Dino Fest is sold out, advance tickets required for Museum entry on Sunday, September 26. Per L.A. County Department of Public Health, masks must be worn at all times indoors and in our outdoor Spider Pavilion. View our COVID-19 Safety Guidelines for more information.

Alan Zdinak

Preparator, Vertebrate Paleontology

Alan Zdinak received his training in fossil preparation and archival specimen housing at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. He also worked at  the Yale Peabody Museum and the Smithsonian before joining the NHM. Here in L.A. he helped re-design and renovate the museum’s fossil prep lab. He’s  an active member of the greater paleontological community, teaching workshops at professional meetings such as The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP) and Association for Materials and Methods in Paleontology (AMMP) as well as giving talks on fossil prep topics to the general public.  As recipient of the 2014 SVP Marvin and Beth Hix Preparator’s Grant he produced Web videos on fossil preparation techniques.  

Mr. Zdinak holds a BA in Art and Philosophy from New York University and was formerly an Emmy-nominated director of television shows like “Blue’s Clues”.


Mr. Zdinak prepares—that is, excavates, cleans and conserves—fossils of marine and terrestrial mammals, from Miocene whales to Pleistocene mammoths. He has also helped excavate Cretaceous and Jurassic dinosaurs for the museum. He is always pursuing innovative fossil preparation methods and advocates for archival techniques to ensure the longevity of our exhibits and collections for generations to come.


Fossil Preparation videos

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