Monday, September 1, 2014

AMAZING INTRODUCTION TO TONY MARTIN: Author of Dinosaurs without Bones (Decatur Book Festival 2014)

DECATUR BOOK FESTIVAL (SCIENCE TRACK) 2014. Author of Dinosaurs Without Bones, Tony Martin (aka My Chiboogamoo) was given an amazing introduction by his friend and colleague, Chris Bean, Vice President of Education at Fernbank Museum of Natural History on Saturday of the Decatur Book Festival 2014. Notice how colleague Paleontologist Barbie is at the microphone, ready to answer questions from the audience. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
Hallelujah for celebratory events such as the 2014 Decatur Book Festival (DBF)! Hallelujah for celebrating books, book authors, and all of us who love reading!

I am so appreciative of living with a man, my Chiboogamoo - who many of you know as Tony Martin (paleontologist extraordinaire) - because of his devotion to expressing what he knows through writing, drawing, teaching, and speaking (see last year's blog about him in the 2013 DBF).
EMORY UNIVERSITY AUTHOR. Dr. Martin (I love calling him that!) was also honored by his university during the Decatur Book Festival 2014. The Emory tent hosted some of their authors for book signings, and Tony had the privilege of meeting festival goers in this street venue. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
DELIGHTFUL QUESTIONS FROM READERS. "Do you know anything about horseshoe crab trace fossils," this reader asked! Well, if you know my Chiboogamoo, you will know this topic about horseshoe crabs is a beloved one. They are discussed in his book, Life Traces of the Georgia Coast, and in this blog on his website. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
This Labor Day weekend 2014 has been celebratory for our Ichno-Art Cat Palace Decatur household as Tony’s book, Dinosaurs without Bones, was featured in the Science Track of the Decatur Book Festival. His Saturday, 4:15 p.m. talk was well attended, greatly lauded by many (“The best talk of the DBF,” said one), and his book sold out afterwards, with a line of fans snaking far beyond his author signing table.
One very meaningful aspect of this Saturday author event for both of us? The amazing introduction given by our dear friend and colleague Chris Bean, Vice-President of Education at Fernbank Museum of Natural History. She gave me permission to share it with all of you right here on this blog, “Coffee with Hallelujah”! So here it is:
I was so honored when you asked me to introduce our next speaker—Dr. Tony Martin, a long-time friend of Fernbank Museum’s—and good friend of mine.

I first met Tony over 15 years ago on a rock outcrop somewhere in Georgia, as geologists often do. I was drawn to his sense of humor, love of good beer, and mostly, his distinctive scientific perspective, which is fresh and original.

Tony Martin is a paleontologist and geologist who specializes in ichnology—the study of modern and ancient traces caused by animal behavior, such as tracks, trails, burrows, and nests.

Tony has left his trace for the past 25 years in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Emory University, just a few miles from Decatur, where he is an accomplished researcher and award-winning professor.

He has published more than a hundred peer-reviewed ichnology articles and abstracts that span the past 550 million years of the geologic record. His research results and discoveries have been reported by global outlets, including The New York Times, the BBC, and National Geographic News, to name a few.

He is the co-discoverer of the first known burrowing dinosaur, found the oldest dinosaur burrows in the geologic record, and documented the best assemblage of polar-dinosaur tracks in the Southern Hemisphere.

Tony has a real knack for public speaking, and Fernbank’s guests have enjoyed his enlightening lectures over the years, including most recently as part of the Atlanta Science Festival. His DVD Course on evolution and the fossil record is available as part of The Great Courses DVD series. This real talent for bringing scientific discoveries to the public has translated into several books, including last year’s Life Traces of the Georgia Coast.

I think by now you’ll agree that Tony covers a lot of territory! Oh, did I tell you he was an artist? Fernbank displayed several of his unique paleontology-inspired pieces in a 2011 show that complemented an exhibit about Charles Darwin (see this blog entry). He drew his own illustrations for his two most recent books, including Dinosaurs Without Bones.

Dinosaurs Without Bones: Dinosaur Lives Revealed by Their Trace Fossils is an amusing and thought-provoking review of the everyday world of dinosaurs. Not a dry academic tome, it is the perfect blend of scientific insight and imagination.

It was Publishers Weekly “Pick of the Week” when it was released with this endorsement:

“Martin’s popular, non-academic debut bubbles with the joy of scientific discovery as he shares his natural enthusiasm for the blend of sleuthing and imagination that he brings to the field of ichnology.”

We are all in for a real treat today. Please join me in welcoming Dr. Tony Martin!
Thank you, Chris, for taking your precious time to write this amazing introduction to my beloved science-writing husband. You have made both of us feel so honored. 

A few photos from Dr. Martin's time at the Decatur Book Festival 2014: 
ICHNOLOGIST DOCUMENTS BOOKZILLA TRACES. Dr. Martin began is Decatur Book Festival talk by informing his audience about the traces that might see around town from Bookzilla, the mascot of the DBF. Everyone was delighted by the speaker's ability to hone in on such local fauna and to learn from him and his artistic renderings. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
GETTING PERSONAL THANKS FROM BOOKZILLA. On Sunday, Bookzilla tracked Dr. Martin down to thank him personally for acquainting festival goers with ichnological methods ways of finding him. "Now everyone will find their way to the monstrous love of books," he/she said. Ichnologist Martin received the praise humbly. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
BOOKSIGNING AFTER THE TALK. It was with pleasure that Dr. Martin met enthusiastic readers who bought his book following his presentation. All copies of Dinosaurs Without Bones were sold! (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
ACKNOWLEDGING HIS MOTHER, VERONICA MARTIN. At the end of his talk on Dinosaurs Without Bones, Dr. Martin recognized his mother for encouraging him to read and play outdoors as a child. She never went to college, but loved books and reading. "I am a scientist and an author because of her," he said. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
CELEBRATING WITH FRIENDS. Chris Bean was with us but is not pictured here. (photo by Kind Waiter at Mac McGee's)
MEETING OTHER AUTHORS. The hospitality suite at the Decatur Book Festival created numerous opportunities to talk with other authors. Here Dr. Martin converses with Ed Hall. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
That's Coffee With Hallelujah! SOUL BLOG with me and tell me what you think about the man I live with in the Ichno-Art Cat Palace! I love him! Do you?
CHEERS HONEY FOR YOUR GREAT ACHIEVEMENT.  (photo by Kind Waiter at Leon's)

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