Camps Staff

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

Geosciences student, camps alumnus

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

Biology student, camps alumnus

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, campus alumnus

Biology student, campus alumnus

Logan Grose – Program Assistant

Logan is from Lawrence, Kansas and will be starting his undergraduate studies in wildlife biology in the fall. Logan has been camping and adventuring outdoors his whole life. He participated as a student in the Southwest Biology Camp (2017) and Expedition Ecuador (2018). He was a camp assistant last year for Middle School Paleontology Camp. Logan enjoys birdwatching and animal behavior. In his free time he enjoys hiking, biking, traveling, swimming, and spending time with his cats. He spends a lot of time volunteering at the local humane society and works as a lifeguard.

Tropical biologist, ornithologist, science educator

Tropical biologist, ornithologist, science educator

Dr. Megan Jones Patterson – Instructor

After completing her BSc in Wildlife Biology at Humboldt State University Megan moved on to Florida State University where she earned a MSc in College Science Teaching and a PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Megan spent several months each year between 2006 and 2013 in the tropics with extensive time in Ecuador, Panama, and Costa Rica. This experience includes leading research crews for several months, working with government officials and local business owners, and guiding educational tours including bird banding explanations and night walks. She now works as a scientist and science educator with the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON). While Megan’s specialty is birds, she is also an enthusiast for understanding complete communities. From slime molds to mammals and ants to frogs, Megan will help participants on this trip gain a full appreciation of tropical ecology.

Volcanologist, doctoral researcher (University of Oregon), NSF Graduate Research Fellow

Volcanologist, doctoral researcher (University of Oregon), NSF Graduate Research Fellow

Michelle Muth – Instructor

Michelle is a doctoral researcher at the University of Oregon. She studies volcanology and geochemistry. Before coming to Oregon in 2015, she earned a bachelor’s degree in Earth Science from Rice University in Houston, TX. During her time in Houston she worked as an outdoor guide and educator, sharing her love of camping and hiking with students and families from all around the city. After graduating she spent a year working as a geoscientist in an environmental consulting firm located in her hometown of Philadelphia before moving to Oregon to start her doctoral research. At UO she uses natural rock samples to study how magmas form beneath volcanoes in the southern Cascades. She is a published researcher who was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship in 2016. When she’s not polishing, analyzing, or writing about rocks, she enjoys baking, catching up on her favorite reality TV shows, and spending time outside.

Paleontologist, doctoral researcher (University of Texas)

Paleontologist, doctoral researcher (University of Texas)

Josh Lively – Instructor 

Josh is a vertebrate paleontologist, specializing in extinct freshwater turtles and marine reptiles called mosasaurs. The majority of the animals Josh researches are from the Cretaceous Period, especially the last 30 million years of the Age of Dinosaurs. He is interested in understanding environmental drivers of evolution during periods of globally warm climate. He is currently finishing up his PhD in Geological Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin and serves as an instructor in the Department of Environmental Studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield. Josh has over 8 years of experience in field paleontology, helping lead expeditions to remote areas across western North America. He has prospected for fossils and done geological work in Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming, Texas, Arizona, Alabama, Peru, and Alberta. Josh also has many years of experience in museum collections, and is passionate about the importance of incorporating specimen- and field-based studies into his research.

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.

Paleobiologist, doctoral researcher (University of Oregon)

Paleobiologist, doctoral researcher (University of Oregon)

Dana Reuter – Instructor

Dana has always been interested in the natural world and has tried on many scientific hats over the years. She has worked as a research assistant on glacial lake sediment flow in Svalbard, Norway, as a sample collector in the Grenville orogeny in Canada, and as a research student studying milk tooth morphology of the Carnivora (group that includes bears, dogs, cats, and weasels) at the Chicago Field Museum of Natural History. In 2015, she received a B. A. in Geology and an Honors in Biology from Mount Holyoke College. Now, Dana is a PhD candidate working with Dr. Samantha Hopkins in the University of Oregon Vertebrate Paleontology lab. Her research on mammalian paleoecology focuses on reconstructing ancient food webs from fossil localities, tooth variation in the Carnivora, and the evolution of omnivorous diets. Alongside her research, she has a passion for teaching and was named a 2018 Summer Institute Scientific Teaching Fellow. When she is not working on understanding ancient mammals she is getting lost in the woods, playing board games, and reading philosophy books. 

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.

Paleontologist, fossil preparator, Park Ranger (John Day Fossil Beds National Monument)

Paleontologist, fossil preparator, Park Ranger (John Day Fossil Beds National Monument)

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, science educator, wildlife management consultant

Wildlife biologist, science educator, wildlife management consultant

Brent Schulze –  Instructor

Brent Schulze is an experienced field biologist and educator with a BS in biological sciences and an emphasis in zoology. Brent has diverse experience working in wildlife biology, and has formal training in venomous reptiles, birds, insects, mammals, as well as plants, and has an excellent track record of safely conducting wildlife fieldwork in remote and semi-remote locations. He has worked on seven different grant funded research projects since 2011, including endangered species conservation research for the Denver Zoo, Department of Wildlife and Parks multi-species surveys, private consulting for gas and oil companies, and the Bureau of Land Management on endangered species conservation. This will be Brent’s fourth year as a camps instructor.

Wildlife biologist, science educator

Wildlife biologist, science educator

Jenn Rader –  Instructor

Jenn is a graduate of Fort Hays State University’s Biology program, with a bachelor’s in Conservation and Biodiversity. She started her naturalist career volunteering with the summer education programs at the Sternberg Museum around 2004-2008. She is in her 6th year as the Director of the Southeast Kansas Nature Center for Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism, where she develops and implements Environmental Education curricula and programming for the public, schools and other organizations, as well as run the nature center facility. Jenn is passionate about all organism groups, but if she had to pick one, it would be the birds. Besides nature center responsibilities, she also facilitates Environmental Education workshops for educators through the Kansas Association for Conservation & Environmental Education, is currently the Vice President of the Kansas Ornithological Society, and sits on the Kansas State ECO-Meet Committee. In her free time, she enjoys finding wild places to explore, listening to music, and reading.

Paleontology student, camps alumnus

Paleontology student, camps alumnus

Arabelle Konrad – Teaching Assistant

Arabelle is a junior at the University of Michigan where she is planning on getting a major in geology and a minor in paleontology. She has been interested in fossils and animals for as long as she can remember. To further those interests, she attended the Field Paleontology: Kansas camp in both 2015 and 2016 and the Southwest Biology camp in 2016. She is mostly interested in vertebrate paleontology and plans on specializing in the Carnivora (the family of mammals that includes animals such as cats, dogs, hyenas, seals, and weasels). She also enjoys art and collecting fossils, rocks, and bones.

Biology student, camps alumnus

Biology student, camps alumnus

Jacob Alexander – Teaching Assistant

Jacob Alexander is a conservation biology undergraduate student at Fort Hays State University. Alexander has been involved with the Sternberg Museum for 10 years both as a volunteer and a work study student. As an FHSU undergraduate, he is working with faculty on a long term ecology research project. Alexander has been a part of the camps program since 2015. He attended the Southwest Biology Camp from 2015 to 2017. Jacob is an avid hiker, climber, fisherman, rock climber, and general outdoorsman, and is eager to lead amazing outdoor adventures with future students.

Counselors 

Aysland Batchelor

Aysland Batchelor

Shyla Davison

Shyla Davison

Alese Thompson

Alese Thompson

Katie Gatlin

Katie Gatlin

Gaston Meya

Gaston Meya

Alex Landwehr

Alex Landwehr