Tuesday, 9/21/21

I’ve been back home for about 5 weeks now and keeping plenty busy with some chores around home and just getting back into normal routines.

I couldn’t help myself and started right in working on the very last bone we excavated from the Clarence dig site once I got my gear stowed away. I have a small list of repairs and “upgrades” to do the camper but I didn’t jump right on them and had to get it folded up and put in a garage so it would be out of the way. It was so hot and humid when I first got back to Indiana that I just didn’t want to work outside much. I spent my time in the shop working on the large scapula bone instead of the last pieces still on the bench from before I left for the field work this season. Here’s a couple of photos of the scapula piece –

Here’s scapula showing clean up as of today. It’s coming along. I’m intrigued about what’s at the left end in this jacket; the round piece starting to show isn’t part of the shoulder and I’m anxious to discover what it is?
Going in reverse order – here’s the same piece from a week or two ago. Showing where we came from and just beginning to get to the fossil surface through the orange colored, hard minerals attached to the bone.
Here’s scapula still on/in the ground on August 14th. This image shows the opposite side of the specimen from what we are cleaning in the shop. It’s typical that the exposed side in the ground becomes the “bottom” once on the bench being worked on. In the shop we clean the side that had been the “bottom” and not touched or seen before.

I’ve gotten started with a new intern in the workshop this semester – Bailey, you know who you are! She’s a local high school senior and worked hard to keep in touch with me over the summer and worked out a schedule for a few hours a week in the shop as an intern working on learning how to clean and prepare fossils. Welcome Bailey.

I’ve also started a new endeavor with a local college to instruct a few of their students in the art/science/craft (?) of fossil preparation. We recruited four students for this inaugural semester, lab only class at Franklin College, in Franklin, IN. I got associated with a retired school teacher from our local school system who in his “retirement” started teaching science classes at Franklin College. Clark and I talked about some of his students becoming interns at SIPI but then changed course to consider me teaching the same basics of fossil preparation at their location. Before I knew it we were setting up a small lab area and got to recruiting some students to give it a try. Started classes on Aug. 30 and so far so good. Have four college students in a lab on campus for two sessions per week. We’ve got music (I get to choose station), a dorm fridge full of drinks, and assorted snacks in our little lab making it a pretty cool spot to learn how to play with dinosaur bones and have some relaxation from their normal class routines. I occasionally get addressed as “professor” Bodi and am quick to correct, that I am far from it! I’m glad to be there and it’s been enjoyable to have this small group together learning techniques to ready fossils for academic study or display in a museum. I’ll get a group photo to share in the near future.