Dr. Scott and the Dinosaur Train

May 28, 2010 10:14:37 AM PDT
Young fans of Dinosaur Train on PBS call him "Dr. Scott." Grown ups know him as renown paleontologist Dr. Scott Sampson, author of Dinosaur Odyssey: Fossil Threads in the Web of Life." He's an expert on dinosaurs, a subject that fascinates people of all ages. He's especially familiar with the duck-bill dinosaur or more precisely the Hadrosaurids. It's called a duck-billed dinosaur because of its head similarity to modern day ducks. The Hadrosaurids were herbivores from the Cretaceous Period (which lasted 79 million years, from 144 million to 65 million years ago) and was found in what is now known as Asia, Europe and North America.

Haudrosaurids were the first dinosaur family to be identified in North America, the first traces were found in the mid-1800s. Dr. Scott has focused his research on the ecology and evolution of Late Cretaceous Period dinosaurs.

You can meet Dr. Scott on Saturday at the Field Museum which is hosting Dinosaur Train: Play the Day Away! from 9 am to 4 pm. There will also be a casting call, sing-along and other dinosaur-related activities. Basic museum admission will be free for the first 75 children between the ages of 3-8 who come to The Field Museum's East Entrance with a parent. Check in will be in Classroom C on Ground floor.

Here are some of the highlights:

-- Dinosaur Train Casting "Roar": calling all kids ages 3-8. Show us your star power and you could end up being featured in a commercial or online video
--Meet Dr. Scott Sampson, Ph.D.: Dinosaur Train host and world-renowned paleontologist, appearing between 9:30-noon.
-- Toy World Premiere: be the first to see and play with the Dinosaur Train toy line from Learning Curve--not yet available in stores.
-- Sing Along: with Dinosaur Train show creator, Craig Bartlett, who will perform the show's theme song and other hits from the show.
-- Meet Buddy the Dinosaur: meet the star of Dinosaur Train live and in-person
-- Big Dino Dig: win prizes?from toys to bookmarks to $100 US Savings Bonds!
-- All-day Dinosaur Train Activities: color your favorite characters, play Dinosaur Train computer games and watch episodes of the hit PBS KIDS series.
-- Family lecture on dinosaur discoveries related to Dr. Scott's recent book from 12:30 to 1:30 pm. A book signing will follow. Call 312-665-7400 to reserve a seat for this lecture. Space is limited.

NOTE: Free Basic Admission is available to first 75 children between the ages of 3-8 and one accompanying adult. All special Field Museum exhibits require an additional fee. All events are available on a first-come; first-served basis. Organizer reserves the right to stop an attraction due to over-crowding at their discretion. Participation in the Casting Roar and world toy premiere requires parental approval and signature on a waiver/release form (available at check-in).

For more information on Dinosaur Train: Play the Day Away call 312-670-7079 or visit www.fieldmuseum.org.

For more information on Dr. Scott or the Dinosaur Train visit Dr. Scott's website www.scottsampson.net or the show's website http://pbskids.org/dinosaurtrain/.

DINOSAUR TRAIN: PLAY THE DAY AWAY!
Saturday, May 29
9 am to 4 pm
The Field Museum
1400 S. Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL
East Entrance (Museum Campus Drive & Solidarity Drive facing Adler Planetarium)
312.670-7079
www.fieldmuseum.org

ABOUT SCOTT D. SAMPSON Ph.D.

Scott Sampson is a Canadian dinosaur paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and educator who serves as Research Curator at the Utah Museum of Natural History, University of Utah. After receiving his Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Toronto in 1993, he spent a year working at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, followed by five years as assistant professor of anatomy at the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine on Long Island. From 1999-2007, he held a dual position with the Utah Museum of Natural History and the Department of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Utah, serving for the last several years of that period as chief curator and associate professor, respectively. His research has focused on the ecology and evolution of Late Cretaceous dinosaurs, and he has conducted fieldwork in a number of countries, including Kenya, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Madagascar, Mexico, the United States, and Canada. His current research efforts are focused on a large scale project in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, southern Utah, which has yielded abundant remains of a previously unknown assemblage of dinosaurs. Sampson has published numerous scientific and popular articles, and has lectured extensively to audiences of all ages on dinosaurs and evolution.

In 2007, Sampson moved to the San Francisco Bay Area of California, where he now lives with his wife and daughter. In addition to continuing dinosaur research through the University of Utah, he is now pursuing a range of new projects focused on education. Sampson was the primary scientific consultant and on-air host of the four-part Discovery Channel series Dinosaur Planet. Appearing as "Dr. Scott the Paleontologist," he is presently serving the same pair of roles for the PBS children's series Dinosaur Train, produced by the Jim Henson Company. He recently completed a book, Dinosaur Odyssey: Fossil Threads in the Web of Life (University of California Press, 2009), the first comprehensive review of dinosaur paleontology for a general audience in more than two decades. Sampson is now at work on another general audience book, this one arguing for radical reform of science education as a key factor in resolving the current sustainability crisis.

From Publisher's Weekly comes this description/review of Dr. Scott Sampson's book "Dinosaur Odyssey: Fossil Threads in the Web of Life"

If one day you saw a Torvosaurus looking through your second-story window, would it be able to live on the vegetation it found? Dinosaurs, paleontologist Sampson stresses throughout this book, were part of a complex ecosystem, and to understand these beasts, we must also understand the plants and other animals they shared it with, along with factors such as the position of the continents and climate change. Sampson's sprawling study is one of the most comprehensive surveys of dinosaurs and their worlds to date. The author discusses in detail plant life during different dinosaur eras (e.g., there were no flowering plants) and even what insects would have scurried beneath them. Who knew that fossilized fecal matter hid so many clues to a dinosaur's dinner millions of years ago? Sampson addresses the ever popular subject of dinosaur extinctions and develops a comprehensive theory encompassing various dinosaur generations. Highly recommended for all dinosaur fans.


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