“Peter Kranz first showed me the site that would be Dinosaur Park back in 2009,” Daniel recalls. “I remember when the buildings surrounding the park didn’t exist, and there were empty fields that people would walk their dogs or bike in.”
Daniel’s fascination with prehistoric life began early, leafing through dinosaur books at the library. For him, dinosaurs are like “real-life dragons,” spectacular creatures that once populated the same world we live on today. One of Dinosaur Park’s first – and youngest – volunteers, Daniel was hired as an interpreter in 2012. During a typical Open House program, he gives fossil talks, answers questions, and helps visitors identify fossils they’ve discovered. Daniel always makes sure to describe the animals found as fossils in detail, painting a vivid picture of the creatures' habits and habitat.
Daniel is also one of Dinosaur Park’s most experienced fossil hunters. Among the plethora of fossils he has recovered are Astrodon, dromaeosaur, and crocodile teeth that now reside in the Smithsonian’s paleontology collections. His most remarkable find to date is a Priconodon tooth with a complete root. No more than five such teeth have ever been found in in eastern United States.
“My favorite thing about the Park is that it’s really the only place around where I can get a chance to find something that is new and exciting in the world of paleontology,” Daniel says. He adds that “I also very much enjoy sharing my knowledge and meeting new people.”