Wednesday, April 13, 2022

How to Get a B.S. in Paleontology

There are no Paleontology undergraduate degrees. A B.S. in Paleontology is exactly that – BS, or bullshit.

Ok, calm down, we don't mean you can't go study paleontology as an undergraduate – it's just that there's no easy "paleontology major."

See, paleontology is an incredibly broad and interdisciplinary field. We cover the study of life from its beginnings until now, an incredible swath of time and lifeforms. We are, as they say, a bit of a know it all!

Amy studies none of these, really, but she has to know about all of them anyway

We have to be know-it-alls, really - if you are digging up a dinosaur, you need to know how to find that dinosaur what type of rock to look for, you need to understand the rock well enough to know what happened to that dinosaur, you need to be able to identify the bones, you need to be able to safely excavate them and then use chemicals to preserve them, and you need to be able to do the writing and the math it requires to study and describe them. That's a lot of skills!

With that many skills it's not surprising that paleontologists can end up in all sorts of departments as a result. Between the two of them, Meaghan and Amy have both taught in Anthropology, Biology, Geology, Science Education and Information Science - paleontology truly crosses disciplines.

If you are starting your career in paleontology and looking at an undergraduate degree, the above sentences might be a little bit overwhelming. If there is no undergraduate paleontology degree, how can you figure out what school to go to in order to become a paleontologists? 

Well you're in luck, because that's what this blog post is about – this blog post is for you, someone looking to go to an undergraduate serving university and get a degree that will help them become a paleontologist.