Overview
The Nevada Science Center believes including the scientific process in our educational programming is essential for a better understanding of science. It’s a lot easier to understand and interpret concepts with firsthand experiences. Our research department focuses on all different aspects of natural science and archaeology, as we conduct original research as well as scientific mitigation services.

Original Research
Our staff has expertise in paleontology, geology, biology, and archaeology. We currently have research projects in 10 of Nevada’s 17 counties. We currently hold research permits for Bureau of Land Management, Nevada Division of State Parks, and National Park Service. Our research tells the story of the history of Nevada as preserved in the rocks around the state, from ancient marine animals, to dinosaurs, to prehistoric mammals, and eventually the people who called and still call this state home.
Current Research Highlights
• The oldest Triassic vertebrate tracks from the State of Nevada were recently discovered at Lake Mead National Recreation Area. These tracks are from a number of different types of animals that made their way across an ancient tidal flat.
• A new species of plant-eating dinosaur was discovered in Valley of Fire State Park over a decade ago. Nevada Science Center researchers are currently finishing preparation of the specimen in getting ready to name Nevada’s first dinosaur species.
• 16 million years ago a four-tusked elephant –like animal called a gomphothere died in a swamp in Esmeralda County. As the animal decomposed, maggots began to feed upon the carcass. Then something happened and the maggots were turned to quartz. Nevada Science Center researchers are working on this Miocene crime scene with collaborators from the American Museum of Natural History and the University of Michigan to figure out this puzzle.
Natural Resource Mitigation
Our staff are experienced at paleontological resource monitoring, surveying, reporting, and quality assurance. We also have the ability to staff, in a timely manner, experienced biological and cultural resource staff for any sized project.
~ Recent Publications
Bonde, J., Lanan, M., Hardy, F., and Humphrey, R., in prep, Silicification of blowfly larvae (Calliphloridae) in a Miocene gomphothere (Proboscidea) cranium, Esmeralda Formation, Esmeralda County, Nevada, USA, Science.
Bonde, J.W., Humphrey, R.L., Krumenacker, L.J., and Varricchio, D.J., in review, Nevadadromeus schmitti (gen. et sp. nov.) a new basal neornithischian with affinities to the Thescelosaurinae, from the Upper Cretaceous (Cenomanian) Willow Tank Formation of southern Nevada, Journal of the Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science.
Bonde, J.W., Druschke, P.A., Hilton, R.P., Henrici, A.C., and Rowland, S.M., in review, Exceptional preservation of latest Cretaceous (Maastrichtian)-Eocene frogs (Eorubeta nevadensis) of the Sheep Pass Formation of east-central Nevada and implication for paleogeography of the Nevadaplano, PeerJ.
~Recent Research Presentations
Humphrey, R.L., Bonde, J.W., and Milner, A.R.C., 2019, New Triassic vertebrate tracks from the Moenkopi Formation of Lake Mead National Recreation Area: A record of the oldest Mesozoic tracks from the state of Nevada, Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs
Parry, L.E., Humphrey, R.L., and Bonde, J.W., 2019, The identification of a Pliocene (Lower Blancan), multi-taxic bonebed in the Panaca Formation of Lincoln County, southeast Nevada, Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs
Di Fiori, R.V., Long, S.P., Fetrow, A.C., Snell, K.E., Bonde, J.W., and Vervoort, J.D., 2019, Syn-contractional deposition of the Cretaceous Newark Canyon Formation, Diamond Mountains, Nevada: implications for strain partitioning within the North American Cordillera, Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs