And perhaps you'll even meet a paleontologist.
Doug Goodreau, a Dinosaur Institute lab supervisor, is a key member of Chiappe's team both in the field and at the museum.
"What's also unique about our hall is that you may see one of us in a video that's playing by an exhibit, then turn and bump into us," he said. "We're right here on site when we're not in the field, and we love answering questions about what we do. We think it will really help personalize what we are doing — make it more human."
There is nothing really static about the new exhibit. The information presented is fluid, cutting-edge and interactive. As Chiappe said, "It poses as many questions as it answers — because there is still so much to learn, still so much to be uncovered."
Now, a tip. This weekend, you're probably aware that the San Diego (405) Freeway will be closed this between the San Bernardino (10) and Hollywood (101) freeways. That means that hardly anyone (I'm guessing) will be venturing down from the Westside to experience the exhibit, which will be officially open for its first weekend. This may be your best bet all summer to enjoy one of the area's hottest attractions in relative calm and peace.
Also, if you get a chance, look for this: By a door connecting two of the rooms in the new hall, there is a large sauropod bone mounted against the wall. This gave me, and Charlie, great pause. See, we helped excavate that very bone several years ago on a very memorable day with Chiappe in the Utah desert.
To illustrate Pisano's point about the power of a museum to influence the next generation of scientists, there is the physical evidence in the form of a hulking, impressive specimen.
Be prepared to be awestruck when you visit this exhibit. These men and women have done a remarkable job, and thanks to them, you may never look at dinosaurs the same way again.
CHRIS EPTING is the author of 18 books, including the new "Hello, It's Me: Dispatches from a Pop Culture Junkie." You can write him at firstname.lastname@example.org.