2012 SVP Election Slate
Current Position: Assistant Vice President for Collections and Research, and Withrow Farny Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology, Cincinnati Museum Center; Adjunct Professor of Geology, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati OH, USA (1995 – present).
Previous Positions: Research Fellow, School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK (1991 – 1995); Assistant Collection Manager, Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, New Haven CT, USA (1986 – 1991).
Education: BS (Geology and Biology), Syracuse University, 1979; MA (Geological Sciences), University of Texas at Austin, 1981; MPhil and PhD (Geology and Geophysics), Yale University, 1983 and 1986; Museum Leadership Institute, The Getty Foundation, Los Angeles CA, USA, 2005.
Previous Service to SVP: Co-Chair, Audit Committee (2009 - present); Member, Government Liaison Committee, (1999 – present); Member, Outreach Committee (1999 – 2001); Member, Membership Committee (1995 – 1997); Member, Subcommittee on Collections Guidelines (2010 – present).
Professional Service (non-SVP): Member, Organizing Committee, 9th North American Paleontological Convention (2007 – 2009); Member, Nominating Committee, Paleontological Society (2003 – 2005); Member, Boards of Directors, Friends of Big Bone, Inc., Union KY, USA and Leave No Child Inside, Cincinnati OH, USA (2000 – present); Member, Joint Moscow – Bristol Working Group for the Return of Stolen Russian Fossil Material (1994 – 1997); Member, Host Committee, 40th Symposium on Vertebrate Palaeontology and Comparative Anatomy (1992).
Research Interests: Marine reptile anatomy and evolution, particularly Sauropterygia; systematics and morphology of Crocodyliformes, Choristodera and Dinosauria; taphonomy and depositional environments; Devonian - Carboniferous and Pleistocene faunas of the Ohio Valley; museum ethics and best practices.
Goals for SVP: As a member of SVP since 1980, I have long felt a responsibility to give back to the society through service. For example, I have viewed attendance at the annual business and open executive committee meetings as my duty as an active member. As a result, I have seen the society evolve from a loose gathering of professionals and students into the preeminent international organization representing vertebrate paleontology to academics, government entities and the general public. We have accomplished much, but still face challenges, such as continued attacks on science and the teaching of evolution (one of my great concerns), the loss of traditional VP positions and threats to collections, decreased funding for research and curation, the theft and illegal trade of specimens, and the lack of opportunity for growing numbers of students. I hope to emphasize attention to these issues. While society membership has increased, we need to work harder to insure that the students we produce are properly prepared for a future in VP by providing guidance and training in the search for employment, development of grant-writing and presentation skills, and an understanding of the availability of non-traditional jobs. Sadly, we are also a victim of our own success in that with our growth, the cost of attendance at the annual meeting has risen. Efforts to reduce costs and provide subsidies to students and underrepresented members will remain a priority.