Paleonet: Field Paleontology Training

Peg Yacobucci mmyacob at
Wed May 9 14:23:38 GMT 2007

Hello everyone! I co-teach our department's summer Field Geology course, and
I'm currently working to develop a short (perhaps 1/2 day)
paleontology-focused field project.  We have access to some excellent
exposures of Pennsylvanian sponge-algal buildups within the Hermosa Group
around Molas Lake in southwest Colorado (an area that many Field Geology
courses visit).

This effort has got me thinking about the whole concept of field-based
paleontology, and how to best train students to conduct field projects
(focusing particularly on marine invertebrate paleontology).  I'd appreciate
any reactions PaleoNet subscribers have to the following questions:

(1)  What are the key practical skills that students should learn and
develop to effectively conduct a field study in paleontology?

(2)  What are the key paleontological concepts or knowledge that students
can learn most effectively in a field setting?

(3)  What skills and knowledge does a field-based paleo project provide to a
NON-paleontology student, e.g., a student interested in sedimentary geology,
structural geology, or hydrogeology?

(4)  So many students view paleontology as a lab-based science - fossils in
neat, labeled boxes to be studied in isolation.  Is field paleontology

Thanks in advance for any thoughts you'd like to share!

Best wishes,

Dr. Margaret (Peg) M. Yacobucci
Associate Professor & Graduate Coordinator
Bowling Green State University
Department of Geology
190 Overman Hall
Bowling Green, OH  43403
Office: 419-372-7982
Fax: 419-372-7205
Email: mmyacob at

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