WE ARE SVP (the video) is now available for viewing on the SVP Web site
WHAT IS A VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGIST? NEW VIDEO HAS AN ANSWER.
Few scientific pursuits fascinate like digging up fossils. But despite this fascination with fossil-hunting – one aspect of the field of vertebrate paleontology – most people would be hard pressed to explain what a vertebrate is, or what a paleontologist does. Now a 30-minute video provides just such an explanation. And in the process, the sponsors hope to educate, entertain and perhaps inspire a few future paleontologists.
WE ARE SVP a 30-minute video sponsored by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP), premiered on the society’s website at: http://www.vertpaleo.org/video/WeAreSVP/index.cfm , on October 29, 2008. This video celebrates the extraordinary world of vertebrate paleontology and provides a unique glimpse into the diversity of its scientists and pursuits. It is introduced and narrated by Sam Waterston, long-time star of television’s “LAW & ORDER.”
“This video shows the breadth of our members, their research and what motivates them,” said Catherine Badgley, assistant professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Michigan and past president of SVP. “It shows how relevant vertebrate paleontology is to environmental challenges today.”
In WE ARE SVP, scientists discuss their research and its broad implications: evidence for evolution, insights into global climate change and a better understanding of extinction.
“This video gives the public the inside story on our membership—why they became paleontologists, what inspires their research and what they do on a day-to-day basis,” said Blaire Van Valkenburgh, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Los Angeles and current president of SVP. "Children of all ages who love dinosaurs and sabertooth cats will enjoy learning about the folks behind the fossils," said Van Valkenburgh.
Scientists also describe the exhilarating experience of finding fossils in the field and studying them in the laboratory. WE ARE SVP illustrates why paleontology is the preferred gateway into the world of science for many young people.
To complement WE ARE SVP, thirteen in-depth videos further explore many of the topics raised in the main video. These will also be available on the society’s website.
The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, founded in 1940, is the premier scientific society for vertebrate paleontology: the study of vertebrate fossils, evolution and ecology. Currently, the society has over 2,300 members from more than 50 countries. WE ARE SVP is the first video produced by the society.
WE ARE SVP was produced and directed by Steven Cohen with scientific consultants Louis H. Taylor and Louis L. Jacobs, all SVP members. The society gratefully acknowledges the generous support of Executive Producer Mr. Ray H. Marr of Shade Tree Studios, in Dallas, Texas, for his contribution of film, editing crew and editing studio.
Blaire Van Valkenburgh Louis H. Taylor
President of The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology SVP Development Committee Chair
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