University News

Bailey Honored for Work With Amateur Paleontologists

December 8, 2003

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MACOMB, IL - - Western Illinois University Geology Professor Jack Bailey recently received a Council Citation Award from the Paleontological Society for outstanding educational outreach to amateur paleontologists.

The Paleontological Society, with more than 2,000 professional members worldwide, is devoted exclusively to the advancement of the science through dissemination of research by publication and meetings.

For the past dozen years Bailey has been Western’s geology department representative to the Paleontological Society and the Mid-America Paleontological Society (MAPS). Each spring Western hosts MAPS’ National Fossil Exposition, one of the largest annual fossil shows nationwide, attracting professionals and amateurs from the U.S., Europe, Canada and Australia.

Bailey received MAPS 2001 Presidential Award for outstanding service and dedication. In 1998 he received an honorable mention award in the Journal of Paleontology Best Paper competition for the new theory he advanced in his research manuscript "Neural Spine Elongation in Dinosaurs: Sailbacks or Buffalo-Backs?" He theorized that the thick spines on what were traditionally thought of as sailback dinosuars were really used as support for muscular humps, which were adaptation for a migratory lifestyle in the hot, dry terrains of the late Mesozoic era. This theory gained positive international attention.

Bailey completed his graduate work in vertebrate paleontology at Columbia University and earned a doctorate in invertebrate paleontology from the University of Illinois

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