2023 Board of Director Candidates
Candidates for the Office of Vice President
Currently: Chief Preparator at Yale Peabody Museum, where my duties include supervising two term preparators working on specimens for the renovation of the museum, preparation for graduate students and curators, fieldwork, and MicroCT specimen mounting and scanning.
Previously: Preparator at the American Museum of Natural History where I worked on the renovation of the fossil halls, preparing everything from the smallest to the largest specimens (T. rex). After the renovation, I continued at the AMNH working on small mammals and Mongolian dinosaurs until moving to Yale.
Even with these many years of experience, I feel it is vital to remain open to new ideas and skills. AMMP meetings have always encouraged me in that endeavor.
Cause for running
I am a founding member of AMMP, the first Vice President/Acting President, and have been a continuous active member of AMMP, working with the Annual Meeting Committee (AMC) and as co-Chair of the AMC Abstracts Subcommittee. Currently, I am serving as the Vice President again, filling in for a one year term caused by vacancy.
I have the dedication and experience to confront the tasks inherent to the position. I would like to see AMMP continue its basic mission of advancing paleontological research through education and advocacy for improved ethics, standards, and practices in field, laboratory, and analytical methods.
These are some of the changes that I would like to see the Board institute:
I think we as members want AMMP to do more, and to be inclusive of and relevant to all levels of experience, from novice to very experienced professional. As a solely volunteer organization, we rely on member participation to develop AMMP as a strong voice in the field of paleontology.
Candidates for the Office of Member-at-Large 2
I am a Ph.D. candidate at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology where I study dietary proxies, such as microwear and stable isotopes, and their application in the fossil record. Over the past nine years, I have been a graduate teaching assistant in charge of developing and delivering educational content for undergraduate laboratory students, field instructor in charge of teaching museum visitors the basics of paleontology and how to do basic preparation using hand tools, a paleontology monitor in charge of finding and recovering fossil material during active construction activities, and a crew member and crew leader of multiple paleontology inventory survey crews. These opportunities have allowed me to develop and hone my skills as a team member and a team leader, which is vital to serving in a leadership position in AMMP.
Over the past decade, I have had numerous opportunities to observe and serve on different Board of Directors for different organizations. The most recent was while working at a museum in Montana where I had the opportunity to be involved in the museum’s Board of Directors. I was a member of their Governance Committee in addition to being regularly invited to attend their monthly board meetings. Over the last five consecutive years of actively serving on AMMP’s Annual Meeting Committee, I have seen the steady progress in our organization with regards to the standardization of methods and the education and inclusion of individuals of all skill levels who are excited to learn preparatory techniques. I was recently given the opportunity to become involved in the Workshops Subcommittee as the chair. This has given me the chance to see some of the inner workings of our organization and has provided me with the insight necessary to better serve our organization as a whole.
Reason for running
Being a researcher that relies on knowledge of preparation techniques being used and an aspiring curator, I find it vital to know and understand what practices should and should not be done in the preparation laboratory. I feel AMMP is meant to provide a means to openly discuss scientific principles and case studies in relation to materials and methods in paleontology as well as increase the standardization of laboratory practices. The reason I am running is that I want to continue to strive towards better standardization, greater inclusion, and an increase in communication between the Board, AMMP committees, and our general membership. I have been a continuously active member of the Annual Meeting Committee since I joined the organization in 2017. During this time, I have personally grown as a professional due to AMMP. I want to continue to serve this organization by bringing the voice of the membership to the Board of Directors and by increasing the involvement of all members in the organization. I feel that one of the best ways to accomplish this is to serve in the Member-at-Large 1 position.
Candidates for the Office of Treasurer
Education and Professional Experience
In 2004, I earned an M.S. degree in Geosciences from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. As an undergraduate, I studied at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (1993-1997) earning a B.S. degree with Distinction in Geology with minors in Math and Biology.
I have served as the Highway Paleontologist and Coordinator for the Nebraska Highway Paleontology Program since 2007. I worked the previous seven years as the Preparator for the same program. In graduate school, I had internships with the Highway Paleontology Program and the Nebraska Geological Survey. As an undergraduate, I spent two years working as a curatorial assistant in the Division of Vertebrate Paleontology at the University of Nebraska State Museum and two field seasons as a summer intern at Ashfall Fossil Beds.
Why run for this office?
It is an honor and privilege to serve the membership of this organization. I have learned so much from each of you over the years and serving as your treasurer, tracking our financials, and shaping AMMP’s future is one way that I can give back to the organization. As in our respective collections, continuity is of the utmost importance when maintaining records and the same is true for our financials. During my tenure, I have standardized expenditure categories and reviewed older records to ensure that all share a common nomenclature. Standardized records allow the AMMP Board and Annual Meeting Planning Committee to make quick, informed decisions when developing proposed budgets, approving expenditures, and comparing metrics over multiple years. Over the past 18 months, we have uploaded all of our records onto the G Drive so everything is digitally archived and easily accessible.