College of Engineering & Mines

Updates for students, alumni, supporters and constituents

UND to host ‘Dinosaur Talk’ by paleontologist John Scannella on Feb. 16

Triceratops skeleton display
Triceratops on display at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Wikimedia Commons image.

UND’s Harold Hamm School of Geology & Geological Engineering will host a presentation by one of Montana’s leading dinosaur paleontologists at 12:20 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 16, at UND’s Leonard Hall, Room 100.

Members of the media and public are invited to attend “Triceratops and MOR: Exploring the End of the Age of Dinosaurs in Montana,” presented by John Scannella, John R. Horner Curator of Paleontology at the Museum of the Rockies (MOR) at Montana State University.

Long before bison, giant horned Triceratops roamed western North America with other dinosaurs about 66 million years ago. Triceratops lived alongside the carnivorous Tyrannosaurus rex and the dome-headed Pachycephalosaurus. This ecosystem is preserved in exposures of the Hell Creek Formation, the rock unit that captures the end of the age of dinosaurs in Montana, North Dakota and the surrounding region.

As part of the School’s long-running Leading Edge of Earth & Planetary Sciences (LEEPS) lecture series, Scannella will present on the intensive paleontological fieldwork in the Hell Creek Formation that’s still leading to discoveries on how these incredible animals lived, grew and evolved.

For nearly 20 years, Scannella has studied Triceratops and what its world was like at the end of the Cretaceous Period. As the John R. Horner Curator of Paleontology at MOR in Bozeman, Mont., since 2017, Scannella conducts extensive fieldwork throughout Montana.

Current research projects include exploring prehistoric ecosystems, examining modes of fossil preservation, and deciphering the growth and evolution of dinosaurs. More information is available on the MOR website.


Since 1988, UND’s Harold Hamm School of Geology and Geological Engineering (GGE) has hosted as many as 220 scientists to participate in their Leading Edge of Earth & Planetary Sciences Lecture Series (LEEPS). LEEPS brings subject matter experts to the UND campus from colleges, universities and industry across the U.S. and world. LEEPS was organized to promote first-hand presentation and critical thinking on current topics spanning Earth science. The series coordinates with GGE’s Essential Studies communication courses, bringing the students into the larger world of their chosen field of study. Speakers typically meet with students to further discuss research and career paths, providing expertise and inspiration.