Thank you Eleanor for a wonderful webinar series. I am glad for your email on how to become certified by listening to the webinars online and making a comment here on each webinar.
I have watched each webinar online and here are my comments and questions:
Session 1 (Fossil Collecting): Nice to hear how important how amateur paleontologist is to donated fossils. I am most appreciative to joining fossil clubs. I am a member of the Delaware Valley Paleontological Society and Penn Dixie. This is how I found out about this project. Maine does not have many fossils but has an excellent publication Maine’s Fossil Record by Lisa Churchill-Dickson available from the Maine Geological Survey. http://www.maine.gov/dacf/mgs/explore/fossils/fossil-record.htm
I used to start my research on fossils sites at : http://www.fossilsites.com/STATES/ but this website is no longer available. Do people know where to find these state lists?
The resources mentioned by Jay are very good. Good to know about the Neophyte guide to vertebrate fossils.
I will join the fossil forum soon as well.
Session#2 (Field notes 101): This webinar was excellent. I have found Mancos app very useful and an amazing resource for identifying the formation for any site. This webinar is essential for the serious paleontologist.
Session#3 (Excavating Fossils): This webinar was well organized and a great resource to share with students. It was good to focus on ethics as well as collecting law. The case studies were a good way to handle this diverse topic. I work mostly with invertebrates, so it was good to see examples with a vertebrate example. It would be good to have an invertebrate case study.
Session #4 (Fossil Preparation): I like the progression of tools from simple to more complex tools. You gave enough details so that each method could be implemented. In doing a cast do not forget to mention spraying the specimen and mold with release solution. If you forget this step (from experience) you can have a big mess and ruin either the specimen or the mold. Great information on cataloguing and storage. I was not aware of the problem of storing fossils in wood. I am also now using B-72 to seal labels. The links were most useful.
This series and project has been most helpful to developing my skills as an amateur and improving my practices to a much higher level. Thank you.
Jim Chandler, Bryant Pond, ME
It would be most helpful in a future video or webinar to do one on fossil identification and resources for identification.