About the author
I’m Matt Wedel. I’m an anatomist and paleontologist by day and an amateur astronomer by night.
I was born in Dodge City, Kansas, on June 3, 1975. When I was three my family moved to the small town of Hillsdale in north-central Oklahoma. I grew up out in the country, hiking through cow pastures, catching snakes and turtles down at the creek, hurling dirt clods at wasp nests, building Lego spaceships, and launching model rockets. But my primary interest from the age of three onwards has always been dinosaurs.
Through a series of coincidences and a run of improbable good fortune, I was able to pursue my paleontological interests through Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at the University of Oklahoma and a PhD at Berkeley. I’m now an assistant professor of anatomy at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California, where I teach in the cadaver-based gross anatomy course. When I’m not teaching I work on sauropod dinosaurs and on air-filled bones in dinosaurs and birds. You can read all about that stuff at another blog I contribute to, Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week (or SV-POW! for short). Don’t let the hyper-geeky title scare you off, most of our posts are more accessible than you’d think. If you’re after more technical fare, my theses and published papers are freely available at my website.
I’ve had a strong interest in astronomy and space travel for as long as I can remember. But growing up I had a couple of misconceptions that stopped me from ever doing anything about those interests. The first misconception was that you absolutely had to get a telescope before you could start stargazing, and the second was that telescopes were prohibitively expensive. I was in my thirties before I discovered that neither of these things is true. One of the great ironies of my life is that, having grown up in rural Oklahoma under radically dark skies, I didn’t get serious about stargazing or buy a telescope until I was living in the air- and light-polluted swamp of California. But even here there is plenty to keep one busy observing the night sky–as I intend to show on this blog.