2018 DIG and Summer Fieldwork

We are excited to report that we’ll announce final acceptance decisions for the 2018 DIG Field School next week! Thank you to all who applied, and thank you for your patience in waiting to hear back on your status.

This year we received 94 applications for 35 open spots. We received applications from 24 different states—as well Canada, Algeria, and Turkey—and were extremely impressed by the quality of the applications and the diversity of teaching backgrounds and experiences. Unfortunately we can only accommodate a small portion of the applications we receive, so if you are not accepted please consider applying again!

The DIG is a part of a larger field research project that Dr. Greg Wilson leads every summer, and includes a dynamic group of researchers from a number of institutions. We are gearing up for a very busy summer, and will return to a number of macrofossil sites discovered last year (including some promising dinosaur specimens!), collect as much fossiliferous sediment as we possibly can, and continue a detailed geological survey of our research area. We look forward to sharing the results of our research and the field school in the near future!

Photo credits: Adam Smith, Brody Hovatter

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Upcoming Events

Final Sorting Party

The final sorting party of the school year will take place Sunday, June 3 from 11a–2p at the Burke Museum. So far this year participants have made a number of exciting discoveries, including mammal teeth, Triceratops and T. rex teeth, and salamander and lizard vertebrae. Please RSVP to admin@digfieldschool.org by May 31 to secure your spot. We hope to see you there!

Fossil Fridays

Come see fossil preparators at the Burke work on the spectacular Tufts-Love Rex at the upcoming Fossil Fridays event! This exceptionally well-preserved specimen represents one of only 15 mostly complete T. rex skulls ever discovered, and viewing it in person is an experience you don’t want to miss.  Visitors will have the opportunity to experience the specimen (and others!) up close, as well as speak with members of the Burke’s paleontology team. The event will take place Friday, May 25 from 12–4p.

2018 Undergraduate Research Symposium

The annual UW Undergraduate Research Symposium is happening Friday, May 18! Undergraduates from across the university we be presenting on a variety of exciting research projects from a number of disciplines. We are excited to announce that Wilson Lab undergraduate student Henry Fulghum will be presenting on his work with Dr. Greg Wilson and Wilson Lab graduate student Luke Weaver investigating the bone microstructure of small-bodied mammals. We hope to see you there!

Photo credits: Brody Hovatter, Adam Smith

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Recent News

NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship Awards

We are delighted to announce that Drs. Stephanie Smith and Dave Grossnickle were both recently awarded prestigious NSF Postdoctoral Fellowships! This fellowship provides PhD graduates with two years of funding to spearhead cutting edge research in their respective fields. Stephanie will head to the Field Museum in Chicago to investigate the biomechanics of shrews, and Dave has joined our lab at the University of Washington to elucidate macroevolutionary patterns of mammalian jaws. Please join us in congratulating both Stephanie and Dave!

Drs. Stephanie Smith (above left) and Dave Grossnickle (above right)

Ghosts of Hell Creek

The Ghosts of Hell Creek performance was a huge success! This visual art piece combining theater and natural history wowed audiences and left everyone ready for more. You can read more about the project and its future directions here. Congratulations to everyone involved!

Recent Papers

Dr. Courtney Sprain, a former DIG instructor and current postdoc at the University of Liverpool, and collaborators (Drs. Paul Renne, William Clemens, and Greg Wilson) recently published a paper providing new radioisotopic ages and paleomagnetic data from the geological deposits of the Hell Creek area in northeastern Montana. This work provides crucial additions to our framework for understanding the timing of changes in the biota and in the environment surrounding the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction event. You can access the full article here.

For all the multituberculate mammal enthusiasts out there, you can read about a recently discovered island dwelling and strangely dome-headed multituberculate from the Late Cretaceous of Romania. Here’s a link to the paper.

Photo credits: Stephanie Smith, Dave Grossnickle, Greg Wilson, Ari Rudenko

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