Dinosaur Institute - Proyecto Dinosaurios - Meet the Students 2012 | Natural History Museum of Los Angeles

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Meet the Students


Each student was assigned a collections-based research project focused on Mesozoic fossils from across the United States. These multidisciplinary projects allowed the students to help prepare the specimens in the Fossil Preparation Laboratory, as well as producing scientific illustrations, photographs, a publication-style paper, and a conference-style public presentation on their project. The information that they researched will become part of the permanent data on file for the specimens in question.

Click the links below to see their papers and presentations.


Class of 2012

Teresa Perez

Proyectos Dinosaurios was a great and unique experience and I am so glad I applied and became an intern at the Dino Institute. I learned several things all throughout the year. Obviously I learned about paleontology, but in a different manner. I learned that there are so many different and types of dinosaurs that come from different eras. It was fascinating to learn how paleontology functions from behind the scenes. Along with paleotology, I also learned what life as a graduate student is like, on a smaller scale. I learned time management, how to write an abstract and scientific paper, and how to create my own poster to present at conferences. Overall, this was a wonderful experience and I look forward to the seasonal dinosaur dig in Utah and volunteering at the museum.

Research Paper View PDF >
Presentation View PDF > [3MB]

Elijah J. McAdoo

I am currently a student at West Los Angeles College working as an intern in the Dinosaur Institute at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. My curiosity and love of science brought me to the OEDG program, which has been an unbelievable experience that has definitely helped me grow as a student and as a person. From preparing fossils, working in the field, and conducting an independent research project I've learned what it takes to work at a professional level in the scientific community and hopefully began a lifelong pursuit of scientific research.

My research project dealt with identifying and describing a pathology found in an ornithomimid metatarsal.

“This has been a once in a lifetime opportunity that I'm glad to have been a part of.”

Research Paper View PDF >
Presentation View PDF > [2MB]

Danielle Armendariz

I am currently majoring in anthropology at West Los Angeles College. I was always curious about dinosaurs and what paleontologists really do, so after a presentation about the program I immediately said, “this is for me.” As a participant in the OEDG program, I learned first-hand what a paleontologist really does from the scientific research to fossil digs and even fossil preparation. Before this program I wasn’t sure I could even be a geoscientist, but thanks to this program and experience, it is definitely a goal I can achieve.

My research project was to describe and identify the anatomy of a sacrum belonging to a Jurassic ankylosaur collected by the Dinosaur Institute in 2009.

“This experience is unlike any other, and I will remember it always.”

Research Paper View PDF >
Presentation View PDF > [2.5MB]

Carina Salazar

My interest in Proyecto Dinosaurios comes from a profound love of nature and science. I have visited many Natural History Museums and it has been my desire to work in one. I am very interested in doing field research and am enjoying learning from the professional paleontologists and staff of the Dinosaur Institute.

My research project is to describe the dentary (lower jaw) of Apatosaurus, which has never been known before.

“Proyecto Dinsoaurios is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity I am very proud to be a part of.”

Presentation View PDF > [2MB]


Class of 2009

Erika Canola, LACC

I am currently a student at Los Angeles City College. My interests in Anthropology at LACC lead me to the opportunity of the OEDG program. I first began to get involved at the Natural History Museum volunteering in the Vertebrate Paleontology Department. Once I started cleaning fossils, I realized how interested I've become in something that I knew so little about. I never thought that I would be heading down this road but I'm truly enjoying every minute of it.

My research project was to identify and describe the anatomy of a Cretaceous turtle that was collected by the Dinosaur Institute in 2004.

“I'm enjoying every moment that I have had with this program.”

Research Paper View PDF >
Presentation View PDF > [3MB]

Sean Hurt, LACC

I'm working as an intern through the Opportunities for Enhancing Diversity in the Geosciences program. Knowledge and science have always been my primary interests. As a devoted geology student, I can't imagine a more exciting opportunity than real-world experience in academics, research and paleontology. The OEDG program is a vital stepping stone on my path toward graduate studies and professional research.

My research project was to investigate growth patterns in juvenile Triceratops and to estimate the ages of several specimens housed at the museum.

“I feel like my whole future has been laid at my feet.”

Research Paper View PDF >
Presentation View PDF > [9MB]

John Rodriguez, LACC

After being involved with the Anthropology Lab at Los Angeles City College for two semesters, an opportunity at the Dinosaur Institute materialized and it seemed like a great way to further my education. I have been preparing fossils and enjoying the practical experience thus far. I am very excited to be involved with the OEDG program.

My research project was to study an array of fragmentary dinosaur specimens collected from a single, small site in 2007 by the Dinosaur Institute.

Research Paper View PDF >
Presentation View PDF > [2MB]