FOSSIL Project Updates Fall 2018

By Sadie Mills

myFOSSIL Mobile App

The myFOSSIL app

In August, FOSSIL team members joined students, staff, and volunteers from the Florida Museum on a field expedition to the Nebraska Badlands. In addition to searching for vertebrate fossils from the Eocene-Oligocene transition (approximate 34 million years ago), team members field-tested the myFOSSIL mobile app. You can see some of the great photo uploads and fossil finds here: https://www.myfossil.org/groups/nebraska-badlands/

We are pleased to announce that the myFOSSIL mobile app is now available for download in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store! Though we still have some bugs to work out, we are excited to have the public begin using this new paleontological tool. Want to learn more about the app and try it out yourself? Visit https://www.myfossil.org/resources/mobile-app/ for details.

Public Outreach

FOSSIL team members have enjoyed participating in several paleontology-focused public outreach events in Gainesville and in neighboring communities.

In August, FOSSIL assisted with the Pop-Up Museum: Megalodon, an outreach event focused on separating fact from fiction about the famous ancient sharks. Hosted by the Florida Museum, this event was held outside a local theater showing the newly released movie The Meg. Staff and students from the museum’s International Shark Attack File and Department of Vertebrate Paleontology also participated.

The Pop-Up-Museum at the opening of “The Meg”

Next, in September, FOSSIL participated in the Florida Museum’s National Fossil Day Celebration timed with the grand opening of the museum’s new exhibit: Permian Monsters. Along with museum paleontologists and Florida fossil clubs, FOSSIL helped museum visitors explore life in the past.

National Fossil Day celebration at the Florida Museum

Finally, in October, FOSSIL teamed up with the Florida Museum’s Department of Vertebrate Paleontology to host a pop-up museum at the North Central Florida Peanut Festival in Williston, Florida. At this event, festival-goers learned about fossil elephant species, may of which were found locally in Levy County.

Pop-Up-Museum on Fossil Elephants

Congratulations Dr. Lisa Lundgren!

This October, Lisa successfully defended her dissertation on myFOSSIL’s social paleontology community. After earning her PhD, Lisa will be moving on to a postdoctoral associate position at NC State University, where she will be studying the educational outcomes of the Crowd the Tap citizen science project. We appreciate all that Lisa has contributed to the project over the years, and wish her the best of luck in her new role!

Upcoming Activities

This November, FOSSIL will head to the Geological Society of America’s annual meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana. FOSSIL team members Jeanette Pirlo, Rich Bex, and Lisa Lundgren will present on work they’ve done through the project. FOSSIL will also host an outreach booth with nearby fossil club, the Cincinnati Dry Dredgers. If you’ll be attending, please stop by to say hello!