well that is all for. Good Bye.
LaDaryn L.: Today was amazing! We visited scientists upstairs in to museum’s labs and saw with hands on experience what true paleontologist do! we did three different techniques: we helped remove bones from field jackets, did some micro-picking, and cataloged some bones as well, and I got to say I didn’t have a favorite! I loved every single second. Holding onto and savoring the experience! I can only imagine that these next few days will only get better! 🙂
Jake S.: Today was a lot of fun, we got to go behind the scenes at the museum, and get to actually participate in prepping, micro-picking, and cataloging real fossils. It was really cool, and I learned a lot. We’re staying the night at the museum tonight, pretty excited. We just watched Jurassic Park though, so I’m gonna be a little wary tonight! Tomorrow should be a really fun day as well. Going to miss Dalton, but I get that things can come up. Unfortunately, we can’t get on to blog at all in the next few days. Until then, peace out.
Ernest V.: To say the least, today was incredibly productive. At the museum’s upstairs Vertebrate Paleontology collection, we tested our micropicking and macro fossil preparing skills to be used later on the expedition. And appropriately we ended the day by watching Jeff Goldblum battle dinosaurs in close combat. That was an oversimplification to today’s activities, but that’s all right. See you guys later.
Justine E.: OH MY GOODNESS! Today was awesome! We did a lot of stuff today. We went up and looked through the archives at the museum and learned about what it’s really like to be a paleontologist. After that we broke for lunch. When we finished lunch we went back up. We broke into groups of four and went to work with scientists. Me and my group went and worked on micro-picking. It’s pretty cool but frustrating too. After that we went and worked on a field jacket filled with dino bones. Then we went to catalog bones. After dinner we went and did a scavenger hunt through the museum. Then we went and watched Jurassic Park! Good movie!!! Now we are about to go sleep in the museum! Bye! 😀
Laura G.: Today was such a full awesome day!! Where to start… We got a run down from the prep lab and collection room (behind the scenes, pretty cool). We had lunch and went back up to the prep lab and collection room and got to catalog some fossils. We also got to microsoft to find micro fossils and get the cast off of a bone as well as macro prep. It was surprisingly fun as well as therapudic. We went on a pretty awesome sam-noble-scavenger-hunt-for-questions-and-then-got-ice-cream. We then were able to watch Jurassic Park in the auditorium, but it was a bit tiring. All in all, it was a pretty good and awesome day!! I’m looking forward to tomorrow!!
Kristin H.: Museum tour behind scenes, Jurassic Park after dark, and scavenger hunt. What better way could you spend in a museum? Started off with breaking a jacket so we could find bones, then cataloged things from a femur to a rib frag, and micro-picking. Tonight we are sleeping under the dinosaurs after watching Jurassic Park… SCARYY!! Miss you Dalton, sorry you had to leave. Tomorrow Zoo and Osteology Museum. Can’t wait.
What an awesome day! We did some comparative anatomy with Museum of Osteology (a museum full of skeletons from animals found all over the world) to see how understanding animals of today helps us to understand prehistoric animals. We then continued onto the OKC Zoo and had a special behind the scenes tour of the Rhinos . We got to feed the Rhinos and touch them, it was so cool! Afterward, we took a tour of the zoo at night and slept over at the zoo in the tree house. Tomorrow we will be heading out to Black Mesa where we will get to put what we have learned so far into practice and, of course, get to camp out for a few days! We will not have internet until Friday, so we will try to update the blog when we arrive in Lincoln. Talk to you soon! – Jes and Brad
Days Five — Seven
We have arrived at Lincoln, NE after an AMAZING time in Black Mesa! We got to work side by side with scientists from the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University excavating Mesozoic fossils. We had a big BBQ with the scientist crew, Whitten-Newman Foundation and the Native Explorers, then set up camp at Black Mesa State Park. The wildlife and views were beautiful! We hiked up to the top of one mesa, saw some spectacular petroglyphs. One of the most exciting parts of the day was when we excavated in the new “homestead” site quarry. We discovered a “bone bed” containing several impressive fossils from what our scientists believe was a sauropod dinosaur! We were able to excavate and jacket the fossils which will be brought back to the museum for further research. It was truly a remarkable discovery! A special thank you to Dr. Anne Weil, Kyle Davies, Dr. Nick Czaplewski and Dr. Kent Smith for making us apart of this discovery! Today we embarked on our eight hour journey to Lincoln, NE. On our way we saw highway, more highway, and yes more highway. We enjoyed the travel time sleeping, playing games, and getting to know everyone a little more. This evening arrived at Lincoln, NE where we took some time to relax from the days driving with some pool time and enjoying our first opportunity to sleep in a bed in four days 🙂 Tomorrow we will be touring the University of Nebraska State Museum, taking a tour of UNL Collections, and then driving to Niobrara State Park. Talk to you soon! – Jes & Brad
Reno M.: Well today was pretty fun. The ride was a little long but that was okay. Getting to take a shower after a few days without one is pretty cool. Now just chilling in the hotel room.
