SUNLAND PARK, New Mexico (KTSM) – New research has begun using survey drones to uncover ancient fossils at the Brickland Mining District Dinosaur Footprint Mapping Project in Sunland Park, New Mexico.

The research involves Insights Science Discovery Dr. Eric Kappus, Southwest University, the Texas Society of Professional Surveyors, Paso Del Norte, and Chapter 17.

The research will also uncover ancient fossils in hard-to-see places in the border region, according to Executive Director of Insights Alysha Swann.

“We are using their drones, their different radars to go ahead and look at our site and our slabs. So visually looking at it with the naked eye you can’t really tell what you’re looking at, it looks like just a bunch of bumps on a rock but when you actually put it together with the radar and the drone footage, you can actually start to see the footprints how they’re tracked and traced throughout the slabs,” said Swann.

Dr. Eric Kappus first discovered the dinosaur tracks 20 years ago when he was on assignment with his UTEP grad class. Now being able to use drones, he and other researchers are able to cover more ground.

“We first mapped this with chalk and a piece of paper and a pencil the old fashion way, now in recent years, you can’t publish a scientific paper about a bed of dinosaur tracks without doing photo grammar or photomapping or both,” Dr. Kappus said.

Chapter President Texas Society of Professional Surveyors Paso Del Norte Chapter 17 Lyle Dean Van Mater has presented their new research to students in the borderland. He along with the other researchers are hoping that by sharing their finding with the younger generation they will preserve history.

“What we’re looking to do is get as much date and share it with somebody like you, the kids, the education once we do it wait a week or two and repeat because if we don’t our attention span is pretty short,” said Van Mater.

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