15 April 2007

Paleo futures are up!

Maybe this makes me crazy (or, more likely, marks me as a Chicago alumnus), but I sometimes find myself thinking of my paleontological career as a Wall Street-style stock and wondering how the market for that would look. The years between Chicago and Bristol would have been a good time for a canny investor to buy low, and there were a couple of times when PhD rejections nearly drove me to bankruptcy. While I'm still not claiming that my stock is the most valuable out there (I'm no Microsoft), I do think it's fair to say that's it's steadily risen in value this last year and a half or so. While you never know how long these things are going to last, I am happy to report that my paleo futures market took a noticeable jump this last week. First, I've finally narrowed down the topic for my dissertation project to a reasonable scale: I'm going to be correlating ecological changes in the John Day Fossil Beds with the that site's extremely well-documented paleoenvironmental data. There are all sorts of advantages to this project (not the least of which is that it's the one I really wanted to do). I'll be heading out that way early next month to nail down the specifics with the park's resident paleontologist. Not only am I happy with this turn of events, but the department here has just announced the hiring of two new paleontologists rather than the one we were expecting (I'd say who, but the hiring is still unofficial and I don't want to break any departmental taboos). This is outstanding news for all of us in the program, but I am doubly lucky because both study Cenozoic paleoecology, which I now know is exactly what I'll be doing as well.
Perhaps the biggest news of all, though, is that I was just accepted to attend an Analytical Paleobiology class this summer in Santa Barbara. As far as I'm aware, it's the only class of its kind in the world, and given that they only take 12 people, I feel extremely lucky and privileged to have gotten in. I'm excited about the class, of course, but I'll confess I'm also looking forward to living (albeit briefly) in a warm climate for the first time in my life. Now, if only I could get all this imaginary stock to translate into real money...

3 comments:

Ben said...

So, where do I buy this stock?

John said...

Tell you what: I'll trade you some number of shares of my stock for the same number of shares of yours, but I warn you I'm probably getting the better end of the bargain.

Ben said...

You, Dr. Orcutt, have got yourself a deal!