Paper No. 19-8
Presentation Time: 4:05 PM
THE VALUE OF AMATEUR WEBSITES IN THE FIELD OF PALEONTOLOGY
Those less familiar with our broad paleontological community may wonder how useful amateur/avocational paleontology websites really are. As the webmaster of a major amateur site, www.fossilguy.com, my presentation will examine the role of such websites and their importance to the field of professional paleontology. In an internet full of misinformation, responsible amateur websites serve as a beacon of scientific information made accessible to a vast audience. Amateur websites grow out of the enthusiasm and passion of their webmasters, and this passion has the potential to pique the interest of future generations of paleontologists. Partnerships with professionals, such as those affiliated with the FOSSIL Project, ensure dissemination of reliable and verifiable information. Lastly, amateur websites can serve as conduits for avocationally-collected fossils of scientific value to become part of museum collections.