Recently named Sant Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Kirk Johnson is a paleobotanist who spent most of his career at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, where he led expeditions that resulted in the discovery of more than 1,400 fossil sites on all continents. His research focuses on fossil plants, the extinction of the dinosaurs, and methods for dating rocks and fossils. In 2010-11, he led the Snowmastodon Project, the excavation of an amazing ice age site discovered by construction workers in Snowmass Village, in Colorado, on October 14, 2010. This dig was featured in the NOVA documentary, “Ice Age Death Trap”, and in his book, Digging Snowmastodon, Discovering an Ice Age World in the Colorado Rockies.
Kirk Johnson was a featured speaker at Smithsonian magazine’s The Future is Here conference on June 1. See a video of his talk below: