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Licensing, Again!

Hi all,

That's right, I'm still thinking about amatuer paleontology, and getting the
most out of us.

As Stephen Okay said a while back:

>Additionally, fossil collecting like other forms of collectible selling,
is market-driven. This means that one will only be able to obtain those 
specimens that are in demand,  i.e. those that are "popular" and 
well-known amongst the public. Whats the point of paying money for 
something you already know a lot about. Granted, each new T. rex tooth 
does add something to the existing knowledge base, but if you already 
have 100,000 of them, what can you really say about # 100,001?
Collecting not only removes the context of the specimen, but tends to 
eliminate from collection and preservation those specimens which the 
market is not interested in, but which may be of great scientific value. 
So where are your great "savings" to scientific and scholastic institutes?
In order to find out anything new or support /refute current ideas about 
specimens in hand, you still have to mount massive investigative 
expeditions to fill in the holes "the market" didn't cover.

Might I suggest that IF amatuers were licensed the institutions such as those
mentioned above could use us to look for a specific species, or in a specific
formation, or whatever. I'm very sure I would love to act as a currators
assistant, or scout.

Hell, if some of us were good enough at location these institutions might
even consider a small salary or some compensation. I'd much rather walk
around looking at the ground than stare at a computer monitor as I do now.
Don't get me wrong I love what I do now, but deep down inside I'm a lover of
the great outdoors even more. I think I could find fossils easier than some
files on my hard drive.:-)
And no, this is NOT a job application, really.

Roger A. Stephenson