|DANCING ABOUT DINOSAURS. Anthony Martin, my husband, dances the presentations of his book, Dinosaurs Without Bones. He is essentially, the dancing ichnologist! (photo by Ruth Schowalter)|
Yes, I am talking about Tony Martin, paleontologist, ichnologist, educator, artist, and author of Dinosaurs Without Bones. He is my husband, and simultaneously, he is one of the most terrific science speakers I know!
Even if you subtract points for marital bias, there is no disputing that Tony Martin is one of the most entertaining of paleontological presenters, and that his audiences adore him! Since his book, Dinosaurs Without Bones: Dinosaur Lives Revealed by Their Trace Fossils, was released in Spring 2014, he has been energetically giving presentations in a variety of venues. Each time, his presentations morph to fit the particular situation. However, one thing remains the same--he continues being the dancing ichnologist. Only he gets better and better!
Here are a few examples of his diverse speaking engagements in our beloved state of Georgia:
|MOON RIVER BREWING COMPANY, SAVANNAH, GEORGIA. At Moon River's pub garden, set on a busy street in one of Georgia's beautiful coastal cities, Tony resourcefully used fiddler crab antics and other choreographed dances to illustrate an alligator, sandhill crane, raccoon, and other animals that reside on our state's barrier islands to talk about another book he authored (Life Traces of the Georgia Coast), along with Dinosaurs Without Bones. The audience loved him! Many who had come to Moon River for an evening out with the family became intrigued listeners and, more than likely, learned something about modern and ancient ichnology. See Tony's blog post about this event and more photos at his website, Life Traces of the Georgia Coast. (photo by Ruth Schowalter)|
|DANCING DOWN THE AISLE|
I gasped as he ran past me where I was seated in the front row and down the aisle towards the rest of his audience demonstrating the theropod stroll. The fingers on his hands split to form theropod digits and he moved with speed and ferocity! Oh my!
After that, he squatted to demonstrate the nesting dinosaur, Troodon, staying true to its theropod arms and digits.
|DINOSAUR NESTING BEHAVIOR|
"How can you tell how fast a dinosaur is moving?"
Not Tony Martin! No, he wakes up each morning, hankering for this challenge to communicate the science of dinosaurian ichnology using his physicality. Here are two photos illustrating his moves (there could have been many more):
|LONG DINOSAURIAN STRIDES SHOW SPEED. With his arms, he now gestures the distance between the dinosaur's tracks: the farther apart its tracks, the faster the dinosaur was moving! Isn't math fun, especially when it is danced? (photo by Ruth Schowalter)|
|DANCING WITH AUDIENCE MEMBER AT THE RECEPTION|
Before concluding the festive paleontologically-themed evening, I asked my science communicating husband and his support team that night to pose for a group photo. Enthusiasm is contagious! Science communicators can connect with their audience members in all kinds of rewarding and effective ways. Creativity enlivens any community! Look at the photo below to see the evidence for yourself!
SUPPORT TEAM ICHNOLOGY. It takes a village to host a dancing ichnologist! Milledgeville was a warm, friendly city and the Georgia College campus welcoming. Tony's enthusiasm was contagious! (photo by reception hostess)
|THE DANCING ICHNOLOGIST|
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Thanks to Sheila Collins, for her book performances using the improvisational tools of InterPlay of Warrior Mother and how she has opened our eyes to a new way of communicating books to audiences.