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Who's Who

Diverse Team Uncovers a Gem

David Gillette is the Colbert Curator of Paleontology at the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff. Dave received his BS in biology from Michigan State University and Ph.D. in geology from Southern Methodist University. His interest in paleontology, which he points out is a combination of biology and geology, bloomed while working as a field assistant during the summer while in college. He has 34 years in the field, and has authored numerous publications, including the popular book, Seismosaurus, the Earth Shaker.

Barry Albright has worked as a curator of geology and paleontology at the Museum of Northern Arizona for two years. He received his Ph.D. in 1997 from the University of California at Riverside. His interest in paleontology goes back to his childhood days in Charleston, South Carolina, where he spent many afternoons walking along the riverbanks with his grandfather looking for fossils. He also spent time in graduate school on an expedition to Antarctica looking for Australian ancestral marsupials.

Alan Titus is a BLM paleontologist who has been with Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument for two years. He studied at University of Nevada Las Vegas (BS), University of Arkansas (MSc), and Washington State University (PhD), and has held several teaching positions at colleges and universities in the West. Born in Toledo, Ohio, and raised in Las Vegas, Alan has been interested in paleontology since childhood. As a young boy, he spent countless hours outside the city of Las Vegas exploring fossils in the ancient rocks.

Kelly Rigby, a photographer from the BLM's Utah State Office, is very familiar with scenic Utah and has a rare ability to capture action on tape. He is supporting the team.

Merle Graffam, part of the field team, is an "avocational" paleontologist. While he does not have formal training in paleontology, he has done extensive volunteer work helping to excavate several pliosaurs that he has found in the local tropic shale over the years. He became so skilled that the team hired him to help out with this dig. Originally from Massachusetts, Merle worked in southern California as a commercial artist for 30 years before retiring and moving to southern Utah 12 years ago.

Art Ferraro is an Audio-Visual Production Specialist who has been with the BLM National Training Center (NTC) since 1989. Art serves as NTCs Video Services Group Technical Director. He has produced and directed numerous television projects for the agency across all of BLM's progam areas. In addition to program design and scripting, field videography, and video editing, Art also directs and produces many of BLM's live television training and informational programs on the BLM Satellite Network.

Alma Lively is an Audio-Visual Production Specialist who has been on the NTC Video Services staff for more than three years. Alma came to BLM under the Student Career Enhancement Program (SCEP) while completing her undergraduate degree at New Mexico Highlands University. Alma serves as a project lead for video program productions. She is an accomplished videographer and editor, and operates graphic imaging equipment for BLM live satellite broadcasts.

Elizabeth Rieben is an education specialist and writer in BLM's Washington office. She is writing the Excavation Journal and is coordinating the October television production.

Marietta Eaton is Assistant Monument manager at Grand Staircase-Escalante, specializing in cultural and geological resources.

Kevin Flynn is the Web editor at BLM's Environmental Education & Volunteers office in Washington. He is handling the communications from the field and puts it all up on the web.

You. Yes, You could one day make an important fossil discovery, even if you do not become a paleontologist. Many important fossil discoveries are made by amateurs--students and adults alike. Specially trained volunteers also play a big role: They do a lot of the important work of excavating dinosaur bones once they are discovered. If you do decide to become a paleontologist, you will not be bored. There is still so much to be discovered all over the world. In fact, more than a lifetime of important discoveries remain to be made right here on the Kaiparowits Plateau.


Last updated: 10-23-2009