Camps Staff

We are still in the process of assembling our 2020 staff team. This page will be updated as positions are filled over the coming months.  

Camps Director, science educator, paleobiologist

Camps Director, science educator, paleobiologist

David Levering – Camps Director, Instructor

Phone: 785-639-5249

David joined the Museum staff in 2013. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a bachelors degree in geology in 2007. He also worked as a teaching assistant in the Zoology department at Oklahoma State University from 2010 to 2013, where he graduated with a Master’s of Science. Before coming to the Sternberg, David spent seven summers working in the youth science camp industry. He also worked three summers with the National Park Service at Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument in southern Idaho. There, he carried out paleontology field and lab work and worked with kids showing them geology and paleontology. He is a published researcher, collaborating with professional academics on work focusing on mammal paleobiology and mechanics. David manages the entire camps program, and oversees program logistics and curriculum design.

Geosciences student, camps alumnus (2015-2017)

Geosciences student, camps alumnus (2015-2017)

Marjie Cone – Program Assistant

Marjie is a student at University of Illinois, majoring in Geology with emphasis on paleontology. Marjie has had a lifelong love of fossils and minerals, leading her to pursue geoscience as a career path. During the summer, Marjie works as a camps program assistant in the field and in the office, working with students and managing logistics. During the school year, Marjie helps with the development and improvement of the camps program. In her own words: “I began my affiliation with the Sternberg Museum in 2015 when I was looking for some way to gain experience in the field, and found the Sternberg’s summer science camps. I participated in the paleontology field camp as a sophomore in high school and I loved it so much that I have been returning for the past two summers as a camp counselor/ teaching assistant. These camps are more than just a fun experience, but a unique educational opportunity that has enabled me to expand my horizons and give back to the scientific community.”

Biology student, camps alumnus (2015-2017)

Biology student, camps alumnus (2015-2017)

Maggie Wolf – Program Assistant

Maggie Wolf is a student at the University of Evansville in Evansville, Indiana. She is a Biology and Spanish double major and hopes to continue her education and eventually conduct research. Maggie has had extensive experience in the outdoors through Girl Scouts and Venturing Crew. She participated as a student in Sternberg Paleontology Camp (2015), Southwest Biology Camp (2016), and Expedition Ecuador (2017). During the summer, Maggie works as a camps  program assistant in the field and in the office, working with students and managing logistics. During the school year, Maggie manages our wildlife data processing, including overseeing the work of our student interns. She also helps with the development of new camps, and making improvements to existing camps.

Biology student, camps alumnus (2017-2019)

Biology student, camps alumnus (2017-2019)

Alese Thompson – Program Assistant

Biologist, Science Educator

Biologist, Science Educator

Keri Maricle – Instructor 

Keri Maricle is originally from North Texas, and has lived in Hays for the past seven years building an educational background in biology with an emphasis in botany. She graduated with her B.S. in Biology from Fort Hays State University (FHSU) in 2015, and her M.S. in Biology from FHSU in 2017. Maricle taught undergraduate laboratories in biology and botany at FHSU while she was a graduate student from 2015-2017. Currently, Maricle is the biology instructor at Thomas More-Prep Marian where she teaches courses in general biology, advanced biology, as well as human anatomy and physiology. She also works individually with her high school students on research projects to present at science fairs and conferences. In her spare time, Maricle enjoys spending time with her family including planning botanical adventures with her husband (a fellow botanist).

Paleontologist, FHSU Biology Faculty

Paleontologist, FHSU Biology Faculty

Catherine Sartin – Instructor 

Cat is a vertebrate paleontologist who is at home both in the field and the laboratory. Her latest work has been on the growth of a group of dinosaurs known as the ornithopods. This group includes the iguanodontians (Aladar in Disney’s “Dinosaur”) and the hadrosaurs. To study their growth, she made thin sections (microscope slides) of dozens of bones, of all different sized individuals. Before this project, she investigated the traits that paleontologists use to determine what bones belong to what species. She has done field work all over the United States – in Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Wyoming, South Dakota, Montana, Florida and more. She has also works abroad in southern Alberta and in the Gansu Province of China. When she’s not digging up fossils or researching them, she teaches in the Biology Department at Fort Hays State University. This is Catherine’s second year as an instructor, working with the high school paleontology students in 2018.

Paleontologist, fossil preparator at the Burke Museum in Washington

Paleontologist, fossil preparator at the Burke Museum in Washington

Jessica Barnett – Instructor

Jessica is a paleontologist with a passion for finding and cleaning fossils. She’s worked alongside fossil preparators at numerous sites and with material of various ages. She has prepped fossils all across the US at locations big and small. From Pleistocene megafauna in South Dakota and Permian crinoids in Texas, to Miocene monkeys in Oregon and Cretaceous crocodiles in Washington, D.C., Jessica loves to work with it all. She has developed training programs in fossil preparation for independent museums and the National Park Service. When she doesn’t have her hands in the dirt, she can be found at John Day Fossil Beds National Monument working as a park ranger. Jessica is an alum of Fort Hays State University, completing her MS in Geosciences in 2017.

Paleobiologist, doctoral researcher (University of Oregon)

Paleobiologist, doctoral researcher (University of Oregon)

Kellum Tate – Instructor 

After working as an ICU nurse for 4 and a half years, Kellum left the medical field to pursue her dream of becoming a vertebrate paleontologist. She graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in summer of 2017 and began her Ph.D. program at the University of Oregon that fall. Kellum studies marine mammals and the transition from terrestrial to aquatic environments, and is extremely passionate about sharing the wonder of the earth sciences with the public. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, rock hounding, fantasy fiction, and pestering her cat.

Wildlife biologist, Zoology Collections Manager

Wildlife biologist, Zoology Collections Manager

Curtis Schmidt – Museum Curator of Zoology, Instructor 

Curtis became the museum’s first official Zoological Collections Manager in 2011. A Hays native and FHSU grad, Curtis received his B.S. in biological sciences in 1999 and his M.S. in 2004. Curtis is no stranger to the museum, as he began as a curatorial assistant in Herpetology in 1998, eventually becoming associate curator of Herpetology and Mammalogy before being appointed Zoological Collections Manager. Because of his involvement in many research projects, Curtis’ contributions to the Herpetology and Mammalogy collections are numerous. As Zoological Collections Manager, his primary responsibilities are the Entomology, Herpetology, Ichthyology, Mammalogy and Ornithology Collections. Curtis also plays an active part in educational programming and exhibits.

Counselors 

Sophia Cajune. 
Undergraduate at Montana State University, camps alumnus (2019)

Sophia Cajune. Undergraduate at Montana State University, camps alumnus (2019)

Abby Ludlum. Camps alumnus (2018-2019)

Abby Ludlum. Camps alumnus (2018-2019)

Ethan Couture. Undergraduate at U. Maine, camps alumnus (2014-2019)

Ethan Couture. Undergraduate at U. Maine, camps alumnus (2014-2019)

Katie Gatlin. Camps alumnus (2015-2019)

Katie Gatlin. Camps alumnus (2015-2019)

Gaston Meya. Camps alumnus (2016-2019)

Gaston Meya. Camps alumnus (2016-2019)

Alex Landwehr. Fort Hays State University Student, camps alumnus (2017-2018)

Alex Landwehr. Fort Hays State University Student, camps alumnus (2017-2018)