Dinosaur Excavation and Taphonomic Research Project

        Project    History
 
Home       
Site Map       
 
Project Recovered Fossils Bone Catalog Reports   Notes from the Field  
 

There's no such thing as an atheist in a dinosaur quarry.   
Robert Bakker



Southwestern Adventist University

and

Earth History Research Center

and

Hanson Research Station


Lance Formation, Wyoming

  1997  1998  1999  2000  2001  2002  2003  2004  2005  2006  2007  2008  2009  2010  2011  2012  2013  2014  2015  2016  2017

n
u
m
b
e
r
 Participants by Year 
 150 
 125 
 100 
 75 
 50 
 25 
 '97'98'99'00'01'02'03'04'05'06'07'08'09'10'11'12'13'14'15'16'17
 year

   projected current year

n
u
m
b
e
r
 Participant Days by Year 
 1500 
 1250 
 1000 
 750 
 500 
 250 
 '03'04'05'06'07'08'09'10'11'12'13'14'15'16'17
 year

n
u
m
b
e
r
 Fossils Recovered by Year 
 2500 
 2250 
 2000 
 1750 
 1500 
 1250 
 1000 
 750 
 500 
 250 
 '97'98'99'00'01'02'03'04'05'06'07'08'09'10'11'12'13'14'15'16'17
 year

   current year



2017

    
 "come dig with me,
the best is yet to be!"

 
 Thursday, 1 June through Friday, 30 June
  Class led by A. Chadwick.
  First year of a four-year Research Project.
  "Mini-camp" for young paleontologists—20 early teens with 3 sponsors.

 

2016

    
 Thursday, 2 June through Friday, 1 July
  Class led by A. Chadwick with 10 students earning GEOL 240 credit.
  Fourth year of a four-year Research Project.
  "Mini-camp" for young paleontologists—15 early teens with 3 sponsors.
  Continued excavations at North Main Quarry site with intent to further determine vertical extent and location of bone layer.
  Continued excavations at South East, Stair, Triceratops, Ivarrest, and Gar Ridge Quarries.
  Continued use of GPS (with redundant systems), digital photography, and GIS techniques.
  Used the ATV four-wheeler for efficiency in exploration and transportion of materials.
  Use of a wireless internet connection via Newcastle to upload the latest news and data transfer as well as e-mail and wireless web access for the participants.
  Use of GPS and walkie talkie repeaters.
  Use of a wireless region over the camp and extending to the quarry sites.
  A total of 79 participants with 792 participant days for an average stay of 10.0 days plus a number of visitors to observe and/or video record.
  Collected a total of 1226 fossil specimens during the regular season—total of 1268 including an extended few days for two participants.
  This season is the twentieth summer that Southwestern Adventist University has been involved in excavating on the Hanson Ranch!

 notes from the field

2015

    
 Thursday, 4 June through Friday, 3 July
  Class led by A. Chadwick with 5 students earning GEOL 240 credit.
  Third year of a four-year Research Project.
  "Mini-camp" for young paleontologists—24 early teens with four sponsors.
  Continued excavations at North Main site with intent to further determine vertical extent and location of bone layer.
  Continued excavations at South Main, South East, Teague, Gar, Rose, and Ivarrest Quarries.
  Continued explorations at the Triceratops site.
  New excavations at Stair Quarry.
  Continued use of GPS (with redundant systems), digital photography, and GIS techniques.
  Used the ATV four-wheeler for efficiency in exploration and transportion of materials.
  Use of a wireless internet connection via Newcastle to upload the latest news, and data transfer as well as e-mail and wireless web access for the participants.
  Use of GPS and walkie talkie repeaters.
  Use of a wireless region over the camp and extending to the quarry sites.
  Use of a cell phone extender to provide better service in camp for certain providers.
  Prioritize specimens in the field for processing.
  A record total of 140 participants (plus several members of the Hanson family) with a near-record 993 participant days—average stay of 7.1 days. (One night we set a record of 91 people in camp!)
  Collected a total of 1267 fossil specimens.

