The work of a professional paleontologist varies, depending on where he or she works. Most paleontologists in the United States are college or university professors; some also work in museums, as independent consultants, or for government surveys. In general, professional paleontologists conduct research and write and publish academic research papers. They also curate, catalogue, and inventory fossils in a museum or university. They can run a research program, teach, or engage in a combination of these activities. Most of this work requires an advanced degree, although there are notable exceptions. For people with undergraduate degrees, the work can include preparing fossils, excavating and collecting fossils, mounting specimens for display, and casting specimens.