Morningside professor and student present at Geological Society of America meeting

Oct 14, 2019 • Biology

Sioux City, IAKurt Spearing, associate professor of anatomy, and Riley Custer, senior biology and studio art major, presented at the Geological Society of America’s annual meeting held September 22 – 25 in Phoenix, Ariz.

Spearing and Custer presented two posters: Examination of the paleobiology of a relatively complete specimen of Mesocyon and Examination of claw retraction in a relatively complete specimen of Mesocyon. Their presentations explored aspects of paleobiology in an extinct genus of dog called Mesocyon that lived approximately 30 million years ago. Custer and Spearing began their research in 2018 as part of Morningside’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program, a funded scholar’s program that provides students and faculty with research and presentation opportunities during summer sessions.

The Geological Society of America is a global professional society that brings together geoscientists to advance research and support the community of scientific discovery. The annual meeting is a gathering of geoscience professionals and students from around the world that features courses, workshops, topical sessions, and presentations.

The biology program at Morningside College provides students with unique opportunities to participate in and present research at the undergraduate level. The program places an emphasis on field and laboratory skills, preparing students for careers in teaching, medicine, conservation, and more. Learn more about biology and all of the programs at Morningside at