[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: How to Become a Paleontologist

Over the past couple of days, we have had some excellent advice offered on this 
subject.  I would like to add a few thoughts of my own.

A professor of mine once said, "There are two types of paleontologists: those 
who can eat off it, and those who can't."  At a pragmatic level, there becomes 
a point where we realize whether we can "eat off" paleo and become a 
professional, or we can't "eat off" it and become a hobbyist or enthusist(sp?).

When I first realized that I did not have "what it takes" to enter grad school, 
I thought that my love of paleo would have to be put down.  I figured that 
without the degree(s), there would not be much that I could do.  Yet, take a 
look around the Dinolist; many of our thinktanks are not employed in a 
paleo-job, or may be lacking a degree or two.  They have become competent 
through independent study (going on digs, conducting research, giving talks, 

For me, I realized that being a "talented amature" is not shameful.  I can 
still enjoy dinosaur science, while working towards a different career (I am in 
seminary now).  If anything, I find it to be incredibly freeing to be a 
semi-professional, since I can sit at my computer and absorb the information 
passing my screen while commenting only on those posts that I feel I can offer 
something solid.  I am not under a "publish or perish" order, and I have no one 
to impress.

Hope that helps,

Rob Meyerson

What could possibly go wrong?