Jurassic  Park

Images Cinema Williamstown, MA


Dr. Phoebe Cohen

Assistant Professor of Geosciences, Williams College

Jurassic Park— Beyond Jurassic Park: What's Paleontology Really About?

A discussion of what fossils are, how they’re formed, and what paleontologists can learn from them, including a presentation of actual fossils.

Images Cinema Williamstown, MA

Film Synopsis

During a preview tour, a theme park suffers a major power breakdown that allows its cloned dinosaur exhibits to run amok.

Two dinosaur experts, Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), are invited by eccentric millionaire John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) to preview his new amusement park on an island off Costa Rica. By cloning DNA harvested from prehistoric insects, Hammond's scientists have recreated living dinosaurs for the exhibits. Accompanied by a cynical mathematician who is obsessed with chaos theory (Jeff Goldblum) and the millionaire’s two grandchildren (Joseph Mazzello, Ariana Richards), the experts are sent on a tour through the resort in computer-controlled touring cars. But as a tropical storm hits the island, knocking out the power supply, an unscrupulous employee (Wayne Knight) sabotages the system so he can smuggle dinosaur embryos out of the park, and the dinosaurs rage out of control. Based on the novel by Michael Crichton, Steven Spielberg directed the first installment of this epic sci-fi adventure film.

About the Speaker

Dr. Phoebe Cohen is an assistant professor of geosciences at Williams College, where she has been teaching and doing research since 2012. Dr. Cohen received her BA in earth systems science from Cornell University and her PhD from Harvard University. Her research has taken her to the Yukon, Australia, and Namibia. She studies how life went from being single-celled to multicellular by looking at microscopic fossils from before the evolution of animals.