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RE: how to be a paleontologist

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu]On Behalf Of
Sherry Michael
Sent: Thursday, February 10, 2000 7:29 AM
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: Re: how to be a paleontologist

Mary wrote:
>  So You Want to be a Paleontologist site at:
>  http://www.cisab.indiana.edu/~mrowe/dinosaur-FAQ.html), and the
>  short lists do not contain the names of average students, great
>  personality or not.

Huh, I dunno about that Mary. I can think of at least one very famous
paleontologist that didn't make it through school. I can also thing of a lot
of famous and talented museum staff (preparators, collections folks, etc.)
that have full time museum positions and publish on a regular basis and
don't have that "Dr" heading. The list would be very short indeed, and would
be missing some critical folks if degrees are the only thing that makes the

As someone who has a "real job" and does paleo on the side, let's just say
that situation had down sides, too. Right now all of my paleo pals and
cohorts are spending 6 weeks looking into a new site. I, on the other hand,
get to stay here and fix computers all day because there is no way I could
take off for six weeks. Right now is not the best time to ask me if I'd
rather be able to pay the bills easily or have the adventure of a lifetime!

I can second this statement. I drive a forklift for a living. I'm trying to
get my art work to pay more (Starving artist in that) and I'm working with
Jim Kirkland and others on doing actual Paleontological studies on
dinosaurs. So I consider that for me, I'm coming into paleontology via the
back door. For me, going to a university isn't really possible right now,
but maybe some day.