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OK, this message is to Natasha and Caleb and to whoever else is out there 
with this question on their minds (Mike, you there somewhere?).  Since 
everyone else is putting in a plug about their programs, I guess I will 
put one in for ours (especially since it might mean giving Farlow 

If you can deal with living in Philadelphia for 4+ years and don't mind 
putting up with our ca. $35,000 a year costs, the University of 
Pennsylvania is, as Allan mentioned, an excellent choice for anything 
related to paleontology, especially if the critters you want to work with 
are dinosaurs.

As I understand the data, Penn is one of the very few places in the 
country where you can actually take a degree in paleobiology (offered by 
the Committee on Paleobiology, joint between Biology and Earth and 
Environmental Science).  You can also take an A.B. in geology or in 
biology, the two majors that I would recommend if you are seriously 
considering this stuff.

We have the oldest tradition of paleo (and despite what Yale says, 
geology--sorry guys, Silliman came HERE to get trained before he took the 
position...) education in the New World.  Both Leidy and Cope taught 
here, and though Osborn went to Princeton, he did all of his paleo here 
with Cope.  

We currently have active dinosaur research programs going on in Wyoming and 
Alberta, Mexico, Massachusetts, China, Argentina, and as of Wednesday, 
Egypt, and we are currently looking for good undergrads to take to 
Wyoming this summer and Argentina next January, so these projects don't 
just offer stuff to the graduate students and we will send you to Montana 
to learn field geology and show up the Princeton undergrads...

Our faculty contains Peter Dodson and Neil Shubin, and we have 
very strong ties with the people at the Academy of Natural Sciences and 
the Smithsonian Institution.  

In my experience, it is invaluable to have students in the department you 
study in actively working on Ph.D.s, while you are an undergrad, so I 
encourage science students to go to places with active graduate schools.  
When I was in college I learned as much about how to do science from the Ph.D. 
candidates as I ever did from my profs (and twice as much about how to 

It is true that an Ivy League university is not for everyone (half of our 
students look like G.Q. poster-children), but if you can get past the 
arrogant exterior, you will be amazed at the resources and alumni network 
at your disposal.

Drop me a line if you want to know more.

Josh Smith
University of Pennsylvania
Department of Earth and Environmental Science
471 Hayden Hall
240 South 33rd Street
Philadelphia, PA  19104-6316
(215) 898-5630 (Office)
(215) 898-0964 (FAX)