 notes from the field

2014

    
 Thursday, 29 May through Friday, 27 June
  Class led by A. Chadwick with 4 students earning GEOL 240 credit and 1 earning EDSC 545 credit.
  Second year of a four-year Research Project.
  "Mini-camp" for young paleontologists—19 early teens with four sponsors.
  Semipermanant shelter constructed between North and South Main Quarries—new Hoodoo Hut!.
  Continued excavations at North Main site with intent to further determine vertical extent and location of bone layer.
  Continued excavations at South East, Teague, Rose, and Ivarrest Quarries.
  Began excavations of a Triceratops.
  Continued use of GPS (with redundant systems), digital photography, and GIS techniques.
  Used the ATV four-wheeler for efficiency in exploration and transportion of materials.
  Continued study of the stratigraphy of the area.
  Use of a wireless internet connection via Newcastle to upload the latest news, and data transfer as well as e-mail and wireless web access for the participants.
  Use of GPS and walkie talkie repeaters.
  Use of a wireless region over the camp and extending to the quarry sites.
  Prioritize specimens in the field for processing.
  A total of 75 participants with 633 participant days—average stay of 8.4 days.
  Collected a total of 1148 fossil specimens.

notes from the field   [correspondent Marla Seasly]

2013

    
 Thursday, 30 May through Friday, 28 June
  Class led by A. Chadwick with 5 students (4 earning GEOL 240 credit).
  First year of a proposed four-year Research Project.
  "Mini-camp" for young paleontologists—19 early teens with four sponsors.
  Continued excavations at North Main Quarry site with intent to further determine vertical extent and location of bone layer.
  Continued excavations at South East, Teague, TOE, Gar Ridge, Rose, and New Field Quarries
  Extended New Field Quarry down the ridge to the west to look for possible boundary of the bone layer.
  Explored areas away from the main quarries for interesting fossil finds including a small site (Far East) near Triceratops Hill.
  Opened Ivarrest Quarry in the far west.
  Continued use of GPS (with four redundant rover systems), digital photography, and GIS techniques.
  Used the ATV four-wheeler for efficiency in exploration and transportion of materials.
  Continued study of the stratigraphy of the area.
  Use of a wireless internet connection via Newcastle to upload the latest news, and data transfer as well as e-mail and wireless web access for the participants.
  Use of GPS and walkie talkie repeaters.
  Use of a wireless region over the camp and extending to the quarry sites.
  Installed a cell phone extender to provide better service in camp for certain providers.
  Use of solar panels to provide power for the GPS base station, wireless access points, and repeater site.
  Installed electrical connection to provide power for the wireless connection and repeater site.
  Prioritize specimens in the field for processing.
  Set a single week record of 735 recovered fossils during the second week—almost the season's total for 2005!
  On June 13, the project catalogued its 15,000th specimen!
  A total of 103 participants (plus several members of the Hanson family) with a 831 participant days for an average stay of 8.1 days.
  Collected a total of 2256 fossil specimens, a season record!  A large number of these were small items from the outlying quarries such as turtle scutes.

 notes from the field

2012

    
 Thursday, 31 May through Friday, 29 June
  Class led by A. Chadwick with 5 students earning university credit for GEOL 240.
  Fourth year of a four-year Research Project.
  Continued excavations at North Main and South Main Quarry sites with intent to further determine vertical extent of bone layer over a large area.
  Hoodoo Hut removed from North Main Quarry—progress was made in the parts of the quarry that had been previously covered.
  Continued excavations at South East, TOE, DQ, and Rose Quarries.
  Opened a new quarry on ridge to north of North Main Quarry:  New Field Quarry.
  Discovery of two sites, one containing Nodosaurus armor and the other with Triceratops remains.
  Continued use of GPS (with three independent systems), digital photography, and GIS techniques.
  Acquired an ATV four-wheeler for efficiency in exploration and transportion of materials.
  Use of the site as a backdrop for a television segment production.
  Continued study of the stratigraphy of the area.
  Use of a HughesNet® satellite internet connection to upload the latest news, and data transfer as well as e-mail and wireless web access for the participants.
  Use of GPS and walkie talkie repeaters.
  Use of a wireless region over the camp and extending to the quarry sites.
  Use of solar panels to provide power for the GPS base station, wireless access points, and repeater site.
  Prioritize specimens in the field for processing.
  On June 5, the group observed the last transit of Venus for the 21st century using Southwestern's solar telescope.
  Prior to the season, the first major revision since 2003 to the project website—went live March 1!
  A total of 73 participants (plus several members of the Hanson family) with 796 participant days for a record average stay of 10.9 days.
  Collected a total of 1633 fossil specimens.

