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Welcome to paleonet
Several dinosaur list subscribers have asked me about PaleoNet.
I thought I would forward the following information. I also suggest
reading the article on PaleoNet which appeared in the October issue
of the journal Palaios, v. 9, n. 5 p.
Welcome to the paleonet mailing list!
If you ever want to remove yourself from this mailing list,
you can send mail to "Listserver" with the following command
in the body of your email message:
unsubscribe paleonet firstname.lastname@example.org
Here's the general information for the list you've
subscribed to, in case you don't already have it:
WELCOME TO PALEONET!!!
Physically, PaleoNet is a group of linked listservers, gopher holes, www
pages, and anonymous ftp sites that provide the paleontological community a
means whereby its members can communicate with others. In spirit, PaleoNet
is a dynamic marketplace of information / ideas / discussion whose
rationale is to improve paleontology by more efficiently tapping into that
community's most valuable resource, its people. In fact, PaleoNet is (and
will be) whatever you want it to be.
PaleoNet represents an experiment in re-establishing a level of personal
interaction among paleontologists of diverse specialties and experience.
This type of interaction was characteristic of our science during most of
its existence but, especially in the last 30-40 years, has declined due, in
large part, to our own success. Today paleontology is far more diverse than
it was in the 1950's and 1960's, encompassing everything from descriptive
systematics and biostratigraphy to remote sensing and biogeochemistry. In
addition, paleontology is also subdivided into the professional sectors of
industry, academics, museums, and government to the extent that
paleontologists in some sectors have come to feel that they have little in
common with their colleagues who have found employment elsewhere. The
re-establishment of connections between paleontologists of all types is one
of PaleoNet's primary goals.
PaleoNet's operating model falls somewhere between an informal electronic
journal and a very large social gathering of paleontological professionals
(including students) convened to discuss current events in the field. As a
subscriber, you can expect to find wide variety of information accessible
through PaleoNet at any time. These include ongoing informal conversations
about papers, ideas, techniques, requests for information, announcements,
etc, set against a background of more formal contributions such as
editorials, meeting reviews, book reviews, software reviews, overviews of
current controversies, etc. all of which are designed to put you in touch
with what is happening in paleontology. The key concept that makes
PaleoNet work, however, is participation.
PaleoNet is also a forum for public communication within the
paleontological community. Accordingly postings to PaleoNet, and its
member listservers, should, to the maximum extent possible, be made to the
entire PaleoNet subscriber list and not to individuals. A PaleoNet posting
is accomplished by sending the message to PaleoNet@nhm.ac.uk instead of an
individual's e-mail address. All replies to PaleoNet postings are
automatically routed to the entire list unless redirected to an
individual's e-mail adress by the respondent. This reply routine default
is instituted so that all of us can benefit from the information being
exchanged. Also, anyone who receives a reply to his or her PaleoNet
message through a private e-mail posting is encouraged to make the private
posting public along with their response.
In addition to the general PaleoNet list, a series of subordinate
listservers have been created to facilitate ongoing topical discussions of
interest to broad segments of the paleontological community. These are the
places to go for detailed information by specialists in the following
Manager: Woody Wise (Wise@geomag.gly.fsu.edu)
Description: Dissemination of information regarding the training of
paleontologists (who is giving what courses where) with an eye toward
creating a better match between skills & needs and allow them to take
advantage of existing information technologies.
Manager: Bob Pierce (RWPierce@hou.amoco.com)
Description: Discussion dealing with the development of better techniques
to disseminate information about research needs and opportunities among the
four organizational subdivisions of paleontology.
Manager: Norman MacLeod (N.MacLeod@nhm.ac.uk)
Description: Discussions dealing with the creation, organization, and
dissemination of graphic and text-based information relating to
paleontological species, species concepts, intra-specific variation,
stratigraphic and geographic distributions, etc.
Manager: Steven Culver (S.Culver@nhm.ac.uk)
Description: Discussions dealing with the organization and management
of major paleontological collections in museums,
university and industrial settings.
More detailed information about each special topics listserver is available
from their managers. Additional special topics servers can be added to
PaleoNet as needed (contact N. MacLeod or R. Lane). Postings dealing with
specialty topics already covered by these listservers should be directed to
their lists (e.g., DataBaseNet@nhm.ac.uk) while all other postings should
be directed to PaleoNet.
Along with its listservers PaleoNet operates an anonymous ftp site within
which items of lasting value (e.g., public domain software, announcements,
tables of contents, graphics, maps, etc.) may be uploaded by authors and
downloaded by PaleoNet subscribers. This address of this site is
ftp.nhm.ac.uk. Use the word 'anonymous' as the userid and your e-mail
address as the password. Should you chose to discontinue your subscription
to PaleoNet and/or any of the subordinate listservers (perish the thought),
simply mail the following message:
unsubscribe <listserver name> (e.g., unsubscribe PaleoNet)
to the following address:
Finally, we would like to make a special request for PaleoNet participation
by graduate students. I know that during both my M.S. and Ph.D. programs I
often felt isolated because there were few people on campus who were
interested in the research problems with which I was grappling or had
expertise/experience in the fields my research demanded. This is natural,
but that realization does little to ease the sense frustration you feel.
PaleoNet is offered to you, not only as a practical means of finding
knowledgeable people to discuss your research problems with, but also as a
means whereby you can participate in discussions of direct relevance to
your future careers side-by-side with interested paleontologists from a
wide variety of backgrounds and at all stages of their own career
development. We want PaleoNet to be instrumental in taking the field of
paleontology into the next century and to do that we are going to need your
energy, your ideas, and your commitment.
PaleoNet was conceived by Norman MacLeod (N.MacLeod@nhm.ac.uk) and Rich
Lane (HRLane@hou.amoco.com), who share joint responsibility for management
of the PaleoNet system. Please direct all questions or comments on
technical matters to Norm and on policy issues to either of us. PaleoNet
is not affiliated with any present or future professional paleontological
society but seeks to serve as a clearinghouse for any information of
relevance to any form of paleontology.
Norm MacLeod (N.MacLeod@nhm.ac.uk)
Rich Lane (R.Lane@nhm.ac.uk)