Chance: Hey everyone. It’s been a very busy past couple of days. We’ve spent the past couple days camping out at the Black Mesa which was great! The view and landscape was amazing. We got a chance to excavate and work on an actual quarry that contained dinosaur bones and hike up a measa that had Native American artifacts. After camping out at the Black mesa we woke early this morning and after a very long and restful drive we finally arrived in Lincoln Nebraska.
Jordan: Went to the Black Mesa for a few days. Greatest experience I’ve had in a long time. Climbed a mesa and found a dino. We are in Nebraska and it took forever to get here so I’m tired again cya.
LaDaryn L.: I really wish I could explain these last few days the way everyone can understand how exciting and thrilling it was to dig and uncover a REAL dinosaur fossil in under a day, while being filmed and interviewed by professional documentary men the whole time! 🙂 And the view of the mesas all around us on top of the black mesa was truly breath taking and seemed so unreal at the same time. Best of all was the many deer and wild life we encountered with no city noise.
Jake S.: Hey everyone, back to civilization after a few days. It was crazy, had a lot of fun. Had a long drive, but now we’re in Lincoln. Also we’re going to be out of touch for the next few days, so this is it for a while. The only thing I need to say now is that I FOUND A DINOSAUR BONE! It was mostly luck, but it was amazing, and really big. Anyway, I’ll check in again when I can.
Justine E.: OH MY GOODNESS!! The past few days have been amazing! We drove from Oklahoma City to the Black Mesa and spent 2 full days there. In those 2 days we went up a mesa which was part of the Black Mesa formations. We also looked around the area for different fossils and got a little history of the land. I also went to the Colorado, New Mexico, and Oklahoma borders! I was in 3 states at once! After that we went and dug at a small quarry up on the Black Mesa. We dug for a few hours then found a big dino vertebra!! We also found an unidentified piece of bone as well as 2 more! It was awesome to be the first people to see those bones. Today we left the Black Mesa and came up to Lincoln, Nebraska. That is where i am now. 🙂 Really awesome week!!! All of these people with me are awesome. i feel like i have known them all my life. I’m really going to miss them when i have to leave. 🙂
Kris: In Oklahoma, then in Colorado, then in New Mexico, then back to Oklahoma, then in Texas for about 60 second, then in Kansas FOREVER, and, FINALLY, in NEBRASKA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Yup, we made it, and it’s pretty awesome. Camping near the Black Mesa was pretty fun, but I missed sleeping on a bed. 🙂 Having fun. Ashfall tomorrow, I think. Can’t wait. (It’s supposed to be pretty great.) Taking lots of pictures and having tons of fun.
Laura G.: Wow… What to say about the past few days… They’ve been… Amazing. We spent an awesome time at the OKC zoo and then drove 9 hours to Black Mesa. That was some real bonding time right there… We had the privilege of meeting the founders of Whitten Newman foundation and it was awesome. And then… And THEN!!! We. Found. Dinosaur. Bones. Which was…. Wow. Like how often do high schoolers get to go and find actual fossil bones? LaDaryn’s reaction was hilarious. We also got to climb a mesa, which was beautiful. We were on the road for 11 hours today… Glad we all survived. Although Brad really needed some human contact…
Kristin H.: So these last few days have been amazing!! Not only did we find actual dinosaur bones, but also climbed mesa in the Black Mesas. That part was very scary, because I’m not a heights person. The zoo was very fun. Love the turtle i got to play with!! Museum tomorrow and then ancient rhino bones after that. Won’t have any updates for a while. Love you family, but right now I don’t want to come home!!
Ernesto V.: The last time I blogged four days ago, I was in the nicely air conditioned classroom at the Sam Noble Museum in Norman, Oklahoma. Today, I’m typing this blurb in a nice hotel in Lincoln, Nebraska. The events that occurred in between were, in hindsight, full of hard work, adventure, teamwork and pure bookless science. We set off from the SNOMNH to the Oklahoma panhandle to a paleontological Woodstock at Black Mesa. We set up camp, practiced our mountain lion safety, and set off to explore the geological wonder known as Black Mesa. We explored the different characteristics of the site and later ventured to excavate what we hoped was a fossil bone bed in the Morrison formation. And what do you know; we actually found what we believe to be a sauropod vertebra among many other fossils. It’s been incredibly eventful and exciting, now we get to do the same in Nebraska.
