Scott grew up in the rural countryside near the small town of Stillman Valley, IL. As a boy, he was fascinated by natural history and paleontology, spending countless hours roaming local pastures observing wildlife, and visiting limestone road-cuts collecting fossils. His family encouraged this, taking him to museums across the region. After a three-week family trip that included visits to Rocky Mountain NP, Dinosaur NM, the Tetons, Yellowstone NP, and Badlands NP, Scott, age 13, began volunteering at his local museum, Burpee Museum of Natural History in Rockford, IL.
In 2000 & 2001, while working as a deputy sheriff, Scott helped organize, lead, and fund Burpee’s first expeditions to the famous Latest Cretaceous, Hell Creek Formation of southeastern Montana. During these trips, the world’s most complete, best-preserved juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex, “Jane,” was discovered. In 2003, he was hired as fossil lab manager and began expanding the Burpee dinosaur collections, eventually becoming the collections and exhibits director. Scott also managed popular public education programs like PaleoFest.
Scott continued the Hell Creek field program, which led to the discovery of the first known Triceratops bonebed, a rare fossil crocodylian, and a rare oviraptorosaur specimen. He expanded Burpee’s field program to include the Jurassic Morrison Formation of southeastern Utah, where the giant dinosaur bonebed, the Hanksville-Burpee Quarry, was discovered. Over the 14 years at Burpee, Scott trained and mentored numerous volunteers and students who have followed successful paleontology careers.
Scott earned an Associate of Science in science from Rock Valley College and took geology courses at Northern Illinois University. A member of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, he sits on the Education and Outreach Committee & is co-chair of the SVP Auction Committee and, has been featured on several dino-documentaries that have aired on The Discovery and National Geographic Channels.
Woodward, H. N., Tremaine, K., Williams, S. A., Zanno, L. E., Horner, J. R., & Myhrvold, N. (2020). Growing up Tyrannosaurus rex: Osteohistology refutes the pygmy “Nanotyrannus” and supports ontogenetic niche partitioning in juvenile Tyrannosaurus. Science Advances, 6(1), eaax6250.
Joyce, W.G., T.R Lyson, S.A. Williams. October 2016. New cranial material of Gilmoremys lancensis (Testudines, Trionychidae) from the Hell Creek Formation of southeastern Montana, U.S.A. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2016.1225748
Brusatte, S.L., T.D. Carr, T.E. Williamson, T.R. Holtz, D.W. Hone, S.A. Williams. February 2016. Dentary Groove Morphology does not distinguish “Nanotyrannus” as a valid taxon of tyrannosauroid dinosaur. Comment on: Distribution of the dentary groove of theropod dinosaurs: Implications for theropod phylogeny and the validity of the genus Nanotyrannus Bakker et al., 1988., Cretaceous Research
Mathews, J.C., S.L. Brusatte, S.A. Williams, M.D. Henderson. March 2009. The First Triceratops Bonebed and its Implications for Gregarious Behavior, Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Vol. 29 (1): 286-290.
Williamson, T.E., T.D. Carr, S.A. Williams, K.M. Tremaine. March 2009. Early Ontogeny of Pachycephalosaurine Squamosals as Revealed by Juvenile Specimens from the Hell Creek Formation, Eastern Montana, Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Vol. 29 (1): 291-294.
Williams, S.A., M.D. D'emic, S.C. Bennett, J.C. Mathews, K.M. Tremaine, J.P. Bhattacharya. A New Terrestrial Vertebrate Fauna From The Late Cretaceous Ferron Sandstone Of North America. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Program & Abstracts, 2015, 238.
Williams, S.A., T.R. Holtz Jr., J.C. Mathews, K.M. Tremaine, B.A. Brown, M. Atteberry, S. Rawlings. Un-Conventional Scientific Outreach: Using Science Fiction And Media Conventions To Promote Paleontology And Natural History Museums. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Program & Abstracts, 2015, 238.
Carr, T.D., M. Henderson, G. Erickson, J. Peterson, S. Williams, P. Currie, R. Scherer, B. Harrison. A Subadult Tyrannosaurus Rex And Its Bearing On The Nanotyrannus Hypothesis. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Program and Abstracts, 2015, 103.
