Preparator Bios: Dan Pickering


Where are you from?
I grew up in Pittsburgh and have been coming to this museum since I was five years old.

What’s your degree?
I have a bachelor of fine arts from Carnegie Mellon University.

How long have you been a preparator?
I have been a scientific preparator for five years; I was an exhibits preparator before that in the natural history and art museums here for nine years.

What fieldwork have you done?
My work experiences have all been in the building here, but I hike in nature all the time observing form and function.

What’s the hardest part of being a preparator?
Keeping the rock dust that we generate collected and contained so it doesn’t get into our lungs and electronic equipment.

Of all the fossils you’ve worked on, what was your favorite?
My favorite was reconstructing the Dryosaurus skull. There is little evidence as to what the very front of the skull actually looked like so I was presented with the challenge and thrill of researching and modeling its form based upon a wide range of related sources. The Samson T. rex skull was another favorite because it was so complete, undistorted and beautifully preserved.

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