notes from the field


2011

    
 Thursday, 2 June through Friday, 1 July
  Class led by A. Chadwick with 3 students earning GEOL 240 credit and 3 teachers earning ceu's.
  Third year of a four-year Research Project.
  "Mini-camp" for young paleontologists—18 early teens with five sponsors.
  Continued excavations at North Main and South Main Quarry sites with intent to further determine vertical extent and location of bone layer.
  Continued excavations at South East, Teague, Stair, Gar Ridge, TOE (Turner's Ornithiscian Exploratory), and DQ Quarries.
  Opened a new quarry to the south across the ravine:  Rose Quarry.
  Continued study of the stratigraphy of the area.
  Acquired a new trailer for transporting camping gear, equipment, suppiles, and bones.
  Use of the site as a backdrop for a television segment production.
  Generation of video segments.
  Produced more panoramic recordings of the area and operations.
  Continued use of GPS (with redundant systems), digital photography, and GIS techniques.
  Use of a HughesNet® satellite internet connection to upload the latest news, and data transfer as well as e-mail and wireless web access for the participants.
  Use of GPS and walkie talkie repeaters.
  Use of a wireless region over the camp and extending to the quarry sites.
  Prototyped preliminary cataloging in the quarries.
  Use of solar panels to provide power for the GPS base station, wireless access points, and repeater site.
  Prioritized specimens in the field for processing.
  A total of 119 participants with a record of 996 participant days for an average of stay of 8.4 days and an average of 38.3 humans in camp at night. (One night we set a record of 70 people in camp!)
  Collected a total of 1965 fossil specimens, a season record!
  This season is the fifteenth summer that Southwestern Adventist University has been involved in excavating on the Hanson Ranch!

 notes from the field


2010

Phyllis Hanson passed away, February 14
    
 Thursday, 3 June through Friday, 2 July
  Class led by A. Chadwick—7 students earning 4 semester credits, two teachers earning ceu's
  Second year of a four-year Research Project.
  Continued excavations at North Main and South Main Quarry sites with intent to further determine vertical extent and location of bone layer.
  During the winter the Hoodoo Hut had collapsed—major structural elements broken after 10 years.
  Continued excavations at South East, and Stair Quarries—extended Stair Quarry across gully.
  Additional overburden removal at Stair Quarry to open area for continued excavation.
  Opened a new quarry, DQ, at site of a prior excavation that we discovered stopped at the top of the bone layer!
  First panoramic recordings of the area and operations.
  Continued use of GPS (with redundant systems), digital photography, and GIS techniques.
  Use of a HughesNet® satellite internet connection to upload the latest news, and data transfer as well as e-mail and wireless web access for the participants.
  Set up GPS and walkie-talkie repeaters to provided extended coverage.
  Use of a wireless region over the camp and extending to the quarry sites.
  Use of solar panels to provide power for the GPS base station, wireless access points, and repeater site.
  On June 23, the project catalogued its 10,000th specimen!
  A total of 88 participants (plus several members of the Hanson family) with a record of 882 participant days for a record average stay of 10.0 days (surpassed in 2012).
  Collected a total of 1185 fossil specimens—second highest season total!

