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MSU Paleontologist Earns Prestigious Award

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BOZEMAN -

The Museum of the Rockies's Curator of Paleontology received the highest honor given by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Saturday.    

Jack Horner said he was just doing his job.

"It seems funny to get an award for having fun," said Horner.

The Romer-Simpson Medal from the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology hangs with the Homer Simpson Medal from Horner's students on the wall in Horner's office in the basement of M.O.R.

Horner, who is also a paleontology professor at Montana State University, received this honor for discovering the first dinosaur eggs in the western hemisphere and first dinosaur embryos, among many other discoveries.

He said the winning the medal wouldn't have been possible without his students.

"It says a lot about our students we train here at Montana State University," said Horner.  "They are that good, and that reflects on me and I got an award for it."

The Romer-Simpson Medal is the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology 's life time achievement award for outstanding scholarly excellence and service to vertebrate paleontology.

Horner said he feels like he's not old enough to receive the honor.

"Most of the people that have gotten it before me were a lot older and retired," said Horner.  "It is an honor to get the award at such a young age, but on the other hand I feel I'm just getting revved up."

And his work load shows it.

Horner said he has several projects he is still working on all over the world.

"I got a big project going on in Mongolia," Horner said.  "We're training students and connecting with the museum there to study various groups of dinosaurs."

One of those projects, getting the Wenkle T-Rex fossil to the Smithsonian, was put on hold because of the 16-day federal government shutdown.

Horner said he expects the fossil to go to Washington sometime in April

Horner is the first person from Montana to receive the prestigious honor.

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