Gray M.: Had an awesome time at the Black Mesa we found some dinosaur fossils which was really cool, then we climbed a smaller mesa. After that we had an 11 hour drive to Nebraska.
Hi everyone! Today we explored the University of Nebraska State Museum, home of the Ashfall Fossil Beds specimens and other unique fossils from Nebraska sites. We got to go behind the scenes of the UNL paleontology department and took a tour of the UNL Collections with George. We saw even more one of kind fossils of Nebraska and saw some specimens from the Ashfall site where we will be working as well. We then headed out for the “short “three hour trip to Niobrara State Park to set up camp where we will stay for the next few days. Talk to you soon! – Jes & Brad
Hi everyone! Today we slept in and delicious hot breakfast of pancakes and eggs. We then packed our lunches and took some time to explore Niobrara State Park. We found a great spot to have a picnic before heading the Ashfall to begin our field work. Upon arriving at Ashfall, we were greeted by Rick Otto, park superintendent, who gave us our first introduction to the Ashfall site. We learned all about the volcano located in present-day Idaho that deposited the ash at Ashfall. We also learned about the different kinds of species that lived at Ashfall some 11.8 million years ago. Some of the species included Barrel Bodied Rhinos, Three-Toed Horses, Craines, and Camels,just to name a few. Rick took us to the Rhino barn where we saw the complete skeletons of some of the species above. It was amazing! Next, we met up with Dr. Mike Voorhies who gave us his personal tour of the Ashfall site. We got to go where the general public can’t. Dr. Voorhies took us to the hillside where he found the first rhino bone. Tomorrow we begin our work excavating the site, we’re really looking forward to it! – Jes & Brad
Hi all! Monday, we headed back to Ashfall to continue our field work where we worked side by side with Dr. Voorhies and Rick Otto. We were divided up into teams and were rotated on an hourly schedule so we could all participate in the various activities they had planned for us. Some of the activities were “micro” picking, excavating in the rhino barn, and working in prep lab with the scientist. On Tuesday and Wednesday, we traveled to some sites outside Ashfall, including a ranch where we uncovered fossils that were 8-10 million years old! We got to excavate the fossils, put plaster jackets on them to prep for transport. It was really cool! We update with pictures as soon as we can! Talk to you soon. – Jes & Brad
Hi all! Today, we embarked on our journey home from Ashfall. The trip was about twelve hours long but we enjoyed the road time to talk about the exciting things we have done over the past two weeks. We are excited to tell you all what we have been up and can’t wait to see you soon! – Jes & Brad
Reno M.: Well we are back in Oklahoma. Had a blast at Ashfall, found some really cool stuff. Had tons of fun. The drives were a little long and yes Nebraska is nothing but corn. At Ashfall I found a vertebrae from a camel or horse. At the next site I found a rhino rib fragment with bite marks in it. I also found some complete vertebrates for a rhino and some shovel tusker elephant ivory frags. It was a blast well I’m getting of now so laterz.
Laura G.: So much has happened the past few days. It’s hard to sum it all up… We headed off to Ashfall on Monday. And I must say, Ashfall Fossil Beds is so amazing and did not disappoint. Dr. Mike, the paleontologist who found Ashfall, was such an awesome and nice guy. He was so excited about everything he was doing. We got to do various jobs around Ashfall, including digging in the rhino barn through ash, digging outside the rhino barn, and micro-picking. All the people who worked at Ashfall were super nice. We even hosted a dinner for them, and they gave us a picnic in return 🙂 We then got to work at Gopher Ranch, a recently discovered site, for two days. Me and Kristin found some seriously awesome stuff. We found a rhino jaw, rhino ribs, bone fragments, and a couple of rhino teeth. It was very fun but very tiring. I was sad we didn’t get to dig there longer. We drove back from Nebraska today, and the drive included a lot of games of Presidents (me and Ernesto did NOT cheat) and I must say, I survived the corn. Which really is saying something. Corn is pretty sketch. But Nebraskans are nice. I don’t want this to end!
