Ralph Chapman at the Smithsonian National Museum in front of the non-digital Hatcher, the Triceratops. Courtesy/PEEC
Is digital modeling the future of paleontology? Find out at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17, at the Los Alamos Nature Center.
Paleontologist, geologist and biologist Ralph Chapman will present the first digital dinosaur and discuss innovations in the field of virtual paleontology. Explore this brave new world of three-dimensional dinosaurs and meet the virtual Hatcher, the Smithsonian National Museum’s Triceratops.
Chapman, who led the development of the digital Hatcher, will describe their design process as well as the virtualization of the famous T.rex, Sue, and other related projects. What is the potential for digitally modeling dinosaurs and other extinct creatures? Is Jurassic Park more real thank you think? There are advancements yet to come, but rest assured, these dinosaurs can’t breed.
Chapman is an old New Englander. Trained as a paleontologist, geologist and biologist, he did his undergraduate study at The University of Bridgeport and graduate work at The University of Rochester. He spent 20 years at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, first as a Visiting Scientist and then running The Applied Morphometrics Laboratory for approximately 18 years, a laboratory centered on doing data analysis and developing technology in support of the research being done at the Museum.
Chapman then spent five years on the staff and teaching at Idaho State University, where he founded and funded one of the top three-dimensional scanning laboratories in the world – The Idaho Virtualization Laboratory. He moved to Los Alamos where he has been interacting in various business ventures, including being one of the founders and principals of Los Alamos Business Incubation. He also gets out into the field every now and then. He and his wife, Linda Deck, have a major hobby collecting cartoon, comic and illustration art, particularly when it is related to science, and especially paleontology.
Chapman’s talk will take place at the Los Alamos Nature Center at 2600 Canyon Road. It is free to attend, and no registration is required. For more information about this and other Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) programs, visit www.peecnature.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 505.662.0460.
The PEEC was founded in 2000 to serve the community of Los Alamos. It offers people of all ages a way to enrich their lives by strengthening their connections to our canyons, mesas, mountains, and skies. PEEC operates the Los Alamos Nature Center at 2600 Canyon Road, holds regular programs and events, and hosts a number of interest groups from birding to hiking to butterfly watching. PEEC activities are open to everyone; however, members receive exclusive benefits such as discounts on programs and merchandise. Annual memberships start at $35. To learn more, visit www.peecnature.org.