Paleonet: Art Boucot

Plotnick, Roy E plotnick at
Wed Apr 12 13:13:15 UTC 2017

I am currently writing a book about paleontology and paleontologists. In 
the chapter on field work, I wrote the following (updated this morning):
> of the most dedicated field-oriented invertebrate 
> paleontologists, the late Arthur Boucot. Art was a large guy known for 
> collecting pretty much everything available at an outcrop; his 
> propensity to do has given rise to the phrase “to Boucotize” an 
> outcrop (Talent 1996). I have also heard that having one-hundred 
> pounds of rocks on your back is “a Boucot.”Art’s love and 
> encouragement for field work is memorialized by his funding of the 
> Paleontological Society Arthur James Boucot Research Grants, which 
> encourages field-work based research by young scientists.
To add: Art was an ardent proponent of field work and a strong skeptic 
of many aspects of the “paleobiological revolution.” He published a 
number of exhaustively researched and influential books on paleoecology 
and the fossil record and on Silurian and Devonian stratigraphy.  He 
developed the concept of the Evolutionary-Ecological Unit (EEU).  He was 
also a former President of the Paleontological Society.  We have lost 
one of the most colorful and important members of our field.

Talent, J. A. 1996. Arthur J. ('art') Boucot: Palaeontologic virtuoso 
and guru. Historical Biology 11( ):3-7.

- Roy

Roy E. Plotnick
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Illinois at Chicago
845 W. Taylor St.
Chicago, IL 60607

E-mail: plotnick at
office 2454 SES
office phone: 312-996-2111     fax: 312-413-2279
lab phone: 312-355-1342

web page:

"The scientific celebrities, forgetting their molluscs and glacial periods, gossiped about art, while devoting themselves to oysters and ices with characteristic energy.." -Little Women, Louisa  May Alcott

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