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Michael Novacek


Michael Novacek has served since 1982 as a curator at the American Museum of Natural History where he is currently Senior Vice President and Provost of Science and Curator of Paleontology. Awarded a doctoral degree (with honors for outstanding graduate research) at the University of California, Berkeley, his studies concern patterns of evolution and relationships among extinct and extant organisms. His interests have ranged from the fossil record to new data on DNA sequences.

He has led paleontological expeditions to Baja California, the Andes Mountains of Chile, the Yemen Arab Republic, and Gobi Desert of Mongolia in search of fossil dinosaurs and mammals. Dr. Novacek is the author of more than 200 titles, including articles in the international scientific journals such as Science and Nature, as well as the popular books Dinosaurs of the Flaming Cliffs (1996), Time Traveler (2002) (each a New York Times Notable Book of the Year) as well as Terra: Our 100 Million-Year-Old Ecosystem-and the Threats That Now Put It at Risk (November, 2007). He has also been a contributor to Natural History, Scientific American, The Smithsonian, and TIME magazine, and The Washington Post and is currently a weekly science commentator on PBS World Focus. As Provost he oversees a staff of 200 scientists, graduate and postgraduate fellows, and technicians who have responsibility for one of the world’s largest natural history and cultural collections as well as the Museum’s exhibition program. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Science. He received the Roy Chapman Andrews Society Distinguished Explorer’s Award for 2003 and the Lowell Thomas Award from the Explorer’s Club in 2005 and Honorary Doctorates from Long Island University in 1996 and Beloit College in 2006.

Past Programs Featuring Michael Novacek

Friday, June 12, 2009 | 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm