Susan, a graduate student, writes,
I got my tattoo in 2008 after raising enough money by carrying around a jar marked “tattoo fund” as I bar hopped for my 21st birthday. The tattoo is of a Permian cephalopod from the Guadalupe Mountains of Texas, Cooperoceras texanum.
I have loved paleontology for as long as I can remember. When I was looking at colleges, I came across a program called “Earth, Life, and Time” at the University of Maryland. It was a 2 year program as a part of an honors living and learning program called College Park Scholars. ELT was run by two amazing paleontologists, Dr. Tom Holtz and Dr. John Merck. The program was what convinced me to go to UMD and without these two great professors, I might not even be alive today. They are not only wonderful human beings, but also some of the greatest teachers at the university. Of all the classes with a natural history or evolutionary focus offered at the university, the classes they taught were truly of the highest caliber. To honor them, I got the mascot of the Earth, Life, and Time program, Cooperoceras texanum, tattooed on my leg. Unfortunately, the program is no longer offered at the university, due to shifting research goals in the the Geology Department, but Dr. Merck and Dr. Holtz now run a new program called “Science and Global Change”. ELT remains in the hearts and minds of the decade worth of students who came through it’s classroom.