MEMBERS’ REPORTS ON PALEONTOLOGY
AND FOSSIL IDENTIFICATION
Sunday, September 16, 2018 2:00 P.M. Room 319
American Museum of Natural History New York City
During the year, our Society presents talks by paleontologists, geologists, students and collectors about their work in paleontology and fossils. But, many of our members also have had interesting experiences or work in the field, and we reserve our first meeting in September for reports by them. Since we don’t meet during the Summer (and rarely run field trips) because many members are away for vacation or traveling and the temperatures at fossil sites can become dangerously hot, the September meeting provides a good venue to report on their work and experiences over the previous Summer.
Usually, they report on topics in paleontology, including any collecting they have done, research they have participated in, fossil preparation that they have undertaken, any paleontological exhibits that they have visited, etc. These reports are mostly very brief - 10 to 15 minutes or so - and usually are particularly useful to those interested in fossil collecting, especially in the Northeast, but also collecting in the Western U.S. and even around the world. This is a good time to pick up information about fossil sites. We also include summaries (with images) of the Society’s most recent field trips.
We will begin with reports on our Spring field trips: collecting the fossils of Peace River, Florida (April); a two day trip to collect in Ravena Quarry and to visit behind-the-scenes at the New York State Museum, Albany, New York (also April); a two day trip to collect in Helderberg Quarries also in the Albany area (May); a day trip to collect fossil plants of Pennsylvania, Centralia, PA (early June); and finally a two day collecting trip to fossils of Madison County, NY (late June). The reports of the collecting trips will include geology, stratigraphy and the fossils found or observed.
There will be an opportunity to have any fossils that you found on these trips identified, as well as any that you've found elsewhere around the country. So bring them in. We can frequently guarantee identification to the genus level - especially those from our own field trips.
We will also have reports by our members on their paleontological experiences , especially over the summer just past. The reports can cover anything that they have been involved with. For example, in the past, members have reported on their fossil collecting experiences in the area, or even around the world. Many have described their visits to or work at classic fossil localities. Some have described visits to museum collections around the country and the world, and others have brought in fossil specimens for illustration or discussion.
For example, last September, member reports included a report on a dig in the Hell Creek Formation (66ma) sponsored by the Marmarth North Dakota Research Foundation. The “base camp” was in the town of Marmarth, which included the old railroad bunkhouse (where participants slept), a staff house and a prep lab. From here, a hour and a quarter drive took them to the collecting area. Among the finds was “Tyler” - the pet name for a fine Triceratops skull, as well as other ceratopsians and bones of a hadrosaur. People worked each day for a week, helping with digging, measuring and jacketing specimens, and observed technicians preping specimens from the matrix to be sent to the Denver Museum of Natural History. Another report also involved week long collecting at digs in Wyoming sponsored by the Big Horn Basin Paleontological Institute. The participants were housed in lodge houses and ventured out to collect in the Big Horn Basis, famous for dinosaurs from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. There were two major sites, one of which produced a 4-foot long scapula of a sauropod dinosaur, while the other vertebrae and ribs possibly belonging to a rare sauropod.. All finds will eventually go to the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University in Philadelphia. Finally, a member reported on finds of Eocene Green River fossil fish near Kemmerer, Wyoming, including Knightia, Mioplosus and others.
If you've had some interesting experiences or work in paleontology, have collected at or visited fossil sites or museums this summer, or have an interesting anecdotal story to tell, please feel free to talk about it at the meeting. The atmosphere is informal, and you do not need to bring along any materials. However, a blackboard, digital projector and table space will be available for those who might want to illustrate fossils, sites, etc. Of course, fossils are always welcome.
If you're a member and interested in presenting something involving other types of projectors or equipment, please contact the president at email@example.com before the meeting. If you’d like to present digital images (such as “power point” presentations), and have your own laptop or flash drives, please contact him for arrangements. In most cases, we can accommodate your needs regarding setup, etc.