UW Today

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November 5, 2009

Antarctic explorer, scientist to speak about ‘Dinosaurs on Ice’ at Burke

Dinosaurs on Ice: Jurassic Dinosaurs from Antarctica is the title of a lecture by William Hammer scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12 at the Burke Museum.


Hammer made his first trip in search of fossil vertebrates in the Central Transantarctic Mountains of Antarctica as a graduate student in 1977. Since then he has led six expeditions to Antarctica. He is currently a professor of geology, the director of the Fryxell Geology Museum, and director of the Center for Polar Studies at Augustana College in Illinois. He is also a research associate of the Field Museum of Natural History.


Antarctica is the most hostile continent on Earth today, but it has not always been covered in ice. Hammer’s research has uncovered Jurassic dinosaurs, scavenging theropods, a new sauropodomorph, a “beaver-like” tritylodont, a pterosaur (flying reptile), all of which he will discuss during his lecture.


The talk is offered in conjunction with the Burke’s latest exhibit, Wondrous Cold: An Antarctic Journey which includes real fossils collected by Hammer alongside photographs by Joan Myers, who spent October 2002 through January 2003 in Antarctica. Wondrous Cold tells the story of human life and research on the world’s most unfriendly continent.


Wondrous Cold is organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and made possible through the generous support of Quark Expeditions. The lecture is free and open to the public.