Dinosaur discovery adventures
 
 

Dinosaur Discovery Adventures

TEAM

 
 
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"
the professionals I met made a difference in the way i think about school. listening to The staff tell stories about their own paths and careers in paleontology, I realized that just like them I am capable of applying myself and adding my own chapter

/  Student 2017  /

 

John Hankla

Paleontologist, Educator, Guide

Now in his 27th consecutive field season discovering fossils in eastern Wyoming, John Hankla found his passion for dinosaur fossils at a very early age.  While completing graduate school at the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History in Boulder, John started the Dinosaur Discovery Adventure field-school as a way to inspire the next generation of paleontologists. He believes that the world needs more scientists and that hands-on education is the best way to ensure that they develop. As a Research Associate with the Denver Museum of Nature and Science's paleontology field team (denverpaleo.org) he works in localities from Montana to New Mexico, contributing to research that is uncovering the history of Western North America during the time of Dinosaurs. In the off-season, his company (thecollectivecollection.org) helps museums around the world build exhibits interpreting paleontological discoveries.

 
Lead Guide John Hankla playing TRUE SURF video game for iPhone while imagining Wyoming’s Cretaceous coastline.
Evey Ganoway Dalton
 

Evey Ganoway Dalton, ABD

Sedimentologist, Stratigripher, Educator

Looking for any excuse to not be stuck inside a lab, Evey jumped at the opportunity to study geology at the University of the South. Since then, geology has taken her all over the world. It started with undergraduate research projects on St. Catherine’s Island off the coast of Georgia and in the Front Range of the Rockies in Colorado, followed by a year spent in Munich, Germany as a Fulbright Scholar. Shortly after, she moved to the Chihuahuan Desert for graduate school where she discovered her love of all things taco. She completed her Master’s degree at the University of Texas at El Paso, studying the sedimentation and stratigraphy around a salt diapir in South Australia. She is currently finishing her Ph.D. at UTEP studying the sedimentologic, stratigraphic, and structural evolution of several other salt diapirs in South Australia and the Spanish Pyrenees. While she has learned over the years that the lab has its merits, the field remains where Evey is most in her element. In addition to sharing her passion for fieldwork, She is excited to contribute her knowledge of sedimentary rocks and their depositional, tectonic, climatic, and evolutionary controls to our team as we continue unraveling the history of Western North America.

Dr. Antoine Bercovici

Paleo-palynologist, Educator, French Toast Enthusiast

Antoine Bercovici is a palynologist and sedimentologist from Paris, France. He is combining those two skills to read the fossil  pollen signature in rock outcrops in order to reconstruct ancient landscapes and interpret their evolution through time. Antoine has completed his Ph.D. from the University of Rennes in Britany, where he also perfected the art of flipping pancakes. He subsequently undertook a world tour of several postdoctoral appointments, in China, Sweden, and currently Washington DC at the Smithsonian Institution. Antoine’s love for dinosaurs came rather late, as he first had to exorcise his inner computer science nerd and explore his love of electronic engineering. In his early career he spent his time designing and building tesla coils and various electronic gadgets. After graduation from high school, he undertook a trip to North Dakota, where he got to live the life of a paleontologist. The badlands have been calling him every summer ever since.  This season Antione looks forward tothe company of his research colleagues and fieldwork-friends, the saporous Wyoming cuisine, and  spending time in the endless open space of what has now become his second home. Our Paleos field team will be working closely with Dr. Bercovici to examine the stratigraphic record of sediments that give proper geologic context to the fossil localites using paleobotanical evidence such as fossil pollen and leaves.

 
Dr. Bercovici observes French Toast in it’s native habitat, the Western United States.
John Wiley leads a group of enthralled students through museum collections from the Cretaceous Interior Seaway deposits in the black hills of South Dakota.
 

John Wiley

Educator, Adventurer, Wilderness First Responder

John Wiley is an educator with a passion for science, the outdoors, and travel. He believes that an understanding of the natural world and our place in it is central to understanding ourselves. In addition to his medical training as a Wilderness First Responder, John is also a full time teacher at the Challenge School, a K-8 school for gifted and academically advanced students, John has led many immersion programs that involve extensive travel and group management including trips to England, Italy, Greece, Spain, Costa Rica, Arches N.P., Space Camp, Teton N.P. Sand Dunes N.P. .  John believes in teaching the whole person, and that teaching is primarily about engaging others about the unknown, whether that is geology or the inner ability to conquer fears. John led his first Dinosaur Discovery Adventure in 2013 and has been a vital part of the program ever since.

