It’s a difficult time for paleontologists. Young scientists struggle to find a place in an ever-dwindling pool of jobs and academic positions, and established scientists can sometimes have the rug pulled right out from under them. This latter misfortune befell the paleontologists at the University of Wyoming. Due to a $18.3 million cut to the Wyoming’s budget the museum at the University of Wyoming will be closed and the two paleontologists who work there will be laid off (in addition to 43 other jobs cut at the school).
This is truly a shame. The museum is not only essential for research, but it is extremely important to public outreach. We are not just talking about scientists losing their jobs, but children and other visitors being deprived of the chance to learn about science. Dinosaur-lovers, especially, will be saddened by this news because the museum is home to the Allosaurus “Big Al” and one of the few Apatosaurus mounts on display anywhere.
ReBecca (“Dinochick”) has been following the developments closely and has listed all the relevant materials to allow you to make a difference. Please sign the petition to keep the museum open and consider contacting the appropriate university administrators. If you are going to help, though, do it fast. The budget cuts are scheduled to go into effect on July 1, 2009.