Growing up on a farm, nature and wildlife always fascinated me. I am much more comfortable in the wilds of the woods than the wilds of any city. Though I am a long way from being favorably compared to Survivorman (Survivorman: Discovery Channel), I am not afraid of bugs, snakes, or most animals. I have had the chance to travel the world and go “Into the Wild” both underwater and on land where I find myself alive and at peace and often euphoric from Nature’s beauty.
The idea of going on a Dinosaur hunt occurred to me rather randomly. In joking, I mentioned the idea to a team member, Kris Mack. His first reaction was “I am IN.” I then recalled a certain 30,000 acre ranch a family friend owns in Montana and I approached him. His response was “well I have a wind field, an oil and natural gas project, horses, and cattle. If you found Dinosaurs, that would be cool.” So, sure enough, in April 2011, I reached out to Montana State University to see if they would be interested in collaborating. I am thankful to have met and soon to be led by Ashley Poust and Dr. Frankie Jackson PhD, our field experts. (Findings from Bone Doggle 2011 will be housed in one of the World’s Finest Dinosaur museums, the Museum of the Rockies Dinosaurs and more in Bozeman, MT | Museum of the Rockies.)
I cast a rather wide net in recruiting our All Star Team of middle age underachievers for Bone Doggle 2011. The majority of people I approached reacted as if I am crazy or silly or goofy, hmmm. I did find 5 very special men who yearn for adventure, new experiences, and each has a different reason for going but a common goal - finding the “BIG ONE.” With a little luck, who knows? We may just wind up being modern day Jurassic Park City Slickers. No matter what, we will have fun and hopefully come back in one piece. – Jamie Robinson
“In Montana, we tend to identify places where rocks of the right age are exposed by looking at geological maps generated by agencies such as the United States Geological Survey (USGS). When we find an area that might be promising, we then drive out and camp somewhere nearby, hiking to find outcropping rock and then prospecting over that rock for pieces of bone (or eggshell) that might be peeking out. We never start digging without first finding some part of the fossil which has already been uncovered by blowing wind or pelting rain” - Ashley Poust.
The Bone Hunters:
Jamie Robinson - Field General/Marketing Executive
Jamie is assembling an All Star team of moderately talented men in a diversity of fields; he is able to turn road kill into a gourmet meal. He is excited to be able to harness his perpetual curiosity for wild life and nature and “go get it’. Jamie yearns to have a friendly forum to act like a 14 year old boy and The Bone Doggle provides a wide berth for just such behavior.
Kris Mack - Field Captain/Finacier
Kris is the man who if we run out of money, as he has an ATM card with lots of dough. Kris is a really bad poker player, and he is The veteran Bone Hunter of the group as well as the trip’s inspiration. Kris will be toting his “axe” and is looking forward to strumming “Home on the Range” around a large bond fire at night. An avid fly fisherman, he has been known to wrestle a salmon out of the mouth of a starving Grizzly to feed others who are less fortunate.
Andrew Bruckner – Director of Facilities/Builder
Andy will ensure that we are not exposed to the elements, and is handy (handy Andy) enough to build a structure strong enough to survive the expected extreme conditions. Experienced in jungle trekking, fly fishing and hiking, Andy has survived many nights on the Appalachian Trail with nothing more than a goose down blankie, feather pillows, and Filet Mignon.
Steve Copeland – Director of Projectiles/Inventor
Steve will be developing field ready weapons in the event we encounter hostile locals or angry bears. We let him come along because he is Canadian, doesn’t get out much and is just a darn nice guy. The philosopher of the group, we are looking forward to the fruits of his contemplation. His nickname in high school was CES, an acronym for Cogito Ergo Sum.
John Ilgenfritz – Director of Risk Management/Statistician
John will attempt to minimize loss by calculating the odds of being bitten by a Rattlesnake or mauled by bears. John is a semi professional taste tester and he is able to eat the hottest peppers in the world. He is a semi professional treasure hunter and he has amassed thousands of old oddities from around the world using his trusty metal detector and while wearing his knee highs. He is basically a semi professional everything.
Dave Stoudt - Director of Real Estate/Broker
Dave brings over a decade of award winning real estate experience, which will be very valuable if we find the need to negotiate dinosaur rights from land owners. The most macho of all the men, Dave is capable of biting the head off a lunging rattlesnake. He intends to hang glide the expanse searching for bones by air. He has swum in the coldest oceans and is capable of holding his breath for a really long time. A master wrestler in his youth, he recently traded his one piece for a three piece suit. He keeps his one piece handy just in case, and he still looks good in it.
Frankie Jackson PhD - Asst. Professor Montana State University
Dr. Jackson focuses on the study of fossil eggs, dinosaur reproductive biology and paleoecology, and the evolution of reproductive traits in birds. Fossil egg arrangement and microscopic study of eggshell structure (including calculation of water vapor conductance rates) provide important information on dinosaur reproductive biology and physiology. In addition, sedimentologic study of and assessment of diagenesis provide evidence for paleoenvironmental interpretation of Late Cretaceous nesting sites. Currently, her research focuses on modern archosaurian (crocodillians and birds) nesting sites in Florida and the Pacific Northwest and fossil egg localities in the western United States, China, and Spain. Additional research includes assessment of geologic structures for potential carbon sequestration and earth science education.
Ashley Poust - Graduate Student - Doctoral Student
Ash’s work concerns primarily small Chinese feathered theropods, but he also dabbles in pterosaurs and mammals. When he isn’t thinking evolutionarily, he loves hiking, cooking, and playing racquetball and guitar.