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RE: More on "The Lost Dinosaurs of Egypt"



> From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu]On Behalf Of
> Steve Brusatte
>
> "Plans for the expeditions that led to the discovery of
> Paralititan, the second-largest species of known dinosaurs, were
> first hatched here by two lowly graduate students, Josh Smith and
> Matt Lamanna, in
> 1998."
>
> Smith and Lamanna as "lowly" graduate students?  Er...where does
> that leave an undergrad such as myself? :-)

Well, undergrads help pay our (the faculty's) paychecks, so they are
somewhat more valuable resources.  Grad students, though, have to make their
way as research subjects.

Er, assistants.  Yeah, I meant "research assistants"...

Hypothetical cases:
A jaw biomechanics lab in Florida: grad student has arm caught in alligator
jaws.  Prof: "So, exactly *how* many newtons do you think the alligator is
exerting?"

Field work in Hell's Satans National Wasteland: Prof: "You go out and walk
the strat section, I'll stay here with the van".
Grad Students: "What, you mean the canyon?"
P: "Yeah".
GS: "The nearly vertical cliff."
P: "Yeah"
GS: "The one covered with spikey thorny poisonous bushes infested with fire
ants and rabid rattlesnakes?"
P: "Yeah"
GS: "Can I at least have the GPS?"
P: "No. I might find a bone near the van, so I'll need to record its
location"

Of course, the main advantage of being a grad student is that you might
eventually become faculty, and can pass on the pain and suffering...

:-)

                Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                Vertebrate Paleontologist
Department of Geology           Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland          College Park Scholars
                College Park, MD  20742
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/tholtz.htm
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~jmerck/eltsite
Phone:  301-405-4084    Email:  tholtz@geol.umd.edu
Fax (Geol):  301-314-9661       Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796