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Professor John (Jack) A. Wilson, winner of the 2000 Romer-Simpson medal, set a high standard for field research in West Texas and Mexico. Jack's collections are the foundation of numerous Masters and Doctoral projects and among the most significant holdings of VPL. Many of Jack's students remain highly active in field work in West Texas and Mexico.
Today, instruction in field methods and opportunities to go into the field and collect fossil vertebrates are fundamental components of the instructional program for both undergraduates and graduates at The University of Texas at Austin. Some of our most important specimens have been discovered by undergraduates and graduate students.
One of our current research projects involves research in Early Jurassic sediments of the lands of the Navajo Nation, in collaboration with the Navajo Eco-Scouts program. In this project, VPL graduate students have been involved in the discovery and excavation of new specimens and new species of extinct vertebrates, in one of the most beautiful and rugged regions of the world.
VPL is committed to an active field program throughout western North America, and to building premiere collections of fossil vertebrates from a wide range of Mesozoic and Cenozoic deposits.