I was at dinner with a group of arachnologists last night, and I was surprised when I mentioned that I was from Minnesota and was then told that I was one of the only two arachnologists in the state. I was firstly startled at actually being told I was an arachnologist since I’m still trying to get a good grasp of the field, and secondly surprised that they’re so rare (would you believe there are only 500 people in the International Society of Arachnology?). He qualified it by saying that I was one of two people who had officially registered with the American Arachnology Society, from which I learned a few things.
If you want to be an arachnologist on paper, it’s easy — just send in your membership dues.
If you are a real arachnologist in Minnesota, with skills and expertise and deep knowledge, rather than a wanna-be like me, you’re behind. Send in your membership dues. Otherwise, people will keep mistaking me for you.
Otherwise, if you want to become a real arachnologist, here’s an article on the subject. It recommends starting in childhood and your teenage years, which is a little worrisome, since I waited until I was 61 to start. But you can do it! Unfortunately, unlike being an arachnologist on paper, it’s going to take a lot of hard work.