Fla. Museum, WUFT-TV to host paleontologist Scott Sampson for free lecture March 25

March 1st, 2010

Photos available

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Paleontologist and evolutionary biologist Scott Sampson, author and host of the popular PBS children’s series “Dinosaur Train,” will present a free public lecture and book signing at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 25 at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

Sampson, a curator at the Utah Museum of Natural History, will discuss his latest research and new book, “Dinosaur Odyssey: Fossil Threads in the Web of Life.” Sampson has published more than 130 scientific and popular articles, lectured extensively to audiences of all ages on dinosaurs and evolution, and conducted fieldwork in a number of countries, including Canada, Kenya, Madagascar, Mexico South Africa, the United States and Zimbabwe. He divides his work time between scientific research and a variety of education-related projects.

His two-day appearance in Gainesville, which also includes a public pre-kindergarten event at the Florida Museum from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 26, is co-sponsored by the museum, WUFT-TV/DT and the Early Learning Coalition of Alachua County.

“The Florida Museum and area residents are extremely fortunate to have someone with Scott’s credentials coming to speak and present the ‘Dinosaur Train’ event said Jamie Creola, museum assistant director for education and visitor services. “He is highly respected in the scientific community as a leader in vertebrate paleontology research and also has a special gift for engaging and educating audiences of all ages.”

After receiving his Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Toronto in 1993, Sampson spent a year working at the American Museum of Natural History, followed by five years as assistant professor of anatomy at the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine. From 1999-2007, he held a dual position with the Utah Museum of Natural History and the University of Utah department of geology and geophysics. Sampson’s research has focused on the ecology and evolution of Late Cretaceous dinosaurs, and he currently is working on a large project in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah, which has yielded many remains of a previously unknown collection of dinosaurs.

For more information call 352-846-2000.

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Media contact: Paul Ramey, 352-273-2054, pramey@flmnh.ufl.edu

The Florida Museum of Natural History is Florida’s state natural history museum, dedicated to understanding, preserving and interpreting biological diversity and cultural heritage. It is located near the intersection of Southwest 34th Street and Hull Road in the University of Florida Cultural Plaza in Gainesville. Hours are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. Butterfly Rainforest admission is $9.50 for adults ($8 Fla. residents) and $5 for children ages 3-12. Prices subject to change. For more information, including directions and parking, call 352-846-2000, or visit www.flmnh.ufl.edu.

WUFT-TV/DT broadcasts to16 counties in North Central Florida (21 via cable). WUFT broadcasts programming from the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and other venues, as well as local news, public affairs and entertainment shows. WUFT broadcasts via three digital channels: the main channel, 5.1 broadcasts in High Definition (HD); 5.2 is Standard Definition (SD) and features PBS Create; Channel 5.3 offers programming from the Florida Knowledge Network and PBS World. WUFT-TV/DT is on Cox Cable Channel 3 in Gainesville. The additional digital channels, 5.2 and 5.3 are on Cox Cable Channel 113 and 114 respectively. The WUFT studios are located in the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications and serve as a training facility for telecommunication students.