STARKVILLE, MISSISSIPPI — We simply could not do this work without the guidance of local geologists who know the stratigraphy and the locations which are likely to yield the best results. This is especially true in eastern Mississippi where most of the outcrops are in drainage ditches, cleared building lots, and on grass-covered roadsides. There is no way we would find them on our own.
Fortunately we now have an extraordinarily knowledgeable colleague who has an ambitious schedule of fossiliferous localities to show us. George E. Phillips met us as arranged at our first outcrop in Starkville this morning. At first when I saw him get out of his official state vehicle in his impressive uniform and begin talking to Paul I thought we were about to be arrested. Far from it, of course. George is the Paleontology Curator at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks in Jackson.
George is a skilled paleontologist and general naturalist who knows just what sort of fossils we need for our work, and all the right places to find them. We are very impressed that the state of Mississippi employs such scientific talent and makes it available to visitors like us.