Hi! My name is Dawn Mitchell and I am a museum intern working with PCP-PIRE here at FLMNH, which is a long way from my hometown of Chicago, Illinois.

Sereno Prep Lab
Dawn at her prep station in the Sereno Fossil Lab. (Photo courtesy of Nicole Ridgwell)

My interest in paleontology started early, and you could often find me traversing the halls of the Field Museum of Natural History, peering curiously through the glass windows of the McDonald’s Fossil Preparation Laboratory there.

That prep lab became the subject of one of the admissions essays I submitted to the University of Chicago, where I graduated from last June with a B.S. in Geophysical Sciences.

During my tenure at UChicago I learned basic fossil preparation techniques in Dr. Paul Sereno’s fossil lab and worked with 3D reconstruction and 3D printing of fossils for a senior project with Dr. Zhe-Xi Luo.

Also during my senior year, I had the good fortune of having most of my Fridays free, giving me the opportunity to volunteer at the Field Museum and assist with the curation of Eocene fossil specimens from the Washakie Basin of Wyoming.

Here at FLMNH, my duties so far have consisted of preparing parts of a fossil dugong from Panama and researching North American fossil mammal collections in the Paleobiology Database. I’ll post more details on these projects shortly, and I look forward to sharing my experiences here at FLMNH!

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