So you want to be a PALAEONTOLOGIST?
by David Penney
Siri Scientific Press (2016) 978-0-9929979-6-0 RRP £9.99
64 pp, 210 x 148 mm, soft cover, 43 colour photographs & illustrations
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Down to Earth Magazine, February 2018 (Number 102, page 32 – snippets): ...this book takes the subject of palaeontology apart to demonstrate what a study of fossils entails, how it can be studied and then what anyone studying it can do with their new found knowledge and collecting talent. … It is full of practical advice and it's not just aimed at youngsters, fossil enthusiasts of all ages will get much information from it. It takes people on a journey from the basic pastime of collecting and shows how you can get so much more from the hobby, maybe even turning it into a career. … There's a fascinating introduction which gives us an insight into the life and times of the author and how his passion for fossils began and was nurtured. In this, and the answers to the questions, we gain great insight into the subject and its application. … The author provides good practical advice which sometimes includes the potential pitfalls and difficulties that may be encountered. … I liked this book a lot, far more than I thought I would. David Penney comes across as a warm individual who is passionate about his subject, who wants others to share that passion.
Newsletter of the Paleontological Society (Priscum, Fall 2017, page 24): So You Want to Palaeontologist, subtitled Practical Advice for Fossil Enthusiasts of All Ages, addresses many of the topics that may be raised by an aspiring paleontologist, in particular, what do paleontologists actually do and where do they do it? Much of this is filtered through his own background and history, briefly reviewed in the Preface. Penney’s personal enthusiasm shows throughout. ... The final chapter is a very good synopsis of what it takes these days to pursue a career in paleontology. This includes summaries of needed skills, background coursework, and overall good advice on how to get involved in the field ... Overall, this is good introduction to the field of paleontology for someone contemplating a career or at least a dedicated avocation. It is well-written and illustrated with many color photos and diagrams. Granting that it is written from a British perspective, it is still accessible to readers from other countries.
(Everything Dinosaur blog): This is a must have for anyone seriously contemplating working in palaeontology. It also makes a great gift for anyone who is considering aspiring to be amongst the next generation of palaeontologists, or indeed for the enthusiastic fossil collector who would like to become more involved with this fascinating area of science. This publication provides an insider’s view on the exciting and diverse career opportunities available to students who want to develop their interest in palaeontology into a full-time occupation. It really is required reading for any teacher or educationalist wishing to assist aspiring palaeontologists.
(Deposits Magazine 2016, snippets): In these times, when the classic discipline of palaeontology is diminishing, there is a demanding need to inspire the next generation of palaeontologists - and perhaps also to make this field of scientific research more approachable. ... this recent volume on the world of palaeontologists, by the widely acclaimed researcher and palaeontologist, Dr David Penney (University of Manchester) presents a fitting hymn to the study of fossils. ...the book is also a very welcome practical advice on to how to pursue a career as a palaeontologist and what it may bring. ... it really is an easy must-read for the aspiring palaeontologist and, coming in the size of a booklet or field guide, at a fairly reasonable price, this book should be in permanent stock at all libraries, and in my view, especially in school libraries. ... Having a daughter wanting to become a palaeontologist, to me at least, this book has been quite an inspiration.
(Prehistoric Times Magazine 2016, snippets): This book is fully illustrated with beautiful colour photos and packed with information for anyone seriously considering an occupation in palaeontology. The author is a palaeontologist who wants to get across to the reader that there are many paths to becoming a palaeontologist and many jobs in palaeontology, most of which do not involve dinosaurs. He shows the reader many options and ways to get there.
Cover image: Dinosaur excavation in the region of Aderbissinat, Thirozerine Dept., Agadez Region, Republic of Niger (from Remes et al. 2009, PLoS ONE 4(9): e6924)
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