Cooperation between amateur and professional paleontologists at NAPC

by Bill Heim (@bill-heim)

Even though my presentation was only about 5 minutes long, I found the entire conference not only informative but entertaining as well.  I attended many of the presentations.  I also spent a lot of time with the posters, talking with the presenters about their research.  In the majority of both cases, I usually had little background knowledge of the subjects.  This opened up new areas of interest to me and even gave me ideas about my own chosen area of study.
I found that one of most useful subject areas was the FOSSIL presentations.  It is heartwarming to finally see the walls between the amateurs and professionals start to come down. Too often in the past there was suspicion and sometimes hostility between the two groups. Cooperation will benefit both groups.  Amateurs will become more professional in their approach and professionals will have access to material they would previously not see.  A win-win for both groups.
Given the opportunity, I would gladly attend another such conference.
Bill Heim presenting during the FOSSIL Symposium on successful collaborations between professional and amateur paleontologists. Photo by Sadie Mills.

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