notes from the field


2009

    
 Thursday, 4 June through Friday, 3 July
  Class led by A. Chadwick with a total of 6 students.
  First year of a four-year Research Project.
  "Mini-camp" for young paleontologists—21 early teens with three sponsors.
  Filming of a video presentation by Southwestern Adventist University video crew.
  Continued excavations at North Main and South Main Quarry sites with intent to further determine vertical extent and location of bone layer.
  Continued excavations at South East Quarry and Teague Quarry.
  Additional overburden removal at Stair Quarry with continued excavation.
  Exploration of a potential quarry site east of the old Far East Quarry:  Gar Ridge.
  Opening of a new sample quarry northwest of GPS hill:  TOE (Turner's Ornithischian Exploratory) Quarry.
  Continued use of GPS (with three independent systems), digital photography, and GIS techniques.
  Calibration of the GPS system in terms of absolute rather than localized coordinates.
  Use of a HughesNet® satellite internet connection to upload the latest news, and data transfer as well as e-mail and wireless web access for the participants (after a week in camp).
  Establishment of a wireless region over the camp and extending to the quarry sites.
  Use of solar panels to provide power for the GPS base station and wireless access points.
  A total of 93 participants (plus several members of the Hanson family) with a near-record of 760 participant days but an average stay of only 8.2 days. (One night we equalled our record of 64 people in camp!)
  Collected a total of 1233 fossil specimens, a season record!

notes from the field


2008

    
 Thursday, 29 May through Friday, 27 June
  Class led by A. Chadwick and L. Turner, with contributions from L. Spencer (SAU), with 8 students and several teachers.
  Fourth year of a four-year Research Project.
  "Mini-camp" for young paleontologists—22 early teens with three sponsors.
  Continued excavations at North Main and South Main Quarry sites with intent to further determine vertical extent and location of bone layer.
  Continued excavations at South East and Teague Quarries.
  Overburden removal at Stair Quarry with continued excavation.
  Continued use of GPS (with two independent systems), digital photography, and GIS techniques.
  Installation of a permanent base station mount on GPS hill.
  Use of a HughesNet® satellite internet connection to upload photos, latest news, and data transfer as well as e-mail and wireless web access for the participants (with a 16 day outage in the middle of the season).
  Participant photographs posted to an on-line gallery during the season.
  A total of 88 participants (plus several members of the Hanson family) with a near-record of 793 participant days and an average stay of 9.1 days. (One night we had a record 64 people in camp!)
  Collected a total of 959 fossil specimens.

notes from the field


2007

Glenn Hanson passed away, April 24
    
 Thursday, 31 May through Friday, 29 June
  Classes led by A. Chadwick, L. Turner, and L. Spencer (SAU) with a total of 8 students plus several teachers for Professional Development Units.
  Continued stratigraphic study of the area by one of the students.
  Third year of a four-year Research Project.
  "Mini-camp" for young paleontologists—13 early teens with three sponsors.
  "Tour group" from Southern Adventist University.
  Continued excavations at North Main and South Main Quarry sites with intent to further determine vertical extent and location of bone layer.
  Completion of the excavations at the sample West Quarry—quarry closed!
  Continued excavations at South East Quarry and Teague Quarry.
  Reopened and extended Stair Quarry.
  Continued use of GPS (with two independent systems), digital photography, and GIS techniques.
  Use of a HughesNet® satellite internet connection to upload photos, latest news, and data transfer as well as e-mail and wireless web access for the participants.
  Participant photographs posted to an on-line gallery during the season.
  A total of 70 participants (plus several members of the Hanson family) with 686 participant days and an average stay of 9.8 days.
  Collected a total of 1038 fossil specimens.

notes from the field


2006

    
 Thursday, 1 June through Friday, 30 June
  Classes led by A. Chadwick and L. Turner with 13 total students.
  Detailed stratigraphic study of the area by one of the students.
  Second year of a four-year Research Project.
  "Mini-camp" for young paleontologists—18 early teens with five sponsors.
  Continued excavations at North Main and South Main Quarry sites with intent to further determine vertical extent and location of bone layer.
  Continued excavations at two sample, West and Far East Quarry, sites—no further fossils found in the Far East Quarry.
  Opened South East Quarry.
  Reopened New (Teague) Quarry during the Mini-camp—had been covered by previous year's bulldozer work.
  Continued use of GPS, digital photography, and GIS techniques.
  Use of a HughesNet® satellite internet connection to upload photos, latest news, and data transfer as well as e-mail and wireless web access for the participants.
  Field tested a prototype computerized bone check-in system—abandoned after the season.
  Participant photographs posted to an on-line gallery during the season.
  A total of 92 participants (plus a number of members of the Hanson family) with a total of 60 at one time staying in Camp Cretaceous!
  A record of 806 participant days with an average stay of 8.8 days.
  Collected a record total of 1182 fossil specimens.
  Early in the second week the project catalogued its 5,000th specimen—ended the season with 5892!
  This season is the tenth summer that Southwestern Adventist University has been involved in excavating this tremendous Lance Formation bone bed!

