Attending the NAPC with the FOSSIL Project

By Jayson Kowinsky (@jayson-kowinsky)

The Fossil Project invited me to participate in a panel discussion at one of their symposiums at the North American Paleontological Convention (NAPC) in Riverside California.  The NAPC is a power packed conference chalk full of paleontology sessions, presentations, and posters that is hosted every 4 to 5 years.  It’s a week where one eats, breathes, and sleeps paleontology!

The FOSSIL Project arranged for a few sessions of amateur paleontologists to discuss and highlight the importance of amateurs in the field of paleontology and also to discuss the goals and accomplishments of The FOSSIL Project.

Before attending the conference, I decided, with some other FOSSIL Project friends, to go a few days early and visit Ernst quarries in Bakersfield (Sharktooth Hill Area) for a chance at finding Miocene marine fossils from the Temblor formation, which include sharks and cetaceans.

Jayson Kowinsky, Lee Cone, and Tara Lepore on the discussion panel for The FOSSIL Project. Photo by Sadie Mills.

C. hastalis shark tooth from Sharktooth Hill

Discussing how to use myFOSSIL for Avocational Contributions. Photo by Sadie Mills.

After the pre-trip to Bakersfield we drove down to Riverside for the NAPC kickoff and to meet up with other FOSSIL people that had just arrived.   The convention was very well organized and also very busy!

There were many symposiums going on concurrently and it was hard to pick which ones to go to and which ones to miss.   All of The FOSSIL Project sessions were wonderful and informative, including symposium 36 run by Jen Bauer, which I participated in.   The NAPC was also a great place to meet new paleontologists and reconnect with past acquaintances.

Finally, after the NAPC conference, I stayed a few extra days to checkout out the museums around LA, including, a hidden gem called the Alf Museum, the famous La Brea Tar Pits, and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County with its stunning dinosaurs.

Looking at the collections in the Alf Museum – An excavation at a tar pit in La Brea – The articulated juvenile Edmontosaurus (LACM 23504) displayed in the NHM of Los Angeles County.

A BIG thanks goes out to The Fossil Project for setting up the sessions, logistics, and inviting the many amateurs to speak at NAPC 2019!