|FROM ||Ruben Safir
|SUBJECT ||Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] Time for a career change?
|From hangout-bounces-at-nylxs.com Tue Oct 20 23:28:57 2015
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Date: Tue, 20 Oct 2015 22:19:32 -0400
From: Ruben Safir
To: NYLXS Discussions List
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Subject: Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] Time for a career change?
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this thing has a mind of its own.... fuck it
On Tue, Oct 20, 2015 at 09:18:33PM -0400, Ruben Safir wrote:
> So I've accumulated some of these ;)
> Leading paleontologists share advice for breaking into the dinosaur business
> Rachel Gillett
> Paleontology may be one of the coolest careers to break into, but it's
> far from the easiest.
> As Smithsonian Magazine and National Geographic writer Brian Switek
> laments, while some people develop other interests, quite a few
> "would-be" paleontologists simply didn't know where to start.
> Luckily, Robert T. Bakker, author of "The Dinosaur Heresies," "Raptor
> Red," and "The Big Golden Book of Dinosaurs," and curator of
> paleontology at the Houston Museum of Natural Science and Matthew T.
> Mossbrucker, director and curator of the Morrison Natural History
> Museum, and discoverer of the first baby Stegosaurus fossils, shed some
> light on how to get your start as a paleontologist during a recent
> Reddit AMA.
> First, there are a few myths and misconceptions that need dispelling.
> The first is that paleontologists spend all their time digging for
> According to the University of California Museum of Paleontology
> website, "Paleontology is a rich field, imbued with a long and
> interesting past and an even more intriguing and hopeful future. Many
> people think paleontology is the study of fossils. In fact, paleontology
> is much more."
> Paleontology is divided into various sub-disciplines including the study
> of microscopic fossils, fossil plants, invertebrate animal fossils,
> vertebrate fossils, and prehistoric human and proto-human fossils.
> And as Bakker and Mossbrucker explain, there are many jobs you can hold
> within the paleontology field.
> Bakker says most vertebrate paleontologists make a living teaching
> geology or anatomy. "A few lucky ones" get full time jobs working in a
> museum. Fossils are also a hot commodity right now, since scientists can
> use them to teach basic science literacy, so fossil-sleuth could be a
> lucrative route.
> Generally, though, the pay isn't as much as you might hope.
> "Doc [Bakker] always told me to 'marry money,'" Mossbrucker jokes.
> "Seriously though, this is a calling. Most of us live a monastic
> lifestyle, while some took his sage advice."
> After all this, if pursuing a career in paleontology is still your
> calling, Bakker and Mossbrucker have a couple tips before you pursue the
> required higher education:
> 1. The best way to begin a career in dinosaurology is to start young.
> Bakker suggests studying living animals at a zoo or in your own
> backyard, filming them, and then using photo prints to sketch in the bones.
> "Find the nearest display of fossils - whether at the natural history
> museum, science center, or state/national park - and visit," Mossbrucker
> suggests. "While visiting, take a guided tour. Ask questions. Then, slow
> down, put the phone away and bask in the glory of the old dead things.
> Read the labels. (Seriously, nobody reads the labels...) and soak it all
> 2. The next step is to volunteer, preferably in a program at your
> nearest natural history museum with a paleontology department. This will
> provide a chance to experience various aspects of what paleontology is
> all about and explore undergraduate programs.
> "Get involved with your local museum and get your hands dirty,"
> Mossbrucker says.
> "In museums where I work - one huge, two small - volunteers are
> essential," Bakker says. "They find most of the specimens and do most of
> the tour-guide duties. In exceptional cases, volunteers are so good that
> we move heaven and earth to get a salary for them. And succeed."
> "This life is a calling and I'm grateful for every moment of it,"
> Mossbrucker says of his job as a paleontologist. "I'm surrounded by
> interesting objects, curious people, and a constant stream of weirdness."
> hangout mailing list
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