notes from the field


2005

    
 Thursday, 2 June through Friday, 1 July
  Class led by A. Chadwick
  A second class is taught on-site by E. Kennedy—total of 7 students taking at least one of the classes.
  First year of a second four-year Research Project.
  "Mini-camp" for young people—21 early teens, including their sponsors, for a three-day experience.
  L. Turner and J. Woods were invited by Andrews University to participate in the Madaba Plains Project at Jalul, JORDAN, to provide experience in the techniques developed in this research to the field of archeology.
  Continued excavations at North Main and South Main Quarry sites with intent to further determine vertical extent and location of bone layer.
  Bulldozer work to expose even more of the bone layer between New and South Quarries—lost a control point. And increased potential future work from 50 to at least 75 years before exhausting bone layer with removed overburden!
  Continued excavations at West Quarry site.
  Opened a sample quarry far to the east—the Far East Quarry!
  Continued use of GPS (with two independent systems), digital photography, and GIS techniques.
  Use of a satellite internet connection to upload photos, latest news, and e-mail and wireless web access for the participants.
  Participant photographs posted to an on-line gallery during the season.
  About 71 total participants and 617 participant days for an average stay of 8.7 days.
  Collected 755 specimens.

notes from the field   [only first half of season, correspondent Justin Woods]

Caleb Hanson killed in an accident, age 12, August 16


2004

    
 Thursday, 3 June through Friday, 2 July
  Class led by A. Chadwick and L. Turner.
  First year to schedule the season to "leave Thursday" near the first of June and to "arrive back Friday" just before the Fourth of July.
  First organized "mini-camp" for young people—17 early teens with their sponsors for a three-day experience.
  A. Chadwick and L. Turner were invited by Andrews University to participate in the Madaba Plains Project at Jalul, JORDAN, to extend the techniques developed in this research to the field of archeology.
  Continued excavations at North Main and South Main Quarry sites with intent to further determine the density of the bone layer.
  Continued excavations at New (Teague) Quarry and West Quarry sites to help determine horizontal and vertical extent and location of the bone layer.
  Continued use of GPS (have two independent systems), digital photography, and GIS techniques.
  Established another exploratory quarry, KC Quarry, to the north of the Main Quarry sites.
  Used the GPS to perform a large scale topographical study of the ranch—now have a better stratigraphic understanding of the area.
  Use of a satellite internet connection to upload photos, latest news, web cam from the dig site, and data transfer as well as wireless e-mail and web access for the participants.
  Utilized a cable to provide network (wireless) at the quarry site as well as telephone communication back to camp.
  Participant photographs posted to an on-line gallery during the season.
  A total of 62 participants (including three small children) with 49 total at one given time!
  A total of 587 participant days with an average stay of 9.5 days.
  Over 880 large bones, teeth, long tendons, large bone fragments, etc were located, recovered, and catalogued—total compares favorably with the previous two years since short tendons and small bone fragments were not catalogued.

notes from the field


2003

    
 Monday, 2 June through Wednesday, 2 July
  Class led by A. Chadwick, L. Spencer, and L. Turner.
  Continued excavations at North Main and South Main Quarry sites with intent to further determine vertical extent and location of bone layer.
  Continued excavations at New Quarry.
  Opening of "sample" site, West Quarry, to map horizontal extent of the bone layer.
  Continued use of GPS, digital photography, and GIS techniques.
  Aerial photographs of site to be used with GPS surveying data.
  Surveyed the outcropping of bones on the surface over a large area to help establish the extent of the bone bed.
  Gathered and screen washed material from Twin Towers for inspection and analysis during "off-season."
  Use of a satellite internet connection to upload photos, latest news, web cam from the dig site, and data transfer as well as wireless e-mail and web access for the participants.
  Prior to the season the project website was established.
  Intitated the daily Notes from the Field.
  Participant photographs posted to an on-line gallery during the season.
  A total of 45 persons were with the group, of which 8 were day visitors for a total of 413 participant-days with an average stay of 9.2 days.
  Over 1000 large bones, teeth, tendons, bone fragments, etc were located, recovered, and catalogued.

