In this article I give an overview of some of the articles and palaeontological outreach I have been involved in over the past two years on the 2nd year anniversary of the Jurassic Finds blog.

So here we are on the last day of 2019. It is finally here! Unfortunately as I write this I am ill! With quite a bad cold which is just typical over New Years eve. Not to worry though as I wanted to close 2019 out with a final article for the blog starting the New Year in a positive way.

In my previous post I originally noted that I would be covering a palaeontological discovery in this article. Having had a look at what I was originally going to cover and then looking at the blogs viewership numbers I have decided instead to focus this article on the blogs progress over the past two years. The reason for this is that this week on the 3rd of January 2020, it will be the 2 year anniversary of when I started this blog. First and foremost I think it is best to talk about the big news surrounding viewership. Last week Jurassic Finds crossed another viewership milestone with over 7,000 views in total over the past two years. ‘Thank You’ to all of you who have read my palaeontology articles and have continued to come back and read my content. This year alone the blog has had 2,975 views and will no doubt pass 3,000 views today which is really impressive stuff!

For the rest of this article I wanted to reflect on what the blog has covered over the past two years and what I have managed to achieve and do during this time. There is a fair bit to get through, so I will only be giving a brief overview with the various links to the corresponding articles. So let’s begin!

The first article I wrote on Jurassic Finds back in 2018 was this article: My Passion for Dinosaurs. Re-reading it all now it is crazy to think how much has changed for me, having  done a wide range of palaeontological volunteering over the past few years (which I will talk more about later). I am now also in the middle of studying a MSc in Palaeobiology (revising for exams at the moment which are only a few weeks away) and excitingly, I also have a palaeontological journal paper currently in review. Back in 2018 I knew that I wanted to build as much experience as I could, starting Jurassic Finds as palaeontology outreach was just one aspect of this. Increasing my blog and scientific writing skills as well as trying to keep up to date with the latest palaeontology discoveries was another reason I started the blog. I knew at the time I would have to do a lot more work alongside all this and thankfully it has all worked out. I really couldn’t be happier in terms of my career plans, my goals and what I have managed to achieve and do so far.

On the 9th of January 2018 I wrote my first proper palaeontological blog article focusing on the pterosaur egg clutch discovery of Hampiterus Tianshanesis in China. In total over the past two years I have published 44 articles, with 18 of these being fully focused on palaeontological discovery articles. I think my favourite article out of all the dinosaur discovery articles I have written so far is this one right here on Macrocollum itaquii. On the 7th of March 2018 I posted this article on my volunteering at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery for the Pliosaurus Exhibtion!

The 2018 Pliosaurus! Exhibtion at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery. Image credit: James Ronan, 2018.

Re-reading the article now it brings back fond memories of that volunteering experience and how great the exhibition was. I would go on to do much more palaeontology volunteering after this with volunteering at Bristol Rocks! in 2018 and volunteering for The Bristol Dinosaur Project that same year. More recently in August 2019 I had a holiday on the Isle of Wight (you can read about it here) and volunteered at The Dinosaur Isle Museum for a week (an experience I thoroughly enjoyed!).

Iguanodon model at Dinosaur Isle Museum. Image credit: James Ronan, 2019. 

In December 2018 I wrote this article on joining The Jurassic Park Podcast as a writer. It was such brilliant decision. Since joining the team I have written 5 articles, have done a unboxing video and taken part in contributing on Episode 189 and Episode 200. It has been great to be apart of such a passionate team of the Jurassic Park fan community and I am looking forward to contributing more to the Podcast in 2020. In April 2019 I wrote this article on attending Wales Comic Con and meeting Jurassic Park actor Sam Neill, an experience I still haven’t been able to get over.

Having the opportunity to chat to him was an amazing experience and something I will remember for the rest of my life. Then on the 29th of October I published this article about taking part in the Geology Festival Mendip Rocks! at the Somerset Earth Science Centre giving a presentation on my palaeontology internship project on the At The Feet of the Dinosaurs Internship Programme. I really can’t wait for the day when the paper has gone through the review process and is ready to be published. It was a full year’s worth of work (the paper itself is over 30 pages long!) and I’m really looking forward to seeing it fully published and properly out there in the palaeontological/geological world.

Mendip Rocks 2019 Presentation
Me and Professor Mike Benton sharing my palaeontology article research at Mendip Rocks! 2019. Image credit: Somerset Earth Science Centre, 2019.

All in all I have been thrilled with how Jurassic Finds has developed over the past few years. Not many small blogs like mine reach the viewing numbers that I have been able attain and this has only been possible because you the reader are interested in what I have to say about my palaeontology work and my passionate interest in Mesozoic discoveries. I hope that everyone has a fantastic 2020 and I look forward to developing the blog further in 2020 and sharing more about palaeontology with you all. Bring on the New Year!

Replica Tyrannosaurus Rex skull at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. Image credit: James Ronan, 2019.

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