Biology 475: Paleontological Field Methods and Research

 Some 475 students from summer 2015, plus me and fellow Wilson Lab grad student Alex Brannick (far left), on our way back from a day of collecting.

Some 475 students from summer 2015, plus me and fellow Wilson Lab grad student Alex Brannick (far left), on our way back from a day of collecting.

 475 students summer 2016, after finishing up their last day working on projects in the field.

475 students summer 2016, after finishing up their last day working on projects in the field.

For two summers, I have been the TA for the University of Washington Biology Department's Biology 475: Paleontological Research and Field Methods class (taught by my advisor, Dr. Greg Wilson). We bring in students from around the United States for a week of orientation at the UW in Seattle, and three weeks of research in our field area in northeastern Montana. The students learn basic geology and stratigraphy field skills, note taking, prospecting, and vertebrate macrofossil and microfossil collecting techniques throughout the course. At the end of our time in the field, they complete a group research project having to do with fossil vertebrates, geology, depositional environment, biostratigraphy, and/or taphonomy of vertebrate microfossil localities in the area, and present their findings to the class during our final week back in Seattle.

Also, we have a LOT of fun.