aerial view of the quarries
 
notes from the field


2002

    
 Monday, 3 June through Tuesday, 2 July
  Class led by A. Chadwick, L. Spencer, and L. Turner.
  Camp Cretaceous facility opened.
  Continued excavations at North Main and South Main Quarry sites with intent to determine further the vertical extent and location of bone layer.
  Continued use of GPS (used two systems), digital photography, and GIS techniques.
  Perform an overall site survey using the GPS equipment.
  Opened New Quarry (Teague Quarry) southeast of South Main Quarry north of the site of the previous years' Southeast Ridge Site proved to be a rich site with hadrosaur and theropod bones.
  Original 5 by 8 m North Main Quarry completely excavated—first laid out in 1997.
  Further excavation at the Stair site indicated no further material—excavation work terminated.
  Participant photographs posted to an on-line gallery.
  Roughly 35 persons participated.
  Almost 1000 major bones, bone fragments, teeth, tendons, etc. were discovered and catalogued in this season.

notes from the field   ["after the fact" from Field Note Books]


2001

    
 Monday, 4 June through Friday, 29 June
  Class led by A. Chadwick, L. Spencer, and L. Turner.
  First year of a four-year Research Project.
  Continued excavation at North Main and South Main Quarries.
  More overburden removed between the North Main and South Main Quarries by bulldozer to within about 1/4 meter of the bone layer.
  North Main Quarry cleared to a large area below the bone layer and widened toward west to a total width of 10 m.
  South Ridge Quarry opened—found a very unusual assemblage of teeth.
  Preliminary excavation at Southeast Ridge site (New Quarry or Teague Quarry).
  Stair site initiated—several theropod bones found.
  Continued use of GPS, digital photography, and GIS techniques.
  First use of pre-printed Field Label Cards.
  Approximately 35 persons were involved for a period of a few days up to four weeks.
  Over 720 major bones, bone fragments, teeth, tendons, etc. were discovered and catalogued.
  Over 1000 fossils have been recovered since the project began!
  This season is the fifth summer that Southwestern Adventist University has worked in this bone bed!

notes from the field   ["after the fact" from Field Note Books]


2000

    
 Monday, 29 May through Thursday, 29 June
  Class led by A. Chadwick and L. Turner.
  Aerial photographs of the site.
  Ridge above North Main Quarry was removed by bulldozer to within approximately 3/4 m above bone layer.
  Hoodoo Hut at the North Main Quarry site constructed.
  Continued excavation at North Main Quarry revealed a graded bone bed about 1 m thick.
  South Main Quarry opened.
  First use of GPS and GIS techniques.
  About 25 people participated.
  Over 220 major bones, bone fragments, teeth, tendons, etc. were discovered, retrieved and catalogued.



1999

    
 Monday, 7 June through Friday, 2 July
  Class led by A. Chadwick and L. Spencer.
  Further excavation work on North Main Quarry suggested a fairly well defined bone layer.
  Six persons involved in the field work.
  55 fossil specimens recovered.
  After the summer's expedition, development was begun on a web-based on-line bone catalog.


1998

    
  A. Chadwick and L. Spencer continued work at the North Main Quarry site.
  8 fossil specimens recovered.


1997

    
  Class led by A. Chadwick and L. Spencer.
  The class consisted of five science teachers who spent 10 days working at the site.
  North Main Quarry Site laid out and organized—5 by 8 m area.
  72 fossil specimens recovered.



1996

    
  Hanson Research Station founded.
  A. Chadwick and L. Spencer visited North Main Quarry site.
  Preliminary excavations by non-Southwestern Adventist University workers.


1995

    
  North Main Quarry site selected by L. Spencer and K. Wise for F.A.C.T. (Foundation for Advancing Creation Truth) family camp.


 

© 2001-2017 by Southwestern Adventist University and Earth History Research Center