Eric was born in Hanford, California to an RN and a Naval Airman. He grew up reading dinosaur books and racing his dad to identify Naval Aircraft flying overhead. Eric credits this game with developing his ability to notice small differences quickly, a skill he would employ as a paleontologist identifying fossils in the field and in the lab.
In 2006, Eric started at Montana State University (MSU) and earned a Bachelor of Science in earth sciences and secondary education. As an undergraduate, he studied Cretaceous marine reptiles of Montana, focusing on plesiosaurs. Afterward, he earned a Master of Science in geology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2019. His thesis focused on the anatomy of a new genus of a group of Triassic marine reptiles called thalattosaurs.
With his graduate degree completed Eric returned to Bozeman and worked as the laboratory manager for Dr. David Varricchio in the Department of Earth Sciences at MSU as well as a Field Technician for the mitigation paleontology company Paleo Solutions. In 2021, he became the Paleontology Collection Manager-Registrar at Museum of the Rockies. In this job, he strives to unite the paleontology collection with the public and researchers around the world. Eric has conducted fieldwork in eleven states, from Northern Alaska to Southern Texas. Current research projects include studying the Late Triassic marine biodiversity of North America, thalattosaur braincase anatomy and evolution, and Late Cretaceous plesiosaur diversity and anatomy.
Contact Eric via email or 406.994.6578.
Druckenmiller, PS, N Kelley, J Baichtal, ET Metz. 2020. An articulated Late Triassic (Norian) thalattosauroid from Alaska and ecomorphology and extinction of Thalattosauria. Scientific Reports 10, 1746.
Metz, ET, PS Druckenmiller, NP Kelley & NR Boone. 2018. Thalattosaurian braincase anatomy revealed through complete and three-dimensional material of a new genus from the Carnian Vester Formation of Oregon. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, SVP Program and Abstracts Book, 2018: 181A.
Metz, ET, PS Druckenmiller & G Carr. 2016. Cranial anatomy of a new species of thalattosaur based on three dimensional material from the Carnian Vester Formation of Central Oregon. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, SVP Program and Abstracts Book, 2016: 188A.
Druckenmiller, PS, N Kelley, J Baichtal, K May & ET Metz. 2016. An exceptional new thalattosaur (Reptilia) from the Late Triassic (Norian) Hound Island Volcanics of southeastern Alaska. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, SVP Program and Abstract Book, 2016: 127A.
Druckenmiller, PS, N Kelley, J Baichtal, K May & ET Metz. 2015. An exceptional new thalattosaur (Reptilia) skeleton from the Late Triassic (Norian) Hound Island Volcanics of southeastern Alaska. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs. Vol. 47, No. 4, p.54.
Metz, ET, PS Druckenmiller & G Carr. 2015. A new thalattosaur from the Vester Formation (Carnian) of Central Oregon, USA. Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, SVP Program and Abstracts Book, 2015: 180A.