Jaden Stauffer

Photographer, Guide, Student

It would be hard to find two young people in the world with as much experience in field-paleontology as Jaden and Wyatt.  The 5th generation in the family to live on their ranch in eastern Wyoming, these two have spent their entire lives exploring the dinosaur beds in their very big back yard.  Wyatt's keen eye for spotting fossils is probably inherited from his mom and grandfather, also expert dinosaur hunters, and the family has discovered many incredible specimens that are housed in museums around the world.  Jaden's skills behind a camera make her an asset on any field crew and her enthusiasm for discovery and adventure rivals her brother's. In many ways, these execeptional young people are the real guides in eastern Wyoming and we rely upon their expertise in the field.

 
With 15 years of fieldwork under her belt already, Jaden Stauffer brings a little style to a day of digging dinosaurs.
Few high schoolers can claim to have found as many Tyrannosaurus teeth as Wyatt Stauffer, whose personal collection of dinosaur fossils is museum quality. Fossil finding is in his blood, here he shows the fossil claw from a  Thescelosaurus  discovered in the late 1800’s by his great-great Grandfather.
 

Wyatt Stauffer

Fossilist, Guide, StUdent

It would be hard to find two young people in the world with as much experience in field-paleontology as Jaden and Wyatt.  The 5th generation in the family to live on their ranch in eastern Wyoming, these two have spent their entire lives exploring the dinosaur beds in their very big back yard.  Wyatt's keen eye for spotting fossils is probably inherited from his mom and grandfather, also expert dinosaur hunters, and the family has discovered many incredible specimens that are housed in museums around the world.  Jaden's skills behind a camera make her an asset on any field crew and her enthusiasm for discovery and adventure rivals her brother's. In many ways, these execeptional young people are the real guides in eastern Wyoming and we rely upon their expertise in the field.

Kristen Stauffer

Educator, Rancher, Team Cook, Parent

Without Kristen Stauffer’s lifelong enthusiasm for the dinosaurs that are fossilized on her Wyoming Ranch, There could be no PALEOS program. Kris is the inspiration for the program and everyone on the ranch answers to her.

Kris grew up on a Wyoming ranch that contains vast outcrops of sedimentary rock. The abundant fossils in these rocks records the last days of the dinosaurs in North America. Countless incredible discoveries have been made on her ranch, including full skeletons which are now centerpieces in museums from Texas to New York City. Kris has spent her whole life searching for the buried treasure on her ranch and working beside some of the best paleontologists of our time.

Kris now works as an operations manager at Wyoming Virtual Academy, where the she helps use technology to connect students and teachers and provide an accredited, personalized program of engaging courses, caring teachers, and a vibrant school community. 

Kris makes us feel like family and will be hosting us in her family lodge while we explore the dinosaur localities of eastern Wyoming. Her local expertise helps us navigate the patchwork of remote BLM and private ranch lands for access to our fossil localities. Kris will also be helping us cook dinner most nights at the lodge so that our participants and guides can stay in the field collecting fossils as much as possible. To be clear… KRIS IS THE BEST.

 
Charred Corn Salad with Creamy Lime Dressing
Cauliflower and Kale Soup
 

Dr. Catherine Hankla, D.O.

Family PHYSICIAN, Safety patrol

Dr. Hankla is family and she is a physician, she’s also our family’s physician. Catherine is on the team to keep us safe throughout the entire fieldwork experience. From an early age Catherine has been drawn to caregiving positions. In the fourth grade, she was elected Safety Patrol Officer at Sugarland Elementary, where she first honed her skills keeping students on the straight and narrow. She went on to attend undergraduate at the University of Notre Dame and then graduate work in human anatomy at Colorado State University. After four years of medical school at Midwestern University in Chicago, she got right back to Colorado and completed her residency at Swedish Family Medicine in Denver. Catherine joined Byers Peak Family Medicine in August 2017 and has been keeping things safe in the Colorado Ski Country ever since.

 

Kitty Kat

Digging Expert, Safety patrol, Public Relations

Kit-Dog is a valuable part of our field-crew. She's spent 6 full seasons digging fossils with Dinosaur Discovery Adventures and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.  She's a certified AKC Canine Good Citizen and works as a Therapy Dog for Therapy Dogs International in schools and hospitals.  Aside from obvious skills removing the overburden of soil at our digs, she also keeps up with lost tennis balls and helps retrieve stray students. It's hard to imagine a day in the field without this worthy companion.

Cauliflower and Kale Soup