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Dino studies question
This is in reply to Tom Duffy's question(s) about dinosaur studies:
Right now I'm in the middle of my community college studies.
Before I started, I made an appointment with a counselor and together we
planned all my coursework with my specific goal of becoming a
paleontologist in mind. We used a form called an articulation agreement
that specifies what courses are necessary to move on to paleontological
studies at San Diego State (the four year college I'm transferring to).
That form specifically identifies paleontology as a subset of geology;
however, the required biology courses were also listed.
I originally indicated my major as biology, but this last semester
I changed it to geology. Something to keep in mind that made it clearer
for me: Biology is considered a _life_ science; paleontology an _earth_
science. Once I realized that difference, it made sense to change my
Even though community college only earns GE credits, there were
still some things available at my (puny) community college that I needed to
take to move on: Intro and Intermediate Biology, Intro Geology, Biometrics
(Statistical Biology), etc., which I have all taken and found to be very
easy. I envy you in that you apparently have finished all your required
math courses (my Achille's heel), but you may find that you haven't: There
may be some calculus/physics courses required for geology that don't show
up in biology coursework. Better check that out.
I've discovered that the odds of getting a job in paleontology are
agonizingly low. (Why do you think there are so many extraordinarily
dedicated and savvy amateurs on the dino list?) For that reason geology
makes practical sense to study; at least you can get a job that allows you
to study dinosaurs or therapsids (my favorites) or whatever on the side.
Anyway, being a paleontologist won't come to you. I need to say
something here that I hope you don't take the wrong way: I've wanted to
become a paleontologist ever since I can remember, and it seems like you
aren't even sure what you want to do. I wish you luck, but you'd better
figure out how much you like dinosaurs, dude!
-TA Curtis, Proto-paleontologist