Our Staff

We believe that science is an adventure!

Every member of our exceptional, experienced staff is dedicated to, and personally invested in, fulfilling the BBPI’s mission.  We have worked together as both a team and as a family for several years, building the organization into what it is today.  

Image by J. Schein




After studying geology at Auburn University (B.S., M.S.), Jason Schein was an environmental geologist in Tupelo, Mississippi for a short time before returning to his passion - paleontology - as a Ph.D. student at Drexel University.  He was an occasional adjunct professor of geology, frequent public speaker, and is the former Assistant Curator of Natural History at the New Jersey State Museum.  It was there that Jason co-founded and co-led the Bighorn Basin Dinosaur Project.  

Read more about Jason here.  

JSchein(at)BBPaleo.org (406) 998-1390

Photo Credit: B. Malinowski

Jason C. Poole

Crew CHIEF, Director of Fossil Preparation, Educator

Image by J. Schein

Image by J. Schein

Born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, Jason Poole has decades of experience as a natural history educator and fossil preparator, mostly at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.  He's also an accomplished and award-winning paleo artist, being trained at the Antonelli Institute of Commercial Art and Photography.  He has also participated in numerous international dinosaur expeditions, and has helped lead our field expeditions since 2013.  

Read more about Jason here.  



Dr. Rick Schmidt studied education and geoscience from Penn State University, and eventually earned an Ed.D. from Drexel University.  He has excelled in his career, becoming a nationally renowned innovator and leader in the field of geoscience education.  He has taught in the Upper Dublin School District in suburban Philadelphia for more than 20 years, and has been a leader within the Bighorn Basin Paleontological Institute's field teams since 2013.  Dr. Schmidt is also the primary professor for our GEO 380 Field Paleontology course.  

Read more about Rick here.  

Image by B. Malinowski


Devon Francis

Director of Development

Devon Francis is the newest member of our team. She brings years of experience working extensively with nonprofits in fundraising and program development. “As a woman who grew up in the pre-STEM era, it took me a long time to figure out how much I enjoy science-- that it wasn’t just dense textbooks and memorizing the periodic table of elements. BBPI is making really exciting science accessible to anyone, regardless of background.” Devon is so excited to “help the Bighorn Basin Paleontological Institute inspire people of all ages to expand their minds and go on an adventure!”

As a dinosaur-lover herself, she’s a perfect fit for the BBPI.

Please contact Devon today to find out how you can advance science and education.

DFrancis(at)BBPaleo.org (973) 224-6765



Brittany Malinowski joined the team during the 2013 field season with plenty of teaching and fossil preparation experience, but looking to give field work a try for the first time.  It's safe to say she found her second home: Brittany has been an integral part of the team ever since, helping to make the program excel both as a leader in the field and from behind the scenes.  She is now an accomplished field paleontologist pursuing graduate studies. 

Read more about Brittany here

Image by J. Schein

Laura Rooney

Logistics coordinator and off-season paleontological support

Laura Rooney has been a part of the crew since 2013. Although her undergraduate studies at CUNY Hunter College focused on physical anthropology, she has always been a paleontologist at heart. The Bighorn Basin Dinosaur Project was her first experience with paleontological field work and she has been hooked ever since. In 2015-2016 she interned at both the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia and the New Jersey State Museum in their fossil preparation labs and helped to educate visitors in the work of a paleontologist. She recently completed her thesis on crocodile and lepidosaur locomotion on her way to earning an M.S. in Geosciences (Paleontology) at East Tennessee State University

Read more about Laura here.  LRooney(at)BBPaleo.org

Ashley Adams

Field Assistant

Image Credit: A. Adams

Image Credit: A. Adams

Ashley Adams joined the team summer of 2016. Her journey in geology and field work did not truly begin until geology field camp during her final undergraduate summer, where she fell in love with conducting science not just in a lab, but in the outdoors. Returning to her Texas roots, Ashley's Masters focused on geologic field work and stratigraphy, with a dash of paleontology thrown in. Now working on her PhD at Drexel University, Ashley wants to continue developing stratigraphic frameworks through field work, as well as expand into new technologies to understand the environments of the past. 

Read more about Ashley here

Grace Goetcheus


Field Assistant

Grace Goetcheus first joined the team for the 2018 field expedition is returning this year as a member of the BBPI staff. While her love for paleontology began as a kid, she did not consider a career in the field until 2018, when she worked in the FossiLab at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in her hometown of Washington, DC. It was here she was given the opportunity to join the BBPI in Montana. She is currently studying Biology and Anthropology at Tufts University, where she is an EMT and taught a class on the evolution of human physiology through fossil evidence. She plans to apply to graduate school for her Master’s.

View Grace’s resume here.

Chris Blickhan


Field Assistant

Chris Blickhan first found the BBPI in 2018 through the GEO 328 course and is returning for the 2019 field expedition as a Field Assistant. He has had a love for paleontology for as long as he can remember, and it is the only career he’s ever wanted to pursue. Chris currently studies geology and biology at the University of British Columbia, where he is also the current president of the Geosciences Club. He looks forward to applying to graduate programs in the next coming year.