I want to be a paleontologist when I grow up… By: Bethany Cook
I think most of us can relate back to our childhood when people would ask, what do you want to be when you grow up? For me, I always wanted to be a graphic artist and now that I am grown, I work as a Public Relations Coordinator. So you are probably wondering what does this have to do with paleontology, well I work in an accredited museum that has the largest concentration of mammoths in the world.
Not being a scientist, I have learned so much from having the opportunity to work at The Mammoth Site. The Site has a Chief Scientist, Science Associates, a Bonebed Curator, Preparator, Collections Manager, and interns that are aspiring to be paleontologists.
While working with these individuals, I have observed the passion and the drive for discovery. Searching for answers from the past that will help us with the future. I have had the opportunity to showcase some of these individuals in the behind-the-scenes blogs and when visiting with them it was clear that being a paleontologist was what they wanted to be when they grew up.
I often wondered how do you provide experiences for children that are wanting to become a paleontologist. This a very specific field and what opportunities could possibly be available to allow children to experience what it would be like. This is what is unique about The Mammoth Site, they offer Summer Educational Programs such as the: Junior Paleontologist Excavation and Advanced Paleontologist Excavation. These programs allow children to experience and learn what it would be like to be a paleontologist. As their interests grow and are in pursuit of a degree they have the opportunity to apply to become an intern at The Mammoth Site.
If you had always had a passion for paleontology but were never able to pursue this, The Mammoth Site also offers The Mammoth Site Excavation and Preservation Program. This program allows participants who are 18 years and older to spend time excavating in the bonebed, screenwashing excavated sediments, participating in bonebed mapping, working in the research lab on a variety of projects, and tour the molding & casting laboratory.
The Mammoth Site is also collaborating on different projects such as Persistence Cave located in Wind Cave National Park, the Channel Islands, Siberia, Russia and Ice Age Fossils in Tropical Northern Sonora, Mexico.
The Mammoth Site provides such a unique experience not only for the individuals involved with this project but also for the visitors.
So whether you are a budding scientist, are in the process of pursuing your degree in paleontology or have always had a passion for this, I encourage you to visit The Mammoth Site for yourself.