U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
Who is Collecting?
Paleontological resources collected under permit remain the property of the American People. Find out who is collecting our fossils, and where those fossils are now.
Paleontological resource use permittees should be viewed as collaborators who partner with government agencies to conduct research in order to develop the scientific expertise that is required to make informed land management decisions. In return, permittees are given access to public lands for scientific research. The ammount of access is dependent on the permittee’s scope of work or the nature of the scientific question they wish to pursue. Learn about the requirements to obtain a permit.
Read about the exciting work the following permittees are doing:
Kenneth Carpenter got his Ph.D. at the University of Colorado. His interest in Utah paleontology began with a visit to Dinosaur National Monument as a child. He is currently developing collections with his staff and volunteers from eastern Utah for the planned new Prehistoric Museum. His current research interests are dinosaurs of the Cedar Mountain Formation, a project begun when he was at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Now at the Prehistoric Museum in Price, he is closer to his research areas. Other research includes the armored dinosaurs (especially ankylosaurs) from the Jurassic and Cretaceous of Utah, and dinosaurs and taphonomy of Dinosaur National Monument. Dr. Carpenter's approved repository is the College of Eastern Utah.
Randall Irmis obtained his B.S. in Geology with emphasis in Paleontology from Northern Arizona University and has a Ph.D. in Integrative Biology from University of California – Berkeley. He is currently Curator of Paleontology at the Utah Museum of Natural History and Assistant Professor in the Department of Geology & Geophysics, University of Utah. Randy is broadly interested in the evolution of terrestrial ecosystems through geologic time, particularly in response to environmental change and other external factors. Much of his work has focused on the paleontology of the early Mesozoic, 250-180 million years ago, examining the origin and rise of dinosaurs. Since his arrival at the Utah Museum of Natural History, he's also led fieldwork in the Late Cretaceous of southern Utah, where UMNH teams have discovered over half a dozen new species of dinosaurs and other vertebrate animals. Randy's research has taken him across the world, conducting fieldwork throughout the American West and as far afield as Ethiopia. Dr. Irmis's approved repository is the Utah Museum of Natural History.
Dr. Jim Kirkland (born, August 24, 1954) is the Utah State Paleontologist with the Utah Geological Survey. He issues permits for paleontological research on Utah state lands, keeps tabs on paleontological research and issues across the state, and promotes Utah’s paleontological resources for the public good. An expert on the Mesozoic, he has spent more than thirty years excavating fossils across the southwestern US and Mexico authoring and coauthoring more than 75 professional papers. The reconstruction of ancient marine and terrestrial environments, biostratigraphy, paleoecology, and mass extinctions are some of his interests. He has discovered and described numerous new dinosaurs including several new armored dinosaurs including the first Jurassic ankylosaur from North America Mymoorapelta and the most diagnostic polacanthine ankylosaur Gastonia, several ornithopods such as Eolambia, Jeyawati,and Velafrons, and , the oldest truly horned-dinosaur Zuniceratops and the basal centrosaurine ceratopsian Diabloceratops, the primitive coelurosaur Nedcolbertia, the basal Troodontid Geminiraptor, North America’s first sickle-clawed therizinosaurid Nothronychus and the most primitive therizinosauroid Falcarius, and the giant dromaeosaur [raptor] Utahraptor. Additionally he has described and named many fossil mollusks and fossil fish. His researches in the middle Cretaceous of Utah indicate that the origins of Alaska and the first great Asian-North American faunal interchange occurred about 100 million years ago, which his numerous trips to China and Mongolia have substantiated. Dr. Kirkland's approved repository is the Utah Museum of Natural History.
Mike Knell is a Ph.D. student at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana working with Dr. David Varricchio studying vertebrate taphonomy, which is the study of decomposition, transport, and burial of skeletal remains. His primary dissertation research focus is studying the preservation and morphology of fossil freshwater turtles in the Cretaceous (Campanian) Kaiparowits Formation which is located in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah. Part of his fieldwork has been conducted as a BLM volunteer in Grand Staircase-Escalante working in association with BLM paleontologist Dr. Alan Titus. Mike Knell's approved repository is the Museum of the Rockies.
Publications resulting from BLM Permits
Dr. Paul C. Murphey is Principal Investigator of the Paleontology Program at SWCA Environmental Consultants, and is a Research Associate in the Department of Paleontology at the San Diego Natural History Museum. Dr. Murphey is a specialist in fossil mammals of the Eocene Epoch. His current research focuses on the evolutionary relationships, biostratigraphy and biochronology of mammals during the Bridgerian, Uintan and Duchesnean North American Land Mammal “Ages,” and on the stratigraphy and depositional environments of middle Eocene rock units in Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, and San Diego County, California. Paul Murphey's approved repository is the Utah Museum of Natural History.
Dr. Nydam's research focuses on evolution and paleobiogeography of lizards and snakes during the Mesozoic. Field work in GSENM includes Chinle, Dakota, Straight Cliffs, and Kaiparowits formations. Other regions investigated include Alberta, Montana, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming. Dr. Nydman's approved repository is Sam Noble Museum of Natural History.
Publications resulting from BLM Permits
Dr. Suarez has a 10 year history conducting research on BLM land in Utah. She first came to Utah in 2001 as a Student Conservation Association volunteer in the Price Field office and worked as an interpretive ranger at Cleveland Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry for two summers. In subsequent years, she completed her master and Ph.D. on the Cretaceous Cedar Mountain Formation of east-central, Utah. Dr. Suarez is a native of San Antonio, TX who received her BS in geosciences from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX in 2003, her MS (’05) with honors in geology from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA and her Ph.D. (’10) in geology from the University of Kansas. Currently she is a NSF Earth Sciences Postdoctoral Fellow at Boise State University where she is using rare earth elements, stable isotopes, and Raman spectroscopy to understand bone preservation and diagenesis and was recently hired to fill the position of low-temperature geochemistry/biogeochemistry at the University of Arkansas. Her research focuses on using trace element and stable isotope geochemistry, to understand paleoecology, paleoclimatology, and taphonomy of ancient terrestrial ecosystems. She is particularly interested in past greenhouse climates such as the mid-Cretaceous. Geminiraptor suarezarum, a new dinosaur from the Cedar Mountain Formation of Utah was named after her and her twin sister Marina, for discovering the site from which it came from.
Publications resulting from BLM Permits
Dr. Sumida, his students, and colleagues are interested in the vertebrate faunas of Late Pennsylvanian to Early Permian exposures in Utah. Their work has centered primarily in such exposures in San Juan County in the south-eastern corner of the state. Read more about his work here. Dr. Sumida's approved repository is the Carnegie Museum of Natural History (Invertebrate Paleontology and Vertebrate Paleontology).