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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
Hope that helps,
What could possibly go wrong?