Cincinnati Mini Conference on Paleontology

The FOSSIL Project and the Dry Dredgers along with our partners, the Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) and the Paleontological Society (PS), are excited to be holding a joint mini conference on paleontology for the Cincinnati, OH, area on June 3-5, 2016!

new logo

Follow the links for detailed information:

myfossil-logo    dry dredgers   CMC logo  ps logo


All attendees must pre-register by the extended deadline of May 18, 2016. Please do so by filling out this registration form.

There is NO registration fee to participate in this mini conference.


Travel & Lodging Info

Participants are responsible for their own travel costs (e.g., flying or driving to Cincinnati), lodging, and meals other than provided lunches.

A block of rooms is being held at the Radisson Hotel-Cincinnati Riverfront for the nights of June 2, 3, & 4 at a rate of $149 per night; please call 1-(859)-491-1200 and mention the FOSSIL Project to reserve a room.  To get the special rate, you must reserve your room before Friday, May 6.

Note that traffic in Cincinnati can be very frustrating.  For the weekend of June 3-5, in addition to our mini conference, the Bunbury Music Festival will be taking place; thousands of festival-goers will be in town for this event.  Additionally, the Cincinnati Reds baseball team has home games scheduled for Friday night, Saturday afternoon, and Sunday afternoon.

Therefore, please plan ahead for traffic delays, congestion, and longer wait times at restaurants. Your understanding is appreciated as these other events are outside of our control.



Schedule of Events & Field Trip Plans

For this mini conference, we have planned two field trips to iconic Cincinnati Arch geology locations; a keynote talk by Dr. Tony Martin; presentations by Dr. Carlton Brett, Dr. Alycia Stigall, and Dry Dredgers President Jack Kallmeyer; a poster session; breakout sessions; and a townhall discussion with officers of the Paleontological Society about how amateur/avocational paleontologists can become an integral part of their organization.

For further detail, please click the corresponding links:


Pre-Conference Field Trip to Big Bone Lick State Park

THURSDAY, JUNE 2ND @ 2pm – 5pm, meet at Big Bone Lick State Park

An optional pre-conference field trip to Big Bone Lick State Park, the birthplace of North American vertebrate paleontology, will take place on June 2nd.  Glenn Storrs, curator at the Cincinnati Museum Center, will lead the Big Bone Lick tour starting at 2pm, so don’t be late!  Meet in the Visitor Center at the park (Union, KY).  Transportation is on your own — if you need a ride, please refer to the confirmation email sent out on May 4 which contains a list of folks offering rides.  Please contact Jack Kallmeyer with any questions about this trip.


Mini Conference Field Trip #1

FRIDAY, JUNE 3RD @ 6am – 4pm, meet at Radisson Hotel

Field trip to eastern half of Cincinnati Arch:

6:00 – 6:30 AM – Coffee & donuts in front of the Radisson hotel; arrange carpool groups

6:30 – 6:40 AM – Everybody drives to the Kroger on Dixie Highway so that van riders and non-driving carpoolers can park their vehicles for free!

Kroger address: 2150 Dixie Highway, Fort Mitchell, KY 41017

[click map for Google driving directions]

kroger map

6:40 – 8:00AM – Drive to Maysville, KY. [1:00 – 1:30 drive time]

8:00 – 10:30AM – Stop 1: Roadcut exposing the Kope, Fairview, and Bellevue Formations [2:30 time spent]

10:30 – 11:00AM – Drive to lunch area [0:15 – 0:30 drive time]

11:00AM – 12:00PM – Subway lunch [1:00 eat time]

12:00 – 12:30PM – Drive to the vicinity of Flemingsburg, KY [0:30 drive time]

12:30 – 2:30PM – Stop 2: Roadcut exposing the Grant Lake Formation [2:00 time spent]

2:30 – 4:00PM – Drive back to Covington, KY [1:30 drive time]


Keynote Talk

FRIDAY, JUNE 3RD @ 7pm, meet in Reikert Auditorium within CMC’s Union Terminal

Dr. Tony Martin of Emory University in Atlanta, GA, will be our keynote speaker on the evening of Friday, June 3.  The lecture will be open to the public, and will take place in the Reikert Auditorium within the Cincinnati Museum Center’s Union Terminal.  The title of Tony’s talk is “Tracing our way to discovery: cooperation between professional and amateur paleontologists in ichnology and more.”  See more details about the talk on the CMC website.

