Dinosaur Masters – Top Online Programs for Future Paleontologists

Dinosaur Fossil

Paleontology is the study of fossils that are several thousand to several billion years old. These fossils are used to reconstruct the history of life the Earth, from the earliest life forms to the paleolithic. Paleontology is an increasingly important component of historical biology and helping explain how life may have evolved and how earth came to be as it is today. It can also be an exciting and fascinating career, but only have students have . The only question remaining, how does one become a Dinosaur Master?

For those interested in pursuing a career as a Paleontologist, there are a few things to consider first. The real everyday work of paleontologists is far different from what one might assume from a trip to a natural history museum. After all, exhibits are museums’ are summaries of what is often decades of diligent research and fieldwork. To work in paleontology requires persistence, imagination, scientific rigor, mountains of patience and potentially even looking into schools to receive an accredited graduate degree, something necessary to cultivating a thriving career.

Anyone who has ever worked on a ‘dinosaur’ field site can attest to how difficult and sometimes tedious the work can be. Every inch, even every quarter inch of dirt or stone removed is carefully analyzed and recorded. It is precise and meticulous. A typical dig doesn’t take days or weeks, it may take years. But, real life dinosaur hunters will claim that every minute is worth it when success is finally achieved. When a new species has been discovered, or something new is learned about an existing species, all of the years in the heat, dust, wind and cold are forgotten. The thrill of discovery makes up for every minute of boredom, frustration and discomfort.

To become a paleontologist requires detailed knowledge and training in both biology and geology; and a bachelors, masters and/or PhD are often necessary to pursue employment. Paleontologists may work as museum curators, teachers and professors, researchers, or in the field. The degree in Paleontology is not offered in most U.S. Colleges and Universities, it is most often offered as a minor in the disciplines of geology, earth science or biology.

For some, attending school or class full-time or even part-time isn’t feasible. In these cases an on-line degree and/or course work is more suitable. Online education allows students to take classes without traveling long distances, does not require physical attendance and may also be less expensive.Biology and geology coursework often includes lab work, that being the case, purely on-line degrees are rare. However there are some options. Schools that offer an online Bachelor’s degree in biology and geology are: University of Nebraska Kearny, MUST University, Grand Canyon University and Ohlone College.

The painstaking work of real world paleontology is not everyone’s dream career. But for those who have the burning desire to learn about life on earth, in a time span of millions of years, if can be incredibly exciting and rewarding. With online degrees in geology and biology, dinosaur masters can dig in and get started living their dream, as dinosaur masters.

About the Author

Drew Hendricks
Drew Hendricks is the Lead Editor for Z6 Mag and also a contributor to a variety of other publications.

1 Comment on "Dinosaur Masters – Top Online Programs for Future Paleontologists"

  1. Bio Prof Frank | May 4, 2012 at 7:15 am | Reply

    Grand Canyon University is a very poor choice for anyone interested in paleontology. Their biology degrees emphasize medicine, pharmacy, and health care. They do not offer any paleontology. Their geology class is only 1-semester of introductory study. Pick somewhere else to study. And, while it is true that an online degree may be cheaper than traditional instruction, no M.S. or Ph.D. programs in science considers them to be adequate preparation for graduate study. To get into a graduate program students are required to complete a full undergraduate course of study with hands-on laboratories, not “labs” done in one’s kitchen or back yard.

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