Tuesday, 9 October 2012

George Constance: Archaeology Career Interview

We interviewed George Constance about his career in Archaeology, how it developed and what he's doing now...
Where did you graduate and what are you doing now?
I received a BS in geology (1982) from the University in New Orleans with a specialty in soft rock and minor in biology and a MS in Technology Commercialization (2012) from Northeastern University in Boston. Worked as an oil industry micro-paleontologist for 22 years specializing in US Gulf Coast foraminifera. 18 of those years an independent consultant. I went the entrepreneurial route post EXXON/Mobil merger consulting on museum projects and opening a tea cafe and wholesale business and evacuated to Connecticut after hurricane Katrina where I remain today.
Currently, I’m consulting and participating several high technology startups, buyt really miss paleontology. I’m networking in that industry to see if there are any entrepreneurial efforts that I can apply both my science and business education and experience. Work should be fun and paleo-archaeo filed is where I want to play. I’m wide open regarding proposals and expect there are some really great ones out there: museums, reproductions, archaeo-vacations... you name it...
When you graduated were you looking for a career in archaeology/Phd?
I expected I’d work as a geologist until successful enough to move into the slightly less lucrative archaeology field. Maybe an early retirement career move. But the micro-paleontology career path surprised me and I went for it with a passion. I was hired straight out of my bachelor’s program by a small firm desperate for help. Life and a successful career in paleo prevented me from returning to school until recently. I figured it’s too late to pursue the science path and that a business degree, combined with my geology degree would be valuable in many different archaeological and paleontological endeavors. I’d get to see a lot cool stuff and provide value. So, if you have something fun to work on, please contact me!
What has been the greatest success in your career so far?
Developing a correlation tool, Graphic Interpolation System, that utilizes fossils to generate, interpolate and integrate all available data for enhanced correlation and interpretation. The tool allowed for depositional rate determination at any level and identify missing sections and faulted sections. Really fun apply the the data. Love to show anyone interested.
Who's your favourite archaeologist?
I don’t know if he’ll be my favorite until excavations. But the most intriguing so far is Klaus Schmidt, excavator of Gobekli Tepe in Turkey. With all the attention he’s been getting he took time to reply to an email from me. The good folks at the Institute for Human Origins are likewise quick to respond to requests and questions. In the end, archaeology is only as good as the data that is generated AND shared. From a business perspective, sharing data outside the professional community generates interest and can lead to funding. Professional archaeologists need to get out of the vacuum and talk to the general public, promote themselves. They might inspire another Donald C. Johanson or Howard Carter.

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