Please note:

-This evening is also the museum’s designated “Free Friday” event, so there will be crowds!  If at all possible, please plan to carpool and arrive a bit early.

-A parking fee of $5-$10 per car will be in effect on Friday evening at Union Terminal.

-Once you arrive, enter the Union Terminal rotunda and tell a greeter that you are here for the Insights Lecture. You will then be shown the way to the auditorium.

-After the lecture, we will tour the museum’s Ordovician Hall. [Please be patient as we will have to negotiate the crowds.]



Saturday Events

SATURDAY, JUNE 4TH @ 8:30am – 8:30pm, meet at CMC’s Geier Collections & Research Center

8:30 – 9:00AM – Check-in and coffee & donuts; hang posters in Lower Hall

9:00AM – Welcome & Introduction

9:15AM – Dr. Carl Brett’s talk on the Kope through Maysville Formations

10:00AM – Dr. Alycia Stigall’s talk on the Richmondian Stage

10:45AM – Break

11:00AM – Jack Kallmeyer’s talk on a new crinoid species, Glyptocrinus nodosus

11:45AM – Pizza lunch & poster presentations

NOTE: Poster session will take place in the Lower Hall. No food or drink allowed in this area!

1:00 – 2:30PM – Collections tours

2:30 – 4:30PM – Breakout sessions

SESSION 1: Incorporating paleontology into K-12 education

Leaders: Drs. Alycia Stigall & Christina O’Malley

Lesson planning brainstorming session

SESSION 2: eMuseum brainstorming & community feedback

Leaders: Drs. Bruce MacFadden & Ronny Leder

SESSION 3: Biostratinomy and Taphonomy

Leaders: Drs. Ben Dattilo & Carl Brett

4:30 – 4:45PM – Report back to entire group on breakout session discussions

4:45 – 5:00PM – Break

5:00 – 7:00PM – Break for dinner [BBQ Dinner at Geier Center; cost is $20 cash per person]

7:00 – 8:00PM – Townhall meeting with Paleontological Society officers

8:00 – 8:30PM – Wrap Up & Concluding Comments


Mini Conference Field Trip #2

SUNDAY, JUNE 5TH @ 6am – 5pm, meet at Radisson Hotel

Field trip to western half of Cincinnati Arch:

6:00 – 6:30 AM – Coffee & donuts in front of the Radisson hotel; arrange carpool groups

6:30 – 6:40 AM – Everybody drives to the Kroger on Dixie Highway so that van riders and non-driving carpoolers can park their vehicles for free!

Kroger address: 2150 Dixie Highway, Fort Mitchell, KY 41017

[click map for Google driving directions]

kroger map

6:40 – 7:30AM – Drive to Vevay, IN [1:00 drive time]

7:30 – 10:00AM – Stop 1: Roadcut(s) exposing Maysvillian strata [2:30 stop time]

10:00 – 10:30AM – Drive to Madison, IN [0:30 drive time]

10:30AM – 12:00PM – Stop 2: Roadcut exposing Richmondian and Silurian strata [1:30 stop time]

12:00 – 1:00 – Riverfront lunch in Madison, IN [1:00 eat time]

1:00 – 02:00 – Drive to Saint Leon, IN [1:00 drive time]

2:00 – 4:30PM – Stop 3: Roadcut exposing Richmondian strata [2:30 stop time]

4:30 – 5:30PM – Drive back to Covington, KY [0:45 – 1:00 drive time]



Field Trip Considerations


We have four 12-passenger vans, with approximately 40 seats available, for use on the field trips. We don’t want to waste space in the rented vans; therefore, if not all seats are filled, we may ask you to park your car and ride with us in the vans.

We have a strict limit on the number of additional cars that may trail the vans during the field trips!  Only 5 additional cars are permitted to follow the vans on Friday and on Sunday. CARPOOLING WILL BE NECESSARY. Please plan accordingly.

Important Notes

– A certain amount of climbing / crawling will be required.

