Constance Van Beek

Fossil Preparator

Negaunee Integrative Research Center
Science Focus

      Constance “Connie” Van Beek studied at Prairie State College and Thornton Community College in Illinois focused on fine arts, like drawing, painting, and design. She began her career in advertising, but later transitioned into a career in music production for TV and radio. She started her journey with the Field in 1997 as a Fossil Prep Volunteer, and was quickly hired on as a full-time Preparator in 1998. 

      Connie has done field work across North America, and has presented talks on her work nationally and internationally. Her prep work has included a wide variety of vertebrate, invertebrate, and plant fossils from around the world, but her most iconic handiwork can be seen on SUE the T. rex

      Education and Work

      • 2000 - Photoshop Boot Camp, Essentials of Web Authoring, Mac University, Chicago, IL.
      • 1977 to 1979 – Two years B.F.A. curriculum, studied art history, drawing and painting, 2 & 3-D design, ceramics, English, Prairie State College, Chicago Heights, IL and Thornton Community College, South Holland, IL.
      • 1972 - Studied drawing and painting, School of the Art Institute, Chicago, IL



      Van Beek, Constance, and Brown, Matthew A. (2010). Three-dimensional preparation of a Late Cretaceous sturgeon from Montana:  a case study.  *The Geological Curator - Volume 9, No. 3*

      Workshops, symposia:

      Presenter:  2010, “Preparation of micro- features of Eocene Green River specimens: methods and materials” (paper), co- presenter (with Deborah Wagner) “Creating temporary support structure for preparation” (workshop), 3rd Annual Fossil Preparation and Collections Symposium, The Field Museum; 70th Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Pittsburgh, PASociety of Vertebrate Paleontology.

      Chicago Federation of Musicians.

      Research Sketch

      Paleontology, fossil preparation.