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John Ellingson noted in an 11/29 posting that it has been several years
since he took paleo and that a refresher course would be welcomed.
I've just completed the Denver Museum of Natural History's certification
program in paleontology and found that it was both a refresher of parts
of the paleo course I took longer ago than I can count on my digits and
included new material, such as lab techniques and specifics of
vertebrate and plant fossil collection in the field, which differ from
inverts. Another difference was the emphasis on mammals and plants,
reflecting the research interests of the Museum's staff, rather than the
more traditional emphasis on inverts (judging from the standard text
books table of contents). All and all I very much enjoyed the program.
Unfortunately that doesn't help those of you not living relatively near
However, I will assume that most of you live near some college,
community or otherwise, and that by impressing said institution with the
thought of increased contact hours (=$), they might be encouraged to
start some classes geared towards the working class. Colleges seem to be
waking up to the relatively untapped market of adults. And whatever else
you think of Bakker, he certainly has stirred up a lot of interest in
dinosaurs in the general public. Did Ned Colbert ever do so much?
The point is that if you find like minded neighbors and expend some
effort at your local institution, you might make something happen.