Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The 2010 Paleo Project Challenge

Everyone has an unfinished project. Most of us have at least a half dozen. Those partly finished manuscripts, paintings, data sets, and preparation projects. Oh, we started out with good intentions. Maybe we even poured a productive week into it. But then, the honeymoon glow faded. Something else got in the way. The field season, or teaching duties, or another more pressing project, or a grant deadline, or just plain old life circumstances, interrupted us.

Luckily, all of that work doesn't have to go to waste. Why not finish up that project? What are you waiting for? Heck, what am I waiting for?

Regular readers of this blog may remember that Dave Hone and I instituted the "Paleo Paper Challenge" (PPC) last year, in an effort to shame all of us into cleaning our (figurative) research plate. We had pretty remarkable success - although not everyone (including ourselves) were able to finish everything we wanted to, most folks made some major progress. Some papers even made it into publication, in venues like Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology and PLoS ONE. Not too shabby.

Not wanting to rest on our laurels, it's time to kick things off for 2010. This year, Dave and I want to pursue a "bigger tent" approach. Why limit the PPC to just academic research? Let's open it up to all paleo enthusiasts! Preparators, artists, researchers, bloggers. . .after all, paleontology does not survive on publication alone. Thus, we are happy to kick off:

The Paleo Project Challenge
Do you have a paper that just needs the finishing touches before it heads off to publication? Is there some half-prepped fossil sitting in a cabinet in the lab? Have you started and finished a big blog post half a dozen times, but never pulled the trigger? Is that masterpiece rendering of a live Tylosaurus still sitting on the easel? Stop sitting around, and finish it!

Here are the rules:
1) Indicate your willingness to participate in the Paleo Project Challenge (PPC) in the blog comment section. You should at a minimum indicate the category it falls under (paper, blog, art, or whatever), and the project (if you can - we totally understand the need for secrecy in some cases!).
2) Do the work! You have until December 31, 2010. Remember, we're all watching.
3) Once you're done, celebrate!

You can read more about it from Dave's perspective here. Now, let's get to work!

My Commitments
1) Write up the ODP results.
2) Finish a long-running paper on ceratopsian anatomy.

What are you going to do? Chime in below in the comments section!


Mike Taylor said...

Last year, I wrote:

My plan is to FINALLY get the Archbishop description done (that's the Tenadguru brachiosaur at the Natural History museum, for those of you who for whatever reason don't read SV-POW!)

Up till now I've been holding back because other things, though less important, have been more urgent. But now that the Brachiosaurus paper is out, there is really no excuse.

So here is my commitment for this year:

My plan is to FINALLY get the Archbishop description done (that's the Tenadguru brachiosaur at the Natural History museum, for those of you who for whatever reason don't read SV-POW!)

Mike Taylor said...
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Anonymous said...

I'm seeing a pattern there Mike!

As for me, I have stuff that I hope to finish this week and stuff I hope to finish before the summer (and a few with deadlines attached where the PPC won't have much sway). Finding something that can be upped in priortiy to slot in might be tricky, but I'll be back with something just as soon as I have picked a project.


Heinrich Mallison said...

Hm, maybe it is best is I just c&p my last PPC commitment and annotate as appropriate *blush*

Casey, we will not go away, we wantss preciousss cartilage paperssss, we needs ssemm! I needs ssemmm!!!
yes, still valid. Let me just add Matt Bonnan as addressee.... ;)

do I need the extra pressure and abuse by you gals and guys? Do I really need it?

I guess so....

ah, yep, still valid that part

here goes:
- Plateosaurus CAE (is waiting for the two other diss chapters to come out of review)

are published, am writing

- sauropods rearing
that one, too, ASAP

- alligator muscle cross sections
DONE! well, not really, but the important part is in the Swiss Journal of Geosciences Kentrosaurus paper, so it is citeable to the extent I need it.

- non-Plateosaurus at MFN description
no can do, time's too tight.

