It has been a very busy year here at WMDEC!
We set our goals high with our top priority to set up a 501(c)3 non-profit, Zuni Dinosaur Institute for Geosciences (ZDIG), to help us take our research and outreach eforts to a new level. We have completed this process and will close WMDEC on December 31, 2018 and reopen ZDIG in February, 2019.
In addition to setting up ZDIG we had a very active year. WMDEC had 9 research publications this year and 2 more mauscripts submitted for 2019. Some of these publications are the results of our field efforts over the last 7 years exploring the 80my Menefee Formation. It was awesome to finally share some of what we have been up to!
Here's a run down of some of our accomplishments!
We named 2 new dinosaur species from the Menefee Project with partner, Andrew McDonald at Western Science Center, Invictarx zepheryi new ankylosaur August 2018 and Dynamoterror dynastes a new tyrannsaur October 2018.
We published a paper in PLOS on the braincase of Nothronychus with Dr. David Smith, Northland Pioneer College and Dr Kent Sanders, Witmer Labs.
We presented 4 posters and 1 talk with research partners at the International Society of Vertebrate Paleotology conference in October. This was 3 of our students, Ben Mohler, Kara Kelley and Jen Borst's first scientific pubications on discoveries they helped discover and excavate from the Menefee Project.
We provided youth programs for over 270 students. We presented at the Innovation Nation Stem Festival, Camp Soar for Accord Hospice, White Mountain Nature Center and for White river summer camp programs. We had 8 field tours with 76 citizen scientists. We presented 4 lectures and participated in 7 different community events.
We spent 25 days in the field doing research and brought back more than a half ton of rocks and fossils to the lab at Western Science Center, where they will be prepared under the supervision of partner, Andrew McDonald. We beleieve we have parts of what will likely be a new species of ceratopsian and hadrosaurid. We found lots more material on the last couple days of 2018 field season and can't wait to excavate these new discoveries in the 2019 field season.
We are looking forward to taking these new discoveries to students and communities throughout the 4-Corners in the form of the "Dinomobile", a Traveling Earth Science Museum. We are raising funds to build out the Dinomobile and fund programs to travel to remote communities that don't have local access to Museums and science enrichment programs.
We appreciate all the support of volunteers, students and the community that has made this work possible. We look forward to sharing the adventure with you as we continue forward as ZDIG!
You can bring these programs to your community or help fund a school program for an underserved community in the AZ/NM borderlands.
To find out how you can make a donation, learn about our latest research, book a school programs or get involved as a citizen scientist, go to www.zdig.org.