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Julia Clarke studies birds and other theropod dinosaurs to better understand major transitions in the history of life. She is particularly interested in how structures in living animals developed and how novel ways of moving evolved. In order to prepare undergraduates for scientific careers, Clarke developed an initiative with three goals: developing authentic research design skills within and across traditional disciplines in course and lab settings; evaluating modules focused on strengthening scientific self-efficacy; and recruiting and retaining more traditionally underrepresented groups in the geosciences. She also created the University of Texas Curiosity to Question (CtQ) course model, which provides a supported context for open-ended inquiry and training in research mentorship skills for graduate and postdoctoral students.