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Re: A Set of Standards

>Hows this, for an outline of minimum achievements, in getting said license:
>1.  Fully Participate in an organized dig, or digs, lead by a Dr. of
>paelontology with a total exposure to all phases of field work. The time
>spent on such digs should exceed 40 hrs(More? Less?). Upon completion of this
>requirement a signed letter of reference from the dig leader must be

Or: Fully document a personal dig with all necessary geographical data
(where), stratigraphical data pertinent to the site, taphonometric data,
specimen log and journal.

>2. Be able to identify fossil bearing strata, and demonstrate a close
>aproximation of the time frame of the deposit by the fossils encountered.

This could be problematic.  If the Formation is well known and has been
adequately described, the amateur probably could pass muster.  However, for
a new locale, previously unpublished, establishing age could require means
and nethods beyond the ken of the average non-professional.

>3. Aquire reference material, or show access to such, that provide the
>licensee with sufficent ongoing data to do follw-up research.

Here is where the certifying body has to help.  Insuring equal access to
appropriate journals, monographs, and papers enjoyed by the students and
staff for any serious non-professional must be possible.  Of course, the
future use of the internet to make past publications accessible would be of
immense value.

>4. Be able to pass a written examination, possibly witnessed at a public
>school, on the general knowledge of paleontology and related sciences.

This should be equivalent to an undergraduate final exam.  I agree.

>5. Swear to report all important finds, destory no fossil in attempting to
>collect, keep records and report anually to whomever the licensing authority
>might eventually be.

What I would propose is that the term of certification be limited (1-3
years).  That re-certification steps would be required, and that
certification would be revoked if certain terms, such as you mention above,
were ignored or poorly carried out.

"You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you just might
find, you get what you need.  Oh yeah"

           Michael "We're not in Kansas anymore" Sternberg
      Non-Professional Paleontologist and natural curiousitarian
(360) 293-2405 if it's about fossils or the Northwest Paleontological

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