Geology and Geological Engineering

Dr. Darrin Pagnac
Vertebrate Paleontology
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Dr. Darrin Pagnac

Ph.D. (2005), University of California, Riverside
Assistant Professor
Geology and Geological Engineering
South Dakota School of Mines
Rapid City, SD 57701
phone 605-394-2469

Research synopsis

I?m very interested in the interactions between large vertebrates and their environments, particularly during periods of observable environmental change, and utilizing the geologic record to interpret these faunal changes. I currently focus on the early development of grasslands in North America and the associated effects on large mammalian herbivores. I utilize a number of specific techniques to accomplish these goals, including biostratigraphy, phylogenetic analysis, and stable isotopes as dietary and climate proxies.

I?m also dedicated to the use of paleontology as a tool for effective STEM learning. Paleontology is a fantastic tool for outreach and public education, but the exact nature cognitive and affective facets of paleontology in outreach are poorly understood. Additionally, my team is examining to efficacy of field education in a variety of forms and at a wide range of educational levels.

contact: Dept. of Geology and Geological Engineering, 501 E. Saint Joseph St., SDSMT, Rapid City, SD 57701
phone: (605)394-2469 / fax: (605)394-6703 / email: