Menefee Expedition 2021
I was invited out as a senior member of the Southwest Paleontological Society (SPS) to the Menefee Formation expedition in northwestern New Mexico in August 2021. I was in the field for a week prospecting, digging up real dinosaur bones, and getting to know fellow paleontologists, both professional and amateur. Thank you to the Arizona Museum of Natural History (Mesa, AZ), SPS, Zuni Dinosaur Institute for Geosciences (ZDIG; Springerville, AZ), and the Western Science Center (Hemet, CA) for the opportunity!
The Menefee Formation expeditions are conducted on land managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the Navajo Nation. The teams have permits for this work. We also have successfully made efforts to connect to the Navajo Nation leadership and local law enforcement, and invite members of the Diné out to the digs with us. In this way, they learn about paleontology, what we are doing, and the fossils on their land. We are deeply respectful of the people on whose ancestral lands we dig and seek their permission and blessing in all new endeavors.