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Meet a Paleontologist
Katie examining Paleozoic fossils in an aqueduct in Chesapeake & Ohio Canal NHP, Maryland.
Katie and other team members plastering a sauropod limb bone in Wyoming.
Ph. D. candidate
University of Michigan
NFD Kid's Page Interview...
What is your job, and what do you study?
From 2011 to 2012, I was the Paleontologist and GeoCorps America Guest Scientist at the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal NHP in Maryland. I documented fossil occurrences throughout the Park and wrote a management plan outlining procedures for prospecting, documenting, collecting, and protecting fossil resources in C & O Canal.
What are you working on now?
I am now pursuing a Ph.D. in paleontology at the University of Michigan.
Where did you go to school? What were some of your favorite classes that you took?
I completed my undergraduate degree at Beloit College in Wisconsin and my Master's at the University of Rhode Island. Throughout my academic career, I have taken many courses related to geology and paleontology; my favorite courses have been on paleontology, sedimentology, and comparative anatomy.
Was there an experience you had that made you realize you wanted to be a paleontologist?
I don't remember a specific event that influenced me, but I was very interested in dinosaurs as a child. I thought dinosaurs were the coolest things around, and from an early age, I knew I wanted to be a paleontologist.
What is your most memorable experience working with fossils?
My most memorable experience with fossils was working in a dinosaur quarry in the Bighorn Basin of Wyoming for a Research Experience for Undergraduates project. We got to excavate the bones from the quarry and prepare them in the lab, so it was a complete vert paleo experience in one summer!
Do you have any advice for aspiring paleontologists?
Read about the subjects that interest you and don't be shy about seeking out opportunities that will help you grow as a paleontologist.
GSA Foundation Video with Katie interviewed at C&O Canal