Thursday, October 25, 2007

David Temple, Associate Curator of Paleontology

Associate Curator of Paleontology David Temple likes to say he's also the unofficial head of the Museum's "Department of Mysteries" - meaning that he's our Renaissance Man, the go-to guy when you've got a weird bug, strange goo, unusual fossil, mysterious substance or other generally unknown object you'd like to know what to do with.

Now in his 16th year at the Museum, David organizes the Museum's field program in Seymour. With a background in archaeology, he started here as a part-time teacher and wandered into paleontology by accident. David brings his background in archaeology to the process of digging for fossils - in which the entire context of surrounding each find is catalogued. He also has a passion for photography, and many of the images you will see on this site are David Temple Originals.

David is ready for all your paleontology questions. As well as your questions on bug cooking, squamates, space rocks, or almost anything else.


Mamagistra said...

Mr. Temple,

We recently enjoyed our first visit to Xploration Station. You and the HMNS organization are to be commended for providing such wonderful learning opportunities for those of us who don't get to the main museum as often as we'd like.

I contacted Dr. Bakker yesterday through this blog, and he suggested that I reach out to you. I home school my children, and one of my girls is a dino-obsessed 10-year-old who has built up an impressive knowledge of the dinosaur world. I seek ideas for authentic opportunities for her to learn more.

Could you elaborate on any hands-on projects, behind-the-scenes prospects, or upcoming events that might be relevant? Dr. Bakker mentioned that you have a group of volunteers in various roles. Might you seek an eager and mature young person to both help and learn?

I hope to support my daughter's paleo-passion in real ways. I genuinely appreciate any suggestions that you can provide at your convenience. Thank you.

Best regards,
Debra Pearson
Willis, TX

Houston Museum of Natural Science said...

I am glad that you "discovered" the Woodlands, it is a wonderful paleontological resource with probably the largest collection of dinosaurs in Texas.

Regarding opportunities for experiences with your 10 year old, there are several options. Getting outside to collect and observe fossils first hand is always a good activity. Toward this I would recommend contacting the Houston Gem and Mineral Society ( they have an active membership and will organize one or more field trips per month.

Also contact the Texas Bureau of Economic Geology, they have many publications, including the geologic roadmap of Texas, which would be a great teaching tool.

The Museum does not allow people under 13 to volunteer alone. However, we have had many families that volunteer together in the butterfly center and one family that has worked with me in the paleontology department. To get more information contact our volunteer department (713) 639-4629. At present we are working with our Permian fossils in both the Woodlands and the main Museum. It is possible to work with the fossils in the Woodlands if that is closer to your home address.

Thank you for you interest in the Museum and I hope this helps- encourage your daughter to keep looking down.

thanks, dpt

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