DIG Field School April/May 2016 Newsletter – Issue 18
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Greetings DIG Friends! 

This is the time of year we begin excitedly preparing for our next DIG Field School (July 28th – August 1nd). This year we received a record 104 applicants from 27 states! This is a 35% increase in applicants from nearly 4 times as many states as in previous years. We look forward to bringing 28 new and 7 returning teachers into the field this summer! It pains us to turn people away, but we hope to offer an additional field school in the Hell Creek as early as next summer, so please consider applying in the future! We aim to offer field schools at additional locations in the coming years, too!

Were you accepted to the field school this year? Check out the 2015 blog posts for background on the area, fossils, and what you can expect during your time at the DIG. Stay tuned for more blog posts this year, including a series of videos introducing the 2016 DIG Instructors!

Read on to see for more news on research and events happening in the Wilson Lab and at the Burke Museum!


Greg, Brody, and The DIG Team 

Donate to the DIG
The DIG Field School is offered to teachers at no cost to them. Help us keep it that way by donating to the DIG. Learn more about our program here.
2015 DIG Teachers taking sediment samples out in the field.

Design our 2016 DIG T-Shirt!

It’s that time of year for the “Design the DIG” T-shirt contest! Do you have a great idea for the DIG 2016 T-shirt? Submit your idea by emailing! You don’t have to be an artist, but if you think you have a great idea, we’d love to work together to put it on our shirts. Anyone can submit a design, so flex that creativity and spread the word and submit your entry by June 15th! The winning design will be announced later this month, and the winner will receive a t-shirt featuring their design and cool DIG gear.

2015 DIG Teacher Laura Virga inspired our awesome 2015 t-shirts (above) illustrated by DIG Instructor Stephanie Smith.

Groundbreaking at the Burke Museum

Construction recently began on the new Burke Museum, set to open in 2019. The Burke recently hosted a "groundbreaking" event to officially commence work on the new building. You can read more about the new Burke here.

Burke staff and local community members helping get the construction started!

Wilson Lab News

Wilson Lab graduate students and DIG Instructors Steph Smith and Alex Brannick each recently published a paper on their research! You can read more about the papers here and here. Additionally, former DIG Instructor and Wilson Lab graduate student Jonathan Calede will be defending his dissertation on June 6th. Below are the details on Jonathan's dissertation defense:

"The rise of modern mammalian faunas: tempo and mode of faunal turnover in western Montana during the Oligocene."
June 6th at 9 am
5th floor of the Physics and Astronomy Tower (PAA C520) of the UW campus

Additionally, seven members of our undergraduate research team successfuly presented at UW's Undergraduate Research Symposium. You can read more about the program here. Nice job guys!

Steph Smith's paper on multituberculate mammals (above left) and Alex Brannick's paper on fossil wolf evolution (above right).
Former DIG Instructor and Wilson Lab graduate student Jonathan Calede showing a fossil specimen to a future paleontologist.
Hannah Burson presenting on early Paleogene mammals from northeastern Montana (upper left); Kayla McLaughlin presenting on multituberculate mammals from Idaho (upper right); Nicole Aqua presenting on the ancient marsupial relative Didelphodon (middle left); Gianni Aranoff presenting on diet in early Paleogene mammals (middle right); Larry Otieno presenting on an ancient vertebrate from the Permian (bottom left); Aneesha Usman and Parth Patel presenting on vertebrate fossils from India (bottom right).

Fossil Sorting Parties

The last sorting party of the year is this Sunday, June 5th at 1pm in the Wilson Lab. Come join us for fossils and fun! Please RSVP at

DIG 2014 and 2015 participants at one of the sorting parties this year.
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Copyright © 2016 The Discoveries in Geosciences (DIG) Field School, All rights reserved.

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