– Collecting will NOT require digging; everything is surface-collected.

– Fossils in these areas are relatively small, so patience and persistence are virtues!

– Exposures will be at roadcuts, so traffic may be problematic when crossing highways and other roads.

– Rocks can be loose & sharp; please be aware of rock falls and other hazards.

– These trips will run rain or shine! If it rains, that means muddy and slippery conditions.

– Baggies for collecting will be provided.

– First aid kits will be available, as well as several CPR/First Aid certified folks in case of emergency.

– Parents are responsible for child safety during the trips.

What to Bring

– After the Friday field trip, many folks won’t have the opportunity to get showered/cleaned up before heading to dinner and the keynote talk that evening.  We highly recommend that you bring a backpack with a change of clothes, deodorant, etc., for quick clean up in a restroom!

– Must Haves: Water bottle; hat; sunblock; rain gear (poncho or rain coat); field notebook OR paper & pencil; work gloves (garden gloves are fine); hand lens

– Additional helpful accessories: Safety glasses; GPS unit; knee pads; sturdy boots; rock hammer (as a climbing aid); safety whistle; permanent marker for labeling collection baggies


– Lunch will be provided on the field trips (Subway sandwiches).

– If you indicated that you would bring your own lunch on the field trips, don’t forget to bring it!

– We will have some other snacks available: fruit, granola bars, etc.

– Vegetarian and other food needs MUST have been indicated on the registration form.


Notes for university students and K-12 educator attendees

Through sponsorship from the Paleontological Society, we are glad to be providing travel scholarships for five university paleontology students and five K-12 educators.  The ten travel scholarship recipients were selected from over twenty applications that were received by the deadline of April 6.

– Students are expected to present a poster on their paleontological research or interests.  Educators and other conference attendees are welcome to present posters as well.

– K-12 educators are expected to participate in the K-12 breakout session on Saturday afternoon (see schedule above).


Regarding the poster presentations:

– Posters can be up to 3×4 ft. in size

– Projects are up to the presenter, as long as it pertains to your area of paleontological research/interest

– Posters should include a title, authors, institutional affiliations, as well as the following sections where applicable – introduction, methods, results, discussion, any literature cited, and acknowledgements

– Posters need to be broadly accessible to a wide audience of professionals, amateurs, students, K-12 teachers, and interested public

– Posters will need to be up by 9am on Saturday, June 4, and come down before 6pm that day

– Presenters should be at their posters to answer questions during the lunch hour on Saturday (11:45am – 1:00pm)

The poster session will take place in the Lower Hall of the Geier Collections & Research Center. Note that no food or drinks are allowed in this area.


Maps & Nearby Restaurants

Although not everyone is staying at the Radisson Cincinnati Riverfront hotel, it is our “home base” for the mini-conference and therefore the reference point for directions.  The hotel’s address is 668 West 5th St., Covington, KY, 41011.  Below are a series of maps and other travel-related info that you might find useful.

Directions – Parking for field trip days

For Friday’s and Sunday’s field trips, you need to meet us at the Radisson hotel and then we will all drive to the Kroger on Dixie Highway to park the van rider and non-driving carpooler vehicles for free.

Kroger address: 2150 Dixie Highway, Fort Mitchell, KY 41017

[click map for Google driving directions]

kroger map

Directions – Radisson hotel to CMC’s Union Terminal

For Friday night’s lecture, you need to go to the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal.

[click map for Google directions]

fri directions

Directions – Radisson hotel to CMC’s Geier Collections & Research Center

For Saturday’s events, you need to go to the Cincinnati Museum Center’s research/collections building which is off from the Union Terminal campus.

[click map for Google directions]

geier directions

Map of Nearby Restaurants

Please note that, due to safety concerns, it is NOT recommended that you walk around downtown Cincinnati in search of restaurants.

[click map for Google listing]

restaurants map

Public Transportation

Both Covington, KY, and Cincinnati, OH, offer public transportation.  Please refer to the links below for more details.

Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky

Southwest Ohio Metro




Questions or concerns?

Please email the FOSSIL Project Coordinator, Eleanor Gardner, at [email protected]


President of the Dry Dredgers, Jack Kallmeyer, at [email protected]