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Re: The (long) future of paleontology

Since we are reminiscing about the good old days......

I remember a fellow grad student who finally got around to writing his
thesis *proposal* three days before he defended his thesis.

Better to do it bass ackwards than not, I guess.

"Am I crazy, Jerry?  Am I?  Or, I am SO sane that you just blew your
mind?!" - Kramer

On Mon, 16 Jan 2006 20:54:35 -0700 Ken.Carpenter@dmns.org writes:
Andy is funny, like most grad students (no
offense Andy, you just gave me the opening).
Every grad student always comes to believe
that their project is THE most important ever
(probably a defense for keeping focused). A
thesis will eventually acquire "thesis-creep"
and grows and grows in scope. But then when
the ultimate deadline of submission of a
written thesis is hanging overhead, reality
sets in, and suddenly the thesis topic is
smaller than the original proposal. Where
did all the time go? 

I made this observation in the mid 1970s
when I was only an undergraduate surrounded
by graduate students working on "heavy" stuff
like mammalian biostratigraphy (this is
when I first had my foot in the door of the
University of Colorado Museum). Since then,
I see the same pride (good thing as long as
it doesn't poison your character) in many
graduate students giving a talk or poster
at SVP. (gawd, I sound like an old fart!)

Kenneth Carpenter, Ph.D.
Curator of Lower Vertebrate Paleontology
and Chief Preparator
Department of Earth Sciences
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
2001 Colorado Blvd.
Denver, CO 80205 USA

ph: 303-370-6392/ or 6403
fx: 303-331-6492

for PDFs of my reprints, info about the Cedar Mtn. Project, etc. see:
for fun, see also: