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    Thank you @sadie-mills for addressing this issue. Is there anyway we can help as the community? Is there we can flag messages or posts as spam? I received a message this morning from a “Moureen Max” living in Togo. Apparently, she is gonna die alone and wants to give me 10% her money. Haha.



    Weirdly enough, that is a subject I have not had much opportunity to teach on. One time when I was able to do something related to teaching geologic time, I used a long rope with knots tied at certain lengths to represent the different eras and major earth events. I had kid come up to represent the beginning and then I had each other kid start at the beginning and walk along the rope until they hit a knot. I would explain the event and they could visualize the length of time between events. I got the idea from another Australian geologist on Instagram, but I can’t remember their account. It was a few years ago I did this, but from what I remember, the kids got a kick out of seeing the length of time humans had only been around in comparison to the rest of time.

    In my limited experience, visualization has been the key. In the Alf museum tours, our docents have the time spiral in the front of the museum created by Raymond Alf. The time spiral is colored coded to show the different eras and has labels on major events as well. The very tip of the spiral shows the appearance of humans. It seems to do the job here.




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    The workshop was really a great success. We had plenty of folks there working together to discuss issues faced by many minority groups within the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology and solutions that the society could implement to help our members from diverse backgrounds.

    In short, one of the biggest solutions we came up with was increasing representation of diverse members among leadership and in the public’s views. Whether that was through having more people of diverse backgrounds take positions in leadership or continuing the Women in Paleo luncheon or making the LGBT+ dinner an official part of SVP. We also came up with the idea of mentorship programs for students and early career scientists to help those navigate the field and advise on some of the difficulties that they may come by.

    There are many other topics that we touched on, gender bias being another major one, that we will be writing up and including in some kind of article that summarizes the workshop.

    One of the most important parts of the workshop was that the VP of SVP, Emily Rayfield, participated in the discussion and that all of what we had discussed will be passed on to the newly formed Diversity Committee at SVP to help them move forward.

    I will share the article soon as its ready!

    This is only the beginning of positive change for SVP and hopefully for the rest of paleontology and science in general!


    @michelle-barboza @egardner

    Yes! Thea is quite the amazing person. She has so many talents in graphic design and marketing that are a huge asset to science communication. Being able to part of her project was really awesome. She originally came up with the idea after a conversation with another paleontologist, Ali Nabavizadeh. I found out about the project while meeting up with her again at the SVP welcome reception. I immediately fell in love with the “Paleontologists of Color” project and began spreading the word. As you could all tell from looking at her photos, Thea is an amazing photographer and did not do any kind of editing to the photos. She took photos of us that showed us.

    During the photoshoot, it was really cool to see all the different people that showed up. SVP is working hard to better diversity and inclusion in its community, but, while I can’t speak for everyone, I still feel very much like a minority walking the halls at SVP. Being at the photoshoot with people who understood that feeling and just being around POC felt really comforting. Being a women and POC, Thea knows what struggles and barriers there are for people like us. The passion she showed during this project to portray the growing diversity of paleontologists was really inspiring and it made it a true honor to be a part it. I can’t thank her enough for creating this project.




    @taorminalepore is my hero also! She inspires me everyday to be a better scientist and educator!


    @egardner – I know the Society of Vert Paleo has a Code of Conduct that it posts up at every meeting, but I am not sure of what happens if someone violates the code. I feel that the consequences of such actions should be clearly stated and not something handled behind closed doors. Transparency is needed to ensure that all parties are treated accordingly.

    One a slight side-note, this is a topic we are hoping to discuss at a “Supporting Diversity” workshop that @michelle-barboza and I are helping to organize for SVP Calgary. Rebecca Hunt-Foster is leading the charge on this and submitted the workshop proposal on Monday. Hopefully it gets approved. If it does, I hope that some of you can make it the workshop to bring up subjects like the ones brought up in the forum.



    @michelle-barboza @taorminalepore Do we really need SVP’s (or anyone’s) approval to start bias watch group? I mean, I think SVP is great and has come along way, but from what I have seen the entity is also very slow to act and plays politically when it comes to things like this. All understandable, I know how to play the game, but I highly doubt that the idea of creating a group like this that might be troublesome for the society might not be something they want to jump on.

    I say let’s just get like minded individuals together and form this! We, as the ones who fell the effects of bias and inequality, should be the ones telling the society when its happening and be able to call the perpetrators out on it. I’m not saying let’s be antagonistic, but we definitely can do a lot by making people aware of such situations.


    @michelle-barboza I totally agree with you! So many people have a hard time calling themselves feminist. From own male perspective, I’m pretty sure a lot of men have trouble because of the way feminism has been portrayed in pop culture. The “femi-nazi” is still a stereotype that is portrayed in a lot of media. And for a lot of men whose identity is based around their masculinity, the idea of being a feminist compromises their masculinity as they perceive feminism as favoring or “giving power” to one gender over a another. There is very little intersectional thinking with many men in our sciences. I was lucky enough to have a sort of rare scientific upbringing. The majority of my science teachers and professors in my early career were women. My first mentors in paleontology/museum science were women. I was actually a little naive in my view of sexism in my very early career as I thought women and men were equal in the sciences. That all changed as I got further in my career. BUT because of my upbringing, I had no trouble calling myself a feminist. The power of good role models and mentors can really do a lot to affect someone’s perspective.

    I also think there is a lot of lack of empathy amongst our male colleagues for our women colleagues. There is definitely a lot more issues at play here than I am versed in for sure. As a minority in science, I can at least empathize to a degree as to what its like to be marginalized in our field. For many of our white, male counterparts, it may not be as easy to make that connection. I don’t want to point fingers or generalize though. I am simply speaking from my own experience and POV.



    @vperez Whoa. That’s a worn fossil.

    . I agree. I don’t think its a tooth either.

    At first glance, because of the curvature of the fossil and what might be an articular surface, my reaction was I was looking at a phalanx or the distal end of a radius. Though, I’m not sure now after looking through some other photos I have. I don’t know how much of the shape is from weathering. But IMG 3756. If that is an articular surface, it looks weird, but might be the key to figuring it out.


    @egardner – I will be at GSA this year talking about the Alf Museum program and am definitely going to try and make it to the short course!!

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