Holtz, T.R., S.A. Williams, K. Tremaine. A New Specimen Of Anzu (Caenagnathidae, Oviraptorosauria): Implications For The Proposed Caenagnathinae/Elmisaurinae Division And For Cursoriality In Caenagnathids. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Program & Abstracts, 2015, 146.
Tremaine, K., M. D'emic, S. Williams, R.K. Hunt-Foster, J. Foster, J. Mathews. Paleoecological Implications Of A New Specimen Of The Ankylosaur Mymoorapelta maysi From The Hanksville-Burpee Quarry, Latest Jurassic (Tithonian) Morrison Formation (Brushy Basin Member). Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Program & Abstracts, 2015, 226.
Williams, S., H. Parks, K. Tremaine, S. Rawlings. Paleofest: 15 Years Of Science Education Success. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Program and Abstracts, 2014, 255.
Mall, M., S. Rawlings, S. Williams, H. Parks. Virtual Field Trips: Using Real-Time Video Conferencing Software In Response To The Decline In On-Site Field Trips. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Program and Abstracts, 2014, 175.
Holtz, T., S.A. Williams, K. Tremaine, J. Mathews. New Additions To The Hell Creek Formation (Upper Maastrichtian) Vertebrate Fauna Of Carter County, Montana. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Program and Abstracts, 2014, 149.
Williams, S.A., and T.R. Lyson. Taphonomic And Paleoenvironmental Implications Of A New Mass Death Assemblage Of Baenid Turtles From The Hell Creek Formation (Latest Maastrichtian) Of Southeastern Montana. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Program & Abstracts, 2012, 54.
Parks, H.L., S.A. Williams, S. Rawlings, E.C. Carlson, S. Fivecoat. Jurassic Journey: Introducing the Public To “Science-In-Progress” At An Active Dinosaur Quarry. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Abstract & Programs, 2012, 154.
E.C. Carlson, S. Rawlings, S.A. Williams. The Jane Collaborative: Paleontology In The Public Square. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Abstract & Programs, 2012, 74.
Williams, S.A., M. Bonnan, S. Foss, J. Kirkland, J.C. Mathews. The Hanskville-Burpee Quarry: Cooperative Management Of An Important Paleontological Bonebed. 9th Annual Conference on Fossil Resources, 2011.
Williams, S. A., S. Brusatte, J.C. Mathews, P.J. Currie. A New Juvenile Tyrannosaurus And A Reassessment Of Ontogenetic And Phylogenetic Changes In Tyrannosauroid Forelimb Proportions. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Abstract & Programs, 2010, Vol. 30.
Mathews, J.C., S.A. Williams, M. Bonnan, M.D. Henderson. The Hanksville-Burpee Quarry: New Insights Into A Sauropod Dominated Bonebed In The Morrison Formation Of Eastern Utah. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Abstract & Programs, 2009(3): 144a.
Williams, S.A., M.D. Henderson, W. May, R. Reisz. Fossil Preparation Techniques For Small Permian Tetrapods From Richard’s Spur, Oklahoma. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Abstract & Programs, 2007, Vol. 27.
Mathews, J.C., M.D. Henderson; S.A. Williams. Taphonomy And Sedimentology Of The First Known Triceratops Bonebed, Carter County Montana. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Abstract & Programs, 2007, Vol. 27.
Mathews, J.C., M. Henderson, and S. Williams. Taphonomy, Sedimentology, And Paleoenvironmental Reconstruction Of A Unique Triceratops Site In The Hell Creek, Southeastern Montana. Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 39, No 3, P9.
Williams, S.A. The Tyrant Hunter: The Life Times Of Barnum Of Barnum Brown. The Origin, Systematics, and Paleobiology of the Tyrannosauridae, Burpee Museum of Natural History and Northern Illinois University Symposium Abstract Volume, Pg 35.
Currie, P.J., M.D. Henderson; J.R. Horner; and S.A. Williams. On Tyrannosaur Teeth, Tooth Position, And The Taxonomic Status Of Nanotyrannus Lancensis. The Origin, Systematics, and Paleobiology of the Tyrannosauridae; Burpee Museum of Natural History and Northern Illinois University Symposium Abstract Volume, 2005, Pg 19.
Williams, S.A. The Little Museum That Could: How The Burpee Museum Of Natural History Prepared A Juvenile Tyrannosaur. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 2005, Vol. 25: Pg 130.