Meet Our Educators
We believe that scientists have no greater responsibility than to communicate their work, sharing their discoveries to inspire others in the pursuit of knowledge.
Our staff has a diverse set of skills and areas of expertise, and the team has used those talents to create and continuously develop a wide variety of educational programs. In turn, these programs complement and enhance our research and field activities, all of which, together, help us fulfill our mission.
DR. RICHARD SCHMIDT
DIRECTOR OF EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMING
Dr. Rick Schmidt is the BBPI’s lead educator and principal geoscience instructor, including for our GEO 380 Field Paleontology course. He has been a teacher in southeastern Pennsylvania for nearly 25 years, and throughout his career has been repeatedly recognized for outstanding and innovative teaching in the geosciences. Dr. Schmidt’s awards include the National Association of Geoscience Teachers’ Outstanding Earth Science Teacher for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the award for Excellence in Earth Science Teaching from the Geological Society of America. Dr. Schmidt was also awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching from the National Science Foundation in 2011, the highest math and science teaching award for K-12 educators in the country. He was the only geoscience instructor to receive the award that year.
He has earned undergraduate degrees in both Earth Sciences and Secondary Education along with a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Penn State University. In 2011, he earned a Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Management from Drexel University. He is currently a department head and instructor of advanced geosciences at Upper Dublin High School in suburban Philadelphia.
JASON P. SCHEIN
Jason Schein has many years of diverse teaching experiences. He has taught numerous geology, paleontology, and general science courses at both Auburn and Drexel universities from 2002 to 2013. As the former Assistant Curator of Natural History at the New Jersey State Museum (2006 - 2017), Jason led the Bureau of Natural History’s varied educational programming efforts for school groups and adults of all ages. He also has been extremely active in science outreach and public engagements, speaking to numerous groups of all ages and backgrounds on topics ranging from paleontology to marine biology.
Jason is an instructor with the BBPI, focusing on geology, paleoecology, taphonomy, orienteering, and field paleontology. Read more about Jason Schein’s biography, research, and professional experience.
Jason C. Poole
Jason C. Poole is the coordinator of Dinosaur Hall and the Fossil Labs at the Academy of Natural Sciences as well as an Adjunct Professor at Drexel University, teaching Dinosaurs and Their World. Poole has 23 years of experience as a museum educator, several years as a preschool teacher, and presently teaches adult live animal drawing and dinosaur art classes at Fleischer Art Memorial in Philadelphia.
In 2014 Mr. Poole was invited by the Mongolian Minister of Art and Tourism to teach Mongolian paleontological illustrators a course on Dinosaur reconstruction art to ready the team for their future exhibit design and creation, which is now under way.
Jason’s experiences have also produced several popular publications, including The Lost Dinosaurs Of Egypt (which accompanied a two hour A&E television special) and the award-winning A Dynasty of Dinosaurs coloring book. His artwork has appeared in National Geographic Magazine as well as National Geographic Television specials Dinosaur Death Trap and Dinosaur CSI. Jason’s biggest contributions to the science of paleontology are his students, volunteers and interns.
Brittany was a Dinosaur Education Intern and later an Educator at The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University in Philadelphia, where she primarily taught school groups about a variety of natural history subjects. She was also a volunteer educator in the New Jersey State Museum's public Paleontology Laboratory. More recently, in 2015 and 2016, Brittany co-wrote, edited, filmed, and produced the Ask the Experts Video Learning Library for the New Jersey State Museum. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Secondary Biology Education at Saint Joseph's University.
Through 2015-2016 Laura interned as a fossil preparator and educator at both the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University in Philadelphia and the New Jersey State Museum. While interning, she helped to teach visitors of all ages about the research, field, and lab aspects of being a paleontologist. At East Tennessee State University she worked as a teaching assistant where she taught a geosciences lab course entitled “Earth through Time” which covered topics such as plate tectonics, taxonomy, and vertebrate osteology.