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Re: Two Broad Questions About Paleo-Education

> Penn is particularly strong in vert paleo and paleobotany. I'm assuming the
> former is what you're interested in; see Peter Dodson:
>        http://www.vet.upenn.edu/Default.aspx?TabId=362&faculty_id=6403532


I had been looking for prominent names to see where they're located;
apparently I need to keep that up a little more rigorously.

> Also, you may know this already, but rankings for paleo programs often
> combine invert and vert paleo. If you're interested in dinosaurs, having
> faculty who specialize in, say, trilobites and bivalves may not be helpful
> for you.

Truly. Another reason not to trust those rankings. And I've been
trying to get as specific as possible about faculty who have interests
that at least partly match my own.


"Indeed. That's the way to do it. But just wanted to make sure that that
information was stated up front."

A good policy, especially when other interested eyes may be reading.


"Another thing that has to be considered is available space. When I was
looking for a graduate program a few of my top choices were not taking
new students that year (no one was graduating and opening up space).
This is a good thing to look into before you start applying to
programs. It can help trim down your list of potential programs, and
also prevents getting the dreaded "We're sorry to inform you..."
letter (or at least less of them)."

Yeah, I've seen a couple of institutions with faculty who state that
explicitly, which is good practice. I suppose I really should contact
the admissions departments beforehand for places that don't lay it out
one way or the other.

It seems to me that an updated "paleontology as a career"
FAQ/guide/school and faculty list/etc is in order. I might be willing
to compile one, but that's contingent on getting enough substantive
contributions to make it meaningful.