As a dinosaur paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, author, and educator, Scott Sampson‘s work reaches into the past, present, and future. While holding a dual position at the University of Utah and the university’s Utah Museum of Natural History, he began a major project in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, one of the country’s last frontiers for dinosaur paleontology. The site proved to be a window back in
time, to a region populated by many never-before-seen dinosaur varieties, including a giant duck-billed dinosaur, a new type of feathered dinosaur, and others. In this video, Sampson and others from the Utah Museum of Natural History trace a dinosaur fossil from the earth to the museum.
In his book Dinosaur Odyssey: Fossil Threads in a Web of Life, Sampson places dinosaurs in the context of the entire natural world, from the origins of life to the present. Illustrating how dinosaurs lived and what we can learn from them, Sampson imparts a sense of wonder about paleontology and the scientific revelations that still wait to be unearthed.
Sampson now lives in California, and continues his research while taking on new projects related to education. He is the paleontologist and host of the Discovery Channel series Dinosaur Planet, and of the PBS Kids series Dinosaur Train, produced by the Jim Henson Company. In the video below, from PBS’s coverage of the of the TV Critics Press Tour, Sampson talks to Zadi Diaz about Dinosaur Train, and how learning about dinosaurs is a great way to start learning about science and the natural world.