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  Trace element analysis of vertebrate remains -- This project is a pilot application of the non-destructive Particle Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE) technique to analyzing the chemistry of dinosaur bones.  You will learn to use a new particle accelerator at Hope College to perform quantitative PIXE analysis of trace element distributions in dinosaur bones.  You can compare the chemical composition of bones within and between individuals preserved at the site, as well as comparing bones with surrounding sediments.  Trace element (particularly Rare Earth Element) concentrations are typically the result of diagenesis soon after burial, with bones acquiring trace element concentrations that reflect concentrations in the surrounding sediment (Trueman, 1999).  Variations in trace element signatures in bones have been used at other sites to evaluate reworking of fossil remains.