Kris: Since I last posted I’ve been to Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota. Tons of fun. I’d say about 60% of the car rides took place while I was asleep. Haha but the part I was awake for was pretty fun too. This past week was the first time I’ve been homesick….I don’t like the feeling. I miss my MP3 Player SO MUCH. Gonna miss the friends I made, but, as they say, “There’s no place like home.” 🙂
Justine E.: OH WOW! I haven’t blogged in forever! Ok, so we went up to Nebraska on Monday. We left Lincoln and went straight to Niobrea where the Ashfall Fossil Bed is at. We spent a day just learning about the site and took a tour of the place. Really nice, you should go there. The next day we all took turns in groups of 2 or 3 to do micro-picking, digging in the rhino barn, digging outside the rino barn, working in the prep lab, and writing in our journals. Me and my group didn’t find anything in the rhino barn, but when we went outside the barn we found fossils! I found a turtle shell and an unidentified fossil. Kristian and Laura found a rib! it was a lot of fun! The next 2 days we dug at a new site in a field. The first day i found an intact rib, fragment rib, and possibly another fragment rib. Yesterday i found more turtle shells! It was an amazing experience! Oh, and Nebraska and Kansas have nothing but corn!!! Fields and fields and fields of corn!
Kristin H.: Wow! Has it been an amazing week. We went to the state museum which was very different from our museum but it was interesting to see what they had and we didn’t. Once in Ashfall, there was a ton to do. We started off at different stations, where we micro picked, dug in the rhino barn and outside the barn, journaled, and worked on a jacket. The next day, we went to a dig site and found a ton of things! A ton of ribs, a lower jaw, turtle shell, and two rhino teeth. It was extremely fun. I wish I didn’t have to come home. Twelve hour drive today and back in OKC.
Jake S.: Finally back in Oklahoma, had a blast at Ashfall. Found some really cool stuff and had a lot of fun up there; it was a really good experience. The 12 hour car rides actually weren’t bad both ways, but not exactly something I’d jump at doing again. It was worth it though, got to learn a lot about Ashfall, meet the creator of the site, Mike (coolest guy you’ll ever meet) and dig for fossils in a field location where we found a bunch of stuff. Working on our presentations for Saturday and touring OU tomorrow, gonna be a lot of fun.
Chance: We’re back in Oklahoma and have had a very exciting and fun week. He headed to Ashfall in Nebraska and got to work in several stations there learning what all we could to use in the field. We spent two days at a private ranch site digging and searching for fossils. I found some ribs, ivory pieces, and some turtle shell fragments. It was a very fun trip and I am so glad to be have been able to come back on this trip and be involved with this great group.
LaDaryn L.: I never thought 2 weeks would end so soon, I guess so much excitement comes short after a while. At least I have memories of finding great, magnificent fossils out in the ashfall beds and Golter ranch of Nebraska. A few ribs here, a perfect scapula there, all belonging to American ancient rhinos; perhaps they all belonged to the same one. I might not know any time soon since we left this morning. What I do know is the proud feeling of being a part of museum history and getting to dig in an 8 million year old sand box.
Jordan: Back in Norman after a 12 hour car ride back from Niobrara and the Ashfall site in Nebraska. We got to dig at Ashfall and at a private ranch where i found part of a rib, lots of turtle shells, and a big bone I don’t know what it is though. This trip has been one of the best I’ve had in a long time ive made many friends and it makes me sad knowing its almost over. I’m glad i got to get close to everyone and it seems like we have known each other for a long time and i hope we’ve all made some longtime friends here.
Gray M.: This week has been so awesome! Ashfall is this ancient watering hole that got covered in ash from a super volcano and all the animals at the site died from the ash, which the ash is tiny glass particles, that site was very cool. Then we went to another site very close to Ashfall called Golter Ranch were we dug for the same kind of animal but they think that this site was an ancient quicksand pit that killed a lot of animals. I forgot to say that at Ashfall we met this awesome guy named Mike, he founded Ashfall , he is the coolest guy in the world. Today we had a 12 hour car ride to Normand, which was kinda boring, so now we are staying at OU for the night.
Ernesto V.: After 555 miles, we are back in Oklahoma from the Ashfall Fossil Beds. To summarize what has happened since Friday would be next to impossible, but it’s worth a try. After an oddly uneventful car ride through Kansas and Nebraska, we arrived to one of the world’s most famous lagerstätten, where a volcanic explosion 12 million years ago covered the savannah-like ecosystem in what was then Nebraska. We were given the opportunity to dig in the Rhino Barn; articulated Rhino skeletons lay undisturbed in the soft volcanic ash where the public can view them as they were found. After that the team went to a relatively new fossil site at Golter Ranch, where we dug through 8 million year old sand, uncovering multiple rhino, camel and bird fossils. I’m honored that I was allowed to be a Peer Mentor this year with this amazing group.
Hi all! Today is our last day of Paleo. We have had an amazing time with everyone and shared some memories that will stay with us forever! Saying goodbye will be hard after spending such an amazing two weeks with everyone. Stay in touch, we’ll miss you all! – Jes & Brad