Ken MacLeod

Friday, December 17, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 7:13 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

MU students taking Geology 2150 live out a fantasy many children share: learning about dinosaurs in school. And although teaching the class might seem like a great job, it wasn’t one Ken MacLeod ever expected to have.

“I just kind of fell into it,” MacLeod said.

The Delaware native first fell into geology when he started his undergraduate studies in non-pre-medicine biology at Williams College in Massachusetts. He ended up majoring in biology and geology before earning a master’s degree and a doctorate in geology, with an emphasis in paleontology.

He then served as an intern at the Smithsonian Institution from 1993 to 1996. MacLeod said the experience offered him the chance to spend time in the nonpublic parts of the museum. He worked in the dusty back rooms, which contained uncovered fossils of all sorts.

“It was killer,” MacLeod said.

Meanwhile, MacLeod also was falling in love. In 1998, he married his longtime girlfriend, Meera. The two had been separated by their work, with Ken in Washington, D.C., and Meera teaching in Seattle.

“We decided to be in the same place,” MacLeod said.

Finally, MacLeod fell into the job teaching at MU in 1999, where he was assigned to teach the dinosaur class because he was the only paleontologist. Now in his fifth semester, MacLeod is much more comfortable with the subject and the class.

He said that although he is happy with his life, he never thought it would turn out how it has.

“There was never a five-year plan,” he said.

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