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RE: Fear and Loathing in Denver

Norm King wrote:

I wonder why there are so many grad students doing vert
paleo at a single school?

As a geology undergrad planning on pursuing vert paleo, I can answer that question - because there aren't many schools where you can study dinosaurs for real. So when a school offers true vert paleo and dinosaur courses, hopeful paleo students will flock there. And is a university really going to turn away potential money in the form of a student even if there isn't going to be a position for them once they graduate? I don't think so.

I was recently talking to Jim Schmidt (The chairman of the Earth Sciences Department here at MSU Bozeman) and he said that the amount of freshmen and sophomores who are interested in paleo has increased considerably. It has to be because of the unprecedented popularity of dinosaurs right now.

I can't speak for all paleo students, but all the ones that I know (myself included) are excruciatingly aware of the lack of positions and most do have alternate plans of employment until the much sought after position materializes.

Maybe I'm a grinch, but there's a good dose of reality!

I don't think you're being grinchly at all because you do speak the truth. But please give us a small dose of credit too. The majority of us do not have stars in our eyes (okay, maybe the freshman still do, but give them a few years in the university system and those will disappear!), but we do have our eyes on the prize.


"It isn't a big step from Confucius to confusion" - Darren Tanke

Patty Ralrick
Montana State University at Bozeman
100 Johnstone Hall Room 305
Bozeman,  MT  59715-5076

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