To learn how to raise a “wild child” and discuss the variety of dinosaurs in the North American West Coast, students and faculty gathered in Bolin 100 for a lecture from renowned paleontologist Scott Sampson on April 12.
The lecture hall was nearly full as the audience ate refreshments and listened to a lecture titled, “Dinosaurs of the Lost Continent.”
Sampson is a dinosaur paleontologist, science communicator and passionate advocate for connecting people with nature. He is also the president and CEO of Science World British Columbia and serves as the host on the Emmy-nominated PBS kids show “Dinosaur Train.”
The event was brought to the university by the River Bend Nature Center, the Whiteside Museum of Natural History, the West College of Education and the Midwestern State College of Science and Mathematics.
Sampson’s lecture focused on many of the late Cretaceous-era fossils that he and his team have discovered in southern Utah.
His lecture gave students interested in paleontology and the earth sciences a feel for the nature of that field. He explained fossil recovery, the geological time scale and dinosaur anatomy and physiology.
Many students attended came for extra credit in their geography classes, but others came because of the opportunity to hear from renowned paleontologists speak.
“I thought the lecture was interesting, and we don’t have too many opportunities to hear from famous paleontologists,” Shelbi Stogdill, political science freshman, said. “I like how he talked about the new dinosaur species that his team was discovering because you don’t hear about that very much. I wish that he would have gone into more about what life was like for the dinosaurs.”
Other students felt the lecture could have addressed some topics more in depth.
Madison Criddle, political science freshman, said, “He explained how all of these big creatures occupied such a small space, but I wish he went into more detail about how he actually uncovered the fossil and explained that process.”
Ben Colvin, chemistry freshman, said he thought the event was not advertised well.
“I would advertise the lecture differently to the school. I don’t think it covered as much as I thought it would,” Colvin said.
After the lecture, Sampson opened the floor up to questions from the audience. Later that night, he gave a talk about his new book “How to Raise a Wild Child” in the Akin Auditorium.