Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Webinar: Fossil Discovery and Preparation

Archived Webinar

The Zoom webinar with Fossil Preparator Michelle Pinsdorf aired April 24, 2020, as part of the Fossil Friday series. Watch a recording in the player above.


Michelle Pinsdorf discusses her work with fossils, including field work and fossil preparation, to show how fossils are discovered and how we prepare them for scientific study and museum display. 

Teaching Resources

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Earth Science

MS-ESS1 Earth's Place in the Universe

  • MS-ESS1-4: Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence from rock strata for how the geologic time scale is used to organize Earth's 4.6-billion-year-old history.

MS-ESS2 Earth's Systems

  • MS-ESS2-2: Construct an explanation based on evidence for how geoscience processes have changed Earth's surface at varying time and spatial scales.

Life Science

MS-LS4 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

  • MS-LS4-1: Analyze and interpret data for patterns in the fossil record that document the existence, diversity, extinction, and change of life forms throughout the history of life on Earth under the assumption that natural laws operate today as in the past.
  • MS-LS4-2: Apply scientific ideas to construct an explanation for the anatomical similarities and differences among modern organisms and between modern and fossil organisms to infer evolutionary relationships.
Resource Type
Videos and Webcasts
Grade Level
3-5, 6-8
Earth Science, Life Science, Paleontology