Friday, August 30, 2013

Undergraduate opportunity: Paleontology Track at Carthage College (Kenosha, WI)

What we do here is ontogeny (and so can you!)
Mr. Joseph Frederickson (UW-Milwaukee, 2011) presenting the results of his Independent Study in Dinosaur Ontogeny and Evolution at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. Although Joseph is a UW-Milwaukee graduate, he completed the entire paleontology track at Carthage College. Joseph completed his MSc degree at Temple University in Spring 2013; he is now a doctoral candidate at the University of Oklahoma.
Are you considering a professional career in vertebrate paleontology? If so, please consider the Paleontology Track that is offered at Carthage College (Kenosha, WI): Students in the Paleo Track enroll as Biology majors, where they must fulfill the Biology core, along with the following courses:

1) Comparative Anatomy of the Vertebrates (Fall, Sophomore year), an upper-level biology course; this is the prerequisite for all subsequent courses in the track.

2) Dinosaur Evolution and Extinction (Sophomore or Junior year); this is an upper level biology course. This includes the opportunity to prepare dinosaur fossils in the lab.

3) Field course (summer, Freshman or Sophomore years); a three week gen ed course, where students join me to dig up dinosaurs in the Hell Creek Formation of Montana from mid July to early August: Exceptional paleo track students are invited to participate in succeeding field seasons as paid field assistants.

4) Independent Study (Spring, Junior year) in Dinosaur Ontogeny and Phylogeny; this is an upper-level biology course. This is only for students who are headed for graduate school (either Master's or Doctoral programs) who have a high record of academic achievement. In this course, students get one-on-one training with me on an actual research project that they can develop into their senior thesis.
They also receive an intensive primer in phylogenetic systematics (cladistics).

Students are required to present the results of their project at the Natural Sciences Division Colloquium and, in their senior year, present their results as a poster or platform presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology and/or the Midstates Math and Science Consortium.

Beyond that, the Independent Study is intended to give students an early start on their research that they will develop further in graduate school.

5) Senior seminar (Fall, Senior year); this is an expansion of the Independent Study project, ideally based on a museum visit over the winter break.

Exceptional students in this track are candidates for the Paleobiology Achievement Award.

I must emphasize that this track is for students who are truly committed to pursuing vertebrate paleontology as their research career; this track is demanding, yet rewarding. Its entire purpose is to train students for graduate school, so that by their senior year they will have the background, experience, and maturity to meet potential graduate advisers.

Interested?! For more information, please contact me (!

1 comment:

  1. There are three types of rocks: metamorphic, igneous, and sedimentary. Metamorphic rocks are formed through high pressure nad heat, igneous rocks are made from the cooling of magma, and sedimentary rocks are made from particles of other rocks which were transported and compacted by wind and water. Fossils are mostly found in sedimentary rocks because fossilization is a truly delicate process. Usually only the hard parts of an organism make it through, but sometimes soft part can leave impressions into sediment. Even the hard parts have a difficult time of being fossilized, for the remains could be eliminated by scavengers, bacteria, water, and wind can all contribute to the fossils’ demise. Paleontologists usually only find fragments at a time. It is rarely them finding a whole complete skeleton lying there waiting to be discovered.