A LITTLE ABOUT ME AND WHERE I LIVE
Arizona Mountains
Many of you know me, most of you don't. Let's change that. My name is Ron Ratkevich and I live on the side of Big Cat Mountain, an extinct volcano in the Tucson Mountain Range on Tucson, Arizona's far west side. This is the northern edge of the Sonoran Desert, one of the most remarkable deserts on Earth, and for most who have never been here, one of the most misunderstood. Many people who visit me ask "Where's the desert?" expecting to see shifting sand dunes. But it isn't long before newcomers come see Arizona the way I, and thousands of nature-minded people, see the region.
Harsh, even sometimes deadly in the summer if you're not prepared, but incredibly alive, beautiful, charming, and even magnetic. It is a naturalist's paradise, with environments spanning every environmental zone from cactus covered, sun-baked low desert, to high eco-islands bristling with forests of Juniper, Ponderosa Pine and mountain lakes. And Arizona is the center of the universe, if you can't get enough natural history. For me, knowing that it is difficult to put a shovel in the ground without uncovering something ancient, it is one of the many reason I fell in love with Arizona and chose to live here. Yup (That's yes if live any place else in the world), Arizona really is the center of the universe, called by scientists a "open-air geological textbook," a state with nearly a billion years of ancient environments with fossils that can be seen in one place or another and within that can be an un-interrupted 10,000 year-long archaeological history. For the most part, where I live in Arizona has very little snow, which suites me just fine.
VANISHED HABITATS REVEALED BY EROSION LURES MANY FOSSIL HUNTERS 10,000 + YEARS OF HUMAN HISTORY TODAY, LIKE NO OTHER PLACE ON EARTH
VANISHED HABITATS REVEALED BY EROSION LURES MANY FOSSIL HUNTERS
10,000 + YEARS OF HUMAN HISTORY
TODAY, LIKE NO OTHER PLACE ON EART
This is me Ron Ratkevich...well, my face anyway. AAPS's George Winters loves PhotoShop!
I was born in New York City, lived there and began my road to paleontology by working at the American Museum of Natural history, and taking part in seven or eight expeditions digging everything from Dinosaurs to Cenozoic Mammals. Academically, I attended New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro, New Mexico, and the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and through a number of twist and turns, and amassing more time in classrooms and field schools than was reasonable for anyone, I became an archaeologist for the University of New Mexico. For many years I worked for the Department of Vertebrate Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History, and was the Paleontologist for the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum near Tucson. Today, I'm a newspaper journalist, freelance writer and am in engaged in various enterprises having to do with natural history. Somewhere in all of this, I found the time to pen a number of books among which are Dinosaurs of the Southwest, An Illustrated Guide to Fossil Collecting, and field guides to fossil collecting in both Arizona and New Mexico. Presently I'm co-authoring a new book, The Dinosaurs of Arizona. My personal favorite fossil is the trilobite, and I've amassed an impressive life-long collection of these ancient "bugs," which you can view in the MY TRILOBITES section of T-Rat.com.
This is me...well, my face anyway. AAPS's George Winters loves PhotoShop!

I have three great kids, Chris, Carrie and Nick and an Egyptian Mummy named "Heck" who stands guard silently in my hallway..... I guess maybe I'm damned to walk the Earth for all eternity for that, but, for now, he makes a good night light.

Some of the books written by Ron Ratkevich
DINOSAURS OF THE SOUTHWEST

ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO FOSSIL COLLECTING

FIELD GUIDE TO ARIZONA FOSSILS

FIELD GUIDE TO NEW MEXICO FOSSILS (with Neal Lafon)

ICE AGE ANIMALS OF THE RIO GRANDE VALLEY

ICE AGE MAMMALS OF THE SAN PEDRO VALLEY (ET AL)

SONORASAURS: DINOSAUR OF THE DESERT

Some of the books I've written..WHAT AN EGO TRIP ! Publishing should be part of fossil hunting. Books or scientific papers helps share what you've learned.