Vikki Crystal

PhD Candidate, University of Colorado, Boulder

Growing up in Denver, Vikki visited the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (DMNS) where she first became interested in paleontology after viewing the Prehistoric Journey exhibit. Vikki attended Colorado College (CC), where she majored in geology.  She also studied abroad in New Zealand and participated in the Frontiers Abroad program, which began with field camp, during which students designed and conducted original research projects on Banks Peninsula, followed by a semester at the University of Canterbury. Her study focused on understanding the geochemistry and petrogenesis of Miocene lava flows. 

Later, Vikki interned at DMNS, and conducted her thesis research, measuring the carbon and oxygen isotope ratios of fossilized hadrosaur tooth enamel and dentine extracted from the Kaiparowits Formation in Southern Utah in order to understand the forest structure of the Kaiparowits alluvial plain, and the paleodiet and behavior of hadrosaurs. 

After graduating in 2014, Vikki worked for the CC Geology Department as a paraprofessional.  Recently, she completed her first year of a PhD program at the University of Colorado Boulder, focusing on changes in the environment surrounding the Cretaceous-Paleogene Boundary.

Along with geology and paleontology, Vikki is also passionate about education. She is a certified Environmental Educator and has spent summers teaching science and leadership at the Keystone Science School and the Logan School for Creative Learning.  

Since she is short, Vikki is looking forward to uncovering and photographing herself next to some dinosaur bones that are monstrous in comparison.