UCMP Profiles
Mark Goodwin: Path to UCMP
Building A Career

Good win with T. rex cast

In 1995, Mark had the unusual job of putting together a team to build a free-standing mount of a forty-foot T. rex cast for UCMP. See how they did it!

Mark notes, “I love going to work every day.”

A natural-born scientist
Mark Goodwin has been practicing science since he was a young boy growing up on the East Coast. He had his first brush with Tyrannosaurs rex and Triceratops when he visited the 1964 New York World’s Fair at age nine. The life-size models on exhibit made quite an impression. Like many youngsters, Goodwin had developed an early fascination for dinosaurs, but in his case, the interest never waned.

“I’ve always liked science and I was naturally curious. Scientists ask questions because they are curious, and I was already doing this before I even realized I was going down this path.”

A life-changing semester in Washington, D.C.
Goodwin attended the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he took classes in comparative vertebrate anatomy and vertebrate paleontology. He spent his free time as a volunteer at the Pratt Museum (Amherst College). But as opportunities arose for him to experience paleontology research firsthand, Goodwin found it hard to stay within a traditional academic path.

“Since I was a little kid, I’d always wanted to visit the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Most people were doing internships on Capitol Hill, but I wanted to work in the Smithsonian, so I called them up. Although they didn’t have any undergraduate programs at the time, they asked me to come for a semester anyway. The nice thing about my Smithsonian experience was that I had the chance to work with several different paleontologists and paleobiologists. There was a variety of people, and this was my first chance to go out into the field and collect fossils along the Chesapeake Bay.”

Goodwin extended his stay at the Smithsonian to one year before returning to Amherst. After completing another year toward his undergraduate degree, his restless feet brought him to Harvard University’s Museum of Comparative Zoology, where he received more training in fossil preparation techniques and had an opportunity to join a number of distinguished paleontologists in the field.

Path to UCMP continued . . .

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