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Polar DinoFest 2021

 

Welcome to NHMU’s fifth-annual DinoFest, a celebration of all things dinosaur! This year in conjunction with the special exhibition, Antarctic Dinosaurs, our fan-favorite festival will be hosted online over 10 weeks as we explore the world of Polar Dinosaurs!

Between now and April 4, tune in Friday mornings at 10 a.m. to watch brand-new, exclusive videos about these magnificent creatures. Our snack-sized DinoBite videos will give you just the right amount of dinosaur drama to start your day in 20-minute presentations from our featured paleontologists. Don’t worry, we’ll also feature two in-depth keynote presentations for the hardcore dinosaur fans. (We see you.)

All of our Polar DinoFest videos will be posted here and on our YouTube channel and Facebook page. (Times listed are Mountain Standard Time.) 


Keynote Speakers

Our DinoFest keynote talks are always the highlights of the festival. This year, we are thrilled to welcome Peter Makovicky and Holly Woodward Ballard, experts in Polar Dinosaurs and their modern-day relatives. (Can you guess who some of those relatives are? Tune in and see for yourself.)

Peter in Antarctica

Polar DinoFest Keynote Speaker Peter Makovicky

Frozen Fossils: Mesozoic Paleontology of Antarctica
Peter is a professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Minnesota, where he studies evolutionary patterns and processes in the fossil record. In addition to field work in Antarctica, Peter's research has taken him to China, Argentina, and around the U.S.

Peter's keynote video is available here.

Holly in Egypt

Polar DinoFest Keynote Speaker Holly Woodward Ballard

A Dinosaur for All Seasons: Fossil Bone Microstructures Reveal the Life Histories of Permanent Polar Residents
Holly is an associate professor of anatomy and paleontology at Oklahoma State University's Center for Health Sciences, where she studies the microscopic structures inside fossil bones to better understand the age, annual growth rate, maturity status, and health of extinct dinosaurs such as Maiasaura and Tyrannosaurus.

Holly's keynote video will be available here at noon on March 5.


DinoBites!

Don't miss these ten snack-sized paleontology presentations that will each pack a lot of information into just 20-minute videos! 

Cleason in Antarctica

Kerin Claeson

Sea Monsters from Seymour Island Antarctica — What Swam in the Oceans While Dinosaurs Roamed the Land?

Kerin, a paleoichthyologist and an anatomist, is an associate professor of anatomy in the Department of Bio-Medical Sciences at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Her research focuses on the skeleton of fishes over time.

Watch Kerin's DinoBite
Nate Smith in Antarctica

Nate Smith

From Dicynodonts to Dinosaurs: Evolution and Biogeography of Early Mesozoic Faunas of Antarctica

Nathan is the associate curator at the Dinosaur Institute of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. His research focuses on the origins and early evolution of dinosaurs. His work is featured in the traveling exhibition, Antarctic Dinosaurs, at NHMU.

Watch Nate's DinoBite

 

Anne-Laure in Antarctica

Anne-Laure Decombeix

Reconstructing the Triassic Forests of Antarctica

Anne-Laure is a paleobotanist for the French National Centre for Scientific Research in Montpellier, France. She studies fossils from various parts of Europe, Australia, North Africa, and Antarctica to understand the plants that were growing in these regions during the Paleozoic and early Mesozoic. 

Watch Anne-Laure's DinoBite
Dan in the field

Dan Ksepka

March of the Fossil Penguins

Dan is the curator of the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Connecticut. His research focuses on the evolution of birds, with a special interest in penguins. This work has taken him on expeditions in the United States, New Zealand, and South America.   

Watch Dan's DinoBite

 

Marina in the field

Marina Suarez

Polar Climate in the Times of Dinosaurs

Marina is an associate professor of geology at the University of Kansas. She studies ancient continental environments to understand Earth's climate past, especially deep Earth history such as the Cretaceous Period. 

Watch Marina's DinoBite
Ron in the field.

Ron Tykoski

Dinosaurs in the Land of the Midnight Sun

Ron is the director of paleontology and curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, Texas. There, he is working on the dinosaur species currently known from the Cretaceous of Arctic Alaska.

Available 10 a.m. March 5

 

Audrey in Antarctica.

Aubrey Roberts

Sea Monsters from the Jurassic Arctic

Aubrey is a post doctoral researcher in paleontology at the University of Oslo Natural History Museum, Norway. Her current research project investigates the recovery of life in Norway's Arctic region after the greatest mass extinction of all time. 

Available 10 a.m. March 12
Karen Chin in the field.

Karen Chin

Marine Life in a Cretaceous Arctic Ecosystem

Karen is the curator of paleontology at the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History, and a professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at University of Colorado, Boulder. Karen's research focuses on reconstructing ancient ecosystems.

Available 10 a.m. March 19

 

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Pat Druckenmiller

Nurseries of the North: Baby Dinosaurs from Arctic Alaska

Patrick is the director of the University of Alaska Museum of the North, and professor of geology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. His research focuses on Mesozoic marine reptiles and dinosaurs, particularly those from high latitudes.

Available 10 a.m. March 26
Jaelyn in the field.

Jaelyn Eberle

Finding Fossil Mammals in Canada’s High Arctic

Jaelyn is the director of the Museum and Field Studies Program and curator of fossil vertebrates at the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History, and a professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her research concentrates on the study of ancient mammals during past intervals of climate change. 

Available 10 a.m. April 2

Launch Weekend Live Conversations

In case you missed it, on our kick-off weekend we hosted six live panels with our DinoFest paleontologists, who introduced their work and answered questions from the audience. See the recorded sessions on Youtube by following the links below.

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Live with DinoFest Keynote Paleontologist Peter Makovicky.

Watch The Video

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Live with Keynote Paleontologist Holly Woodward Ballard.

Watch The Video

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Live with Paleontologists Anne-Laure Decombeix, Nate Smith, and Marina Suarez.

Watch The Video

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Live with Paleontologists Pat Druckenmiller and Kerin Claeson.

Watch The Video

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Live with Paleontologists Aubrey Roberts, Dan Ksepka, and Karen Chin.

Watch The Video

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Live with Paleontologists Jaelyn Eberle and Ron Tykoski.

Watch The Video

 


Keep Exploring Paleontology at NHMU

The Natural History Museum of Utah is your go-to resource for all things dinosaurs! From behind-the-scenes tours of the Museum's collections to educational activities for aspiring paleontologists, scroll through and follow the links below to explore more paleontology at NHMU.


Polar DinoFest Kids Activities

These activities and videos were produced by NHMU's Teen Explainers for the youngest dinosaur enthusiasts joining us for Polar DinoFest!

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Polar DinoFest is supported by: