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

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Meet the Students


Proyecto Dinosaurios has mentored 19 students since 2009. Most of these students have continued their education in the geosciences by transferring to a 4-year university, and some have continued on to graduate studies and careers in the geosciences. Read more about some of our alumni below.


Class of 2017


After Proyecto Dinosaurios, Shoup continued volunteering with the Dinosaur Institute and is now employed as a fossil conservator and participates in field expeditions. Shoup is working toward a bachelor’s degree in geology, and plans to continue on to graduate studies in paleontology.

"Proyecto Dinosaurios gave me the opportunity to experience the career I’m working towards, making me that much more confident that the geosciences are where I belong."

Christian Levine

After Proyecto Dinosaurios, Christian continued volunteering with the La Brea Tar Pits and transferred to UCLA, where he is majoring in Anthropology and Geology and plans to graduate in 2020.

“My time in Proyecto Dinosaurios was one of the best summers I've had; I learned so much about paleontology and it allowed me to meet some really great people.”


Class of 2016

Leslie Insixiengmay

After Proyecto Dinosaurios, Leslie transferred to the University of Southern California and continued working with the DI as a work-study student. She received her bachelor’s in geology in 2018 and started a Ph.D. in mineral physics and the interior of the earth.

"Proyecto Dinosaurios gave me the opportunity to explore my career and interact with scientists who have helped guide and mentor me toward my academic goals today."

Valeria Jaramillo

After Proyecto Dinosaurios, Valeria transferred to UC Santa Barbara, where she is majoring in geology. During the summers Val has worked for the DI as a fossil conservator and continued participating in field expeditions.

Proyecto Dinosaurios has opened doors for me that I would never have imagined. From volunteering in fossil preparation, to having the opportunity to do field work, to meeting people from all over the world; working with such talented and hard-working individuals has been an incredible experience that I am so grateful for."


Class of 2012

Teresa Perez

After Proyecto Dinosaurios Teresa went on to complete her degree from CSU Long Beach, where she studied Environmental Science & Policy. 

Proyecto Dinosaurios was a great and unique experience and I am so glad I applied and became an intern at the Dino Institute. Overall, this was a wonderful experience and I look forward to the seasonal dinosaur dig in Utah and volunteering at the museum.”


Class of 2009

Erika Canola

After Proyecto Dinosaurios, Erika transferred to UC Santa Barbara, where she graduated with a degree in Anthropology. After graduating, Erika joined the DI staff as a fossil conservator and field expedition team member for 7 years. She now works as a grant writer for a non-profit foundation.

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

Sean Hurt

After Proyecto Dinosaurios, Sean transferred to UCLA and completed his Bachelor’s in Geology, after which he joined the Peace Corps. Following his time abroad with the Peace Corps, Sean completed his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan, researching the structure and thermodynamic properties of alkali and alkaline earth carbonate liquids.

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