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| April 2021 |
Montana Learning Center and Carter County Museum announce intern selection
The Montana Learning Center, in partnership with the Carter County Museum in Ekalaka, MT, is pleased to announce the selection of Heath Caldwell for their 2021 Summer Research Internship Program in Paleontology. The program gives students the opportunity to prepare and maintain fossil specimens, organize collections, assist researchers, and help with the many educational activities offered by the MLC and the museum.
Caldwell is well-equipped for the position, despite not yet being enrolled in college. He is on track to graduate in June from Helena High School with a 4.0 GPA, and is an avid participant and leader in his school’s science programs. He was on Helena High’s Science Bowl team, which won the 2020 Big Sky Regional championship. Additionally, he was the Science Olympiad Individual State Champion, earning a total of eight gold medals. He runs a popular Twitter account, #dailydoseofdinosaur, and is the president of Helena High’s Science Club.
In 2015, he took part in the annual Dino Shindig through the Carter County Museum, and has traveled across the state to Ekalaka every summer since to participate in paleontology digs. In 2017, he started serving as Field and Lab Assistant to aid in the preparation, identification, storage, and collection of fossils and historical artifacts, and in 2019, he joined the MLC staff as a jr. camp counselor.
In 2020, he became a Hydrologic Technician and Field Assistant for the United States Geological Survey Wyoming-Montana Water Science Center, where he worked in geology, water quality, groundwater monitoring, and water use data collection. During his off hours, he looked for dinosaur bones and other fossils in the area. The searching paid off when he and his father discovered an impressive leviathan fossil, which led to the Carter County Museum securing the excavation permit.
When it came time for Caldwell to select a project to achieve Eagle Scout, he chose to give back to the MLC, which had been so instrumental in cultivating his interest in science. He logged more than 200 volunteer hours in preparing and constructing observatories at MLC’s Astronomical Park and led a crew of 15 people in those efforts.
“I had the pleasure of teaching Heath as a junior high student in Clancy, and have been delighted to see him excel in his pursuit of the sciences. We are happy to have him as part of the Montana Learning Center team again this summer, and look forward to seeing his future successes,” said Ryan Hannahoe, executive director of the MLC.
The Carter County Museum community is equally pleased to again work with Caldwell. “We are very excited to host Heath this summer for the internship. It has been a pleasure to watch him become a paleontology professional these past few years and I look forward to having him share that knowledge with the community for an entire summer,” said Sabre Moore, executive director of the Carter County Museum.
Caldwell views this internship as an opportunity to give back to the community. “Many people have gone out of their way to ensure that I have opportunities to learn important skills that will benefit me in the future, and I realize I can return the favor by working to educate others,” he wrote in his application.
Caldwell will attend Montana State University in the fall of 2021, where he will dual major in earth science and biology.
To learn more about the Carter County Museum, visit the Museum’s website at www.cartercountymuseum.org