The first instruction in paleontology which most students receive is in elementary historical geology. The exception to this rule is afforded by those alert young men who become interested in the fossils of their home region and learn about them from State and government reports without first having received preliminary instruction. Some of our most eminent paleontologists had their interest aroused in this way and are true products of their environment. J. M. Clarke, Charles Schuchert, Edward O. Ulrich, and Charles D. Walcott are examples. Notwithstanding these notable exceptions, most persons who obtain a preliminary knowledge of paleontology acquire it in a first course in historical geology, and it is on the teaching of this subject that I am to speak.
There are few courses in the teaching of which the instructor is so severely handicapped as in the one under discussion, and the most serious obstacle lies in the . . .