ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., April 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Central New Mexico Community College, the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science and New Mexico State Parks will collaborate on a project to apply state-of-the-art imaging technologies to one of the largest dinosaur tracksites in the United States. Hundreds of tracks from at least four different species of dinosaurs are exposed at Clayton Lake State Park in northeastern New Mexico.
The Clayton Lake Dinosaur Tracksite Project will take place April 29 through May 2 and will involve CNM students and faculty, and scientists from New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science and New Mexico State Parks. They'll work together on photographing, scanning, mapping and modeling the exposed dinosaur tracks. The goal is to provide a state-of-the-art record of the tracks that is suitable for scientific analysis, education, public exploration and site preservation.
Students in CNM's Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Geographic Information Technology, and Earth & Planetary Science programs will be using photogrammetry (science of taking measurements from photos), aerial drone photography, high-resolution structured light scanning and laser scanning using Lidar technology to record and map the dinosaur tracks. Then 3-D models of the tracks will be produced at highly precise rates.
The project will provide students with a highly valuable real-world application of the technologies and skills they've been learning.
"The students are gaining valuable experience using these technologies and these technologies are used for many other purposes," says Rick Watson, a faculty member in CNM's School of Applied Technologies. "We are seeing the application of these technologies in everything from developing small machine tools to developing modern jet aircraft engine components."
No photogrammetric or other digital study of the Clayton Lake dinosaur tracks has been undertaken previously. The methods to be employed in this study are considered state-of-the-art technologies for mapping and gathering metric data.
The results of the Clayton Lake Dinosaur Tracksite Project will be published in a scientific journal and will be used to develop a website about the dinosaur tracksite at Clayton Lake.
SOURCE Central New Mexico Community College (CNM)