- sauropodomorph rapid locomotion (this one is a whopper!)
still whopping, but expanding into saurischian or even more inclusive, and some of those darn megapredators are really not playing by the rules.

Now, you'll all agree that this can't all be finished before Jan 1. Just give me a thorough (verbal) kicking on all of them and I'll try to get as many done as possible.

At least I got the other three unmentioned things I had on my mind last year sumbitted, in one case alreday published (Kentro range of motion), in once case into print (Kentro lectotype). Kentro CAE is with the handling editor, fingers Xed.

Jay said...

Am i going to regret committing here, in hindsight?

My challenge will be to finalize editing and to submit the sauropod description paper which formed part of a thesis from several years ago.

Anthony Maltese said...

Well, last year's challenge motivated me to get my part of one publication done (TKAS, heteromorph ammonite from the Niobrara) and the prep and last minute details/photography for our Bonnerichthys article in Science... Not too shabby.

I'll throw the perennialy delayed sharks scavenging on a mosasaur paper in the mix this year, as well as one on ammonites of the Niobrara. Aim high.

Raptor's Nest said...

I'll chime in. In no particular order:

1) I'll get the two year old Pachyrhinosaurus drawing finished (palaeoart)

2) get my theropod bite force paper written and submitted (academic)

Bruce Woollatt said...

I'm game!

I started gathering research material to make a 1/10 scale Quetzalcoatlus northropi flesh restoration. I'll give it another go, since I'm approaching the completion of my 1/10 scale T.rex skeleton. Heck, I might even do two, one flying, one walking. Mark Witton's lifesize critters have been a great inspiration and spur to action. Wish me luck!

Anonymous said...

For this Fall, let's try either: new croc species description, or the complementary (though not necessarily complimentary, kidding ) paper to Andy's frontoparietal fossa JVP paper. Both are at similar levels of completion. There may be a dark horse too, but we'll see.


Anonymous said...

Well, I'll go for the necks paper that I'm doing with the SV-POW boys. We really should have got that doen beofre and since I'm supposed to be leading it, I'll make this my commitment.


Patty R. said...

I want to join in too - however I have two issues: 1) I have my candidacy exam [3 essays & an oral exam] between Oct 5 & Nov 2nd, so I really can't start until after that and 2) it would be the general paper on my masters which was a 1200 year old mass mortality site, so subfossil - kind of a grey area in paleo. What do you think, Andy? Should I give it a go?

Nick Gardner said...

I'll piggyback on one of Casey's as I'm certain it will be done in time

Anonymous said...

Hey Andy, If I have some free time between working my non-academic day job, and adjunct teaching at night, I might try and get the rest of my dissertation published, I have a manuscript just submitted to JVP, but have been dreaming of a PB paper on the conclusions to my dissertation. I also have an alligator I need to prepare and describe. Also I need to find a permanent job, which trumps the above goals.

1) Find job
2) Paleobiology Paper
3) Prepare alligator fossil

Jordan said...

Oh, what the heck. Sign me up. The plan is to have my Anchiceratops ms submitted by xmas.

Andrea Cau said...

Last Year, I planned to submit my metriorhynchid paper: although I failed to do it before the end of 2009, that study has now been published (Cau and Fanti, on the new taxon Neptunidraco ammoniticus)!

This is my 2010 PPC: A paper describing new theropod remains from North Africa.

Brian Lee Beatty said...
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Brian Lee Beatty said...

I plan on finally finishing up the paper on the distribution of meningeal ossification in the Cetacea that I've had in the works for about 2 years now. Some images of data collection can be seen in Butch Dooley's blog entry from 2008 (the one where he is teasing me for putting my hand up a greasy foramen magnum):

Jacquelyn said...

My goal is to finish counting my fossil pollen samples from Silver Lake, complete all data analysis, and have a manuscript draft ready for submission.

This is a great idea!

Anonymous said...

I'm going to draw a restoration of Dryptosaurus (paleoart).