The Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument in central Montana is one of the most remote areas in North America, and also one of the best places on earth to discover the fossilized remains of dinosaurs and their contemporaries. 

Professors Ray Rogers, Kristi Curry Rogers, Geology Lab Instructor Jeff Thole, and their students spend summer months exploring the 75 million year-old rocks and fossils to answer questions related to ancient environments, ecosystems, and processes of fossilization. This summer students Madeline Marshall ’12, Rachel McLaughlin ’12, Dan Sorensen ’12, and Jansen Smith ’12 traveled with them.

More than 20 students have participated in fieldwork in the Missouri Breaks, which resulted in senior theses and/or capstones on the fossils and rocks preserved there. Many of these students have published their results and continued on to top graduate programs in paleobiology and sedimentary geology.  The research is supported by the National Science Foundation and the Bureau of Land Management.

September 7 2011

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