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Re: FAQ: what is the SVP?
>Maybe some member of the interested lay public whose been to an >SVP meeting
>might give their thoughts on this subject?
I went this last year, to the one in Seattle. I had a lovely time. It
was $130. per non-member, if I remember correctly, plus an additional fee for
outside events such as dinners, fieldtrips, and such. Plus hotel space. I
believe there was a student discount for non-members, but I don't know what
it was. It must have been good since the student turn-out for this SVP broke
all records for student attendance.
I approached the whole thing as my vacation from work and I enjoyed the
seminars, but could not get a copy of the abstracts (the write-ups of the
seminars) without being a member already. There had, at one time, been some
extra copies planned, but nothing came of it, and that is one thing I do very
much regret not being a member for.
The seminars were informative, and it was amusing to watch the
professionals reactions to various abstracts, both positive in suggesting
possible supporting evidence during a presentation, and negative in arguing
that the abstract being given was obviously misdirected.
I was eager to find out more about things discussed here in the Dinosaur
List, such as Pelicanimimus (didn't come up in a seminar) and was delighted
to meet by accident Tholtz, who is younger than I thought he was and likes
I met many artists from the Dinosaur Society's hosted artist room, and
got to talk shop with William Stout again (I met him at the San Diego Comic
Book convention while shopping a comic I worked on around). I met several
illustrators I've admired, and asked Greg Paul if he was ever going to come
out with a sequel to 'Predatory Dinosaurs of the World' on Herbivorous
I met and liked Dr Peter Dodson(sp?) and asked him about reference for
animal anatomy to recreate muscles onto dinosaurs with, and he recommended
something I'm already using, so that was cool. ('Animal Anatomy' by
Ellenburger.) Dr Dodson teaches animal anatomy at a veterinary school when
he isn't writing text on dinosaurs.
I met and spoke with both Drs Phil Currie and Jack Horner (the last I
asked about the movement of dinosaur hips as they walk, something which is
not covered in dinosaur texts, but reference would be nice for animators that
have to consider such things.)
I talked constantly with the other participants about seminars, books,
and what their particular field of research was. Only about 20% of the SVP
meeting was about dinosaurs. I learned a lot.
I even went on a fieldtrip out to a site and actually collected Eocene
fossils on a working site! The stuff I was finding wasn't terribly important
so they even let me keep most of what I had found. (mostly blue-gill fish
vertibrae). The other paleontologists also on the dig (for a lark, I
suppose) had a lovely afternoon arguing about whether early horses were
actually zebras as they searched through anthills for fish teeth, together.
One of the paleontologists on the dig had worked with Jack Horner in Montana
at Egg Mountain, and was actually one that had done preperation work on the
eggs themselves. Oh boy!
I was not impressed with the displays of the abstracts, and thought most
high school students could have done as good a job graphically in their
presentation. I would expect professionals or students' thesis that had so
much time invested in them to be more professional-looking. Oh well.
Budget, I suppose.
On the whole, I'd recommend attending to anyone who could appreciate
college-level discussions of anything paleontological, and can afford the
time to be there, the boarding costs, and the attendance fee.