Paleontologist Dug Up Quite a Career - - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Paleontologist Dug Up Quite a Career

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When you work with things that are 60-million years old...

33 years doesn't seem like much.

(John Hoganson/ND Paleontologist) "It's just a drop in time, geologically speaking."

Maybe though, it's what you do with those years that matters more.

(Ed Murphy/ ND Geological Survey) "He has taken the program from nothing. He built it from scratch. Now we've got not just the Heritage Center but we've got exhibits all over the state. 24 some fossil exhibits."

John Hoganson is the state paleontologist.

He's been at that job for 25 years. 33 altogether with the state.

He digs for, dusts, moves, stores and puts together just about everything you see here.

(Hoganson) ""We're out doing all these new and exciting things, and new exhibits like this. This is a spectacular exhibit hall. We've had people come in and say man this is the kind of thing you might see in New York City."

This ... is one of the biggest projects he's worked on.

It's a new gallery at the expanded Heritage Center...

(Hoganson nat) "This is the orientation area of the Geologic Time Gallery and it's meant to provide an introduction to the rest of the gallery."

Hoganson remembers when they built the first big fossil skeleton at the Heritage Center in 1991.

This giant mastodon.

(Hoganson) "It's a big deal, yeah."

He knows what's in every cabinet and drawer in these archives.

(Hoganson nat) "We have a vertebra a triceratops dinosaur. You can see how huge these things are."

That's why it's a big deal that after 33 years...Hoganson is retiring....his last day is July 31st.

(Murphy) "I miss him already as a friend. But the state is going to miss him more and more as time goes on. We'll recognize just how much John has done for the state of North Dakota."

Our next opportunity to see the work he has done will be Saturday when his new exhibit opens to the public.

(Hoganson) "Then I'm going to disappear into the sunset."

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