Welcome to Superoceras, a blog about science and natural history, slightly biased towards paleontology and zoology, but inclusive of all sciences. Started in October of 2009, my goal is to communicate scientific knowledge (and the occasional piece of nonsense) in an informative and entertaining manner. Feel free to contact me with questions, comments, concerns, or criticism at superoceras(at)gmail(dot)com, and follow me on Twitter @Superoceras for all that and more in 140 characters or less!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

SVP 2011 (Epilogue): Leaving Las Vegas

Giant pumpkins at the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.
What a week! I'm always astounded by how quickly it all goes by. Unfortunately, I had to skip out on the final poster session to go to an early dinner before catching a show.  Which also means that I missed out on the first half of the annual Awards Ceremony.  But congratulations to all of this years award winners!  You can check out a full list at the SVP website, but I want to briefly mention the winners of my favorite award, the John J. Lanzendorf PaloeArt Prize.  I'm always eager to see which pieces are selected from all of the incredible entries.   I can't imagine having to select just one from each category: scientific illustration, 2-dimensional art, 3-dimensional art, and the new National Geographic digital modeling and animation.  And the awards go to...

Scientific Illustration - Jeffrey W. Martz, for his piece "Skeletal reconstruction of the Late Triassic pseudosuchian archosaur Revueltosaurus callenderi".

2-Dimensional Art - Jason E. Brougham, for his piece "Mononykus olecranus, Nemegt Formation Mongolia".

3-Dimensional Art - John A. Gurche, for his piece "Sts 5".

National Geographic Digital Modeling and Animation - Evan Boucher, for his animation "Digital Paleoart: Reconstruction and Restoration from Laser-Scanned Fossils".

As always, the pieces were all fantastic, and I'm sure all of the other submissions that didn't bring home the prize were as well.  So again, congratulations all around!

The Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino.
After the Awards Ceremony is the After-Hours Party, and as usual, paleo-shenanigans ensued.  Despite being warned, I think my girlfriend was still taken aback by the whole affair..  This was her first time at an SVP after party, and as anyone who has been to SVP knows, it can be a bit intense.  I was even called "the Pat Boone of paleontology" by a former SVP president whose name will not be mentioned.  I'm not sure why, and I'm also not sure it was a compliment, even though I think it was meant to be.  But I was pleased a former SVP president was talking to me, so I'll take it!

A view of the Nevada desert from Paris.
After a long night of celebrating, I curled up under my dinosaur quilt and tried to rest up for the journey home.  I don't know if I'll ever head back to Las Vegas or not.  Don't get me wrong, I had a great time while I was there.  I mean, how often do you get to visit a city, in a hotel/casino, in another city, in a desert?  Where else in the world can you look out your window and see the Eiffel Tower and the Spring Mountains at the same time? It's a one of a kind place, and this was a one of a kind SVP.  And perhaps it was a one of a kind trip.

I'm still looking forward to next year's meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina, and hope to see some of you there.  Keep following @SVP_vertpaleo for tweets about upcoming meetings, and vertebrate paleontology in general. And thank you to everyone who made this year's SVP so memorable, and also to those who followed the journey here at Superoceras.  Your patience knows no bounds!

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