FOSSIL Project Updates Spring 2019

By Jennifer Bauer & Sadie Mills

myFOSSIL Web-Page Updates

FOSSIL Project intern, Mary Jane Hughes, has been busy making our Destinations page more user friendly. She created large click through icons for our resources: Collecting Sites; Museums, Parks, and Attractions; Field Opportunities, Organizations and Societies; Professional Organizations and; Join the Discussion – which takes you to our Vacation Explorers group. Many of these pages now include an interactive map for you to easily access information in areas of your choosing.

FOSSIL Project postdoc, Jen Bauer, has updated our Publications page with our most recent publications and conference presentations. If you have recently presented and want us to add your conference presentation to the website please let us know and we can add it to our members’ section.

Mobile App 

We have had several new groups created since our last newsletter issue, including: Mollusc Mania, Astonishing Arthropods, Bookworms, What is it?, and Virginia and West Virginia Fossil Collecting. This issue we will feature the Bookworms group! This group is meant to share literature, websites, and other resources related to paleontology. So far there are 44 members and 18 posts. Do you have a favorite paleontology resource? Head to the Bookworms group to share it with the community!

Visit for details on how to get started on the myFOSSIL mobile app. 

Citizen Science Conference

FOSSIL Project graduate student, Rich Bex, will be attending the Citizen Science Conference (CitSci) March 13th-March 15th in Raleigh, NC. CitSci2019 is a conference that brings together researchers, practitioners, and participants from around the citizen science community to share their ideas and practices. Rich will be testing the myFOSSIL app with experts who are involved in a variety of Citizen Science projects. Their feedback will be used to improve the effectiveness of the myFOSSIL App.

Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education Conference

Rich Bex will also be attending the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE) 2019 Conference in Las Vegas, NV from March 18-22nd to present a paper about the usability of the myFOSSIL App. The study was conducted in two parts. Part one involved testing the app with high school students and part two included K-12 teachers. Findings from the study revealed that the App was perceived to be usable and users showed high satisfaction.

Southeastern Geological Society of America 

The FOSSIL Project has several accepted abstracts to The Southeastern Geological Society of America meeting  in Charleston, South Carolina on March 27-29th, 2019. The FOSSIL Project interns, Mary Jane Hughes and Sam Ocon, have been working hard on their posters that explain how we use of Instagram as an engaging educational tool. Their work dissects how to extract participation and engagement through Instagram posts and stories. MacKenzie Smith, a UF graduate student, will present on his work examining FOSSIL YouTube content and how to best understand the different materials presented on this social media platform. Fauve Wilson, a UF volunteer, will be sharing results from the shark teeth collected at the FOSSIL Belgrade event.

The abstracts and presentation times are available online, please click the title links below to learn more. If you are attending SE GSA please stop by our presentations to say hello!

  • Hughes, M.J., Ocon, S.B., Mills, S.M., Bauer, J.E., Crippen, K.J., Lundgren, L.M., Bex II, R.T., and MacFadden, B.J. 2019. Engaging in social paleontology: A case study of Instagram. Southeastern Geological Society of America Meeting, Abstracts with Programs, doi: 10.1130/abs/2019SE-327118
  • Ocon, S.B., Hughes, M.J., Mills, S.M., Bauer, J.E., Crippen, K.J., Lundgren, L.M., Bex II, R.T., and MacFadden, B.J. 2019. Measuring success: Evaluating paleontology Instagram stories. Southeastern Geological Society of America Meeting, Abstracts with Programs, doi: 10.1130/abs/2019SE-327109
  • Smith, M.A. 2019. Science Communication through Engaging and Educational Youtube Content. Southeastern Geological Society of America Meeting, Abstracts with Programs, doi: 10.1130/abs/2019SE-327357
  • Wilson, F., Perez, V.J., Magallanes, I., and MacFadden, B.J. 2019. Diversity and Paleoecology of Early Miocene Chondrichthyans from the Belgrade Quarry (Maysville, North Carolina). Southeastern Geological Society of America Meeting, Abstracts with Programs, doi: 10.1130/abs/2019SE-327185

North American Paleontological Convention 

The 11th North American Paleontological Convention (NAPC) will be held June 23 to June 27 in Riverside, California. The FOSSIL team will host a symposium summarizing the accomplishments of the FOSSIL project and will discuss the future of the social paleontology platform. This symposium will be split into four ‘theme’ blocks where we will have a 15 minute ‘spark’ to engage the session, a 15 minute panel discussion, and finally a 15 minute discussion with the entire room. Our themes are as follows: (1) Building the Community of Practice via Social Paleontology; (2) Community Connections: Strengthening Professional-Avocational Partnerships for the Future of Paleontology; (3) Accomplishments and Outcomes: Harnessing digital platforms and in-person events to foster community relationships and; (4) Future and Sustainability: myFOSSIL eMuseum and Mobile App.

FOSSIL and iDigBio are hosting workshop for local California K-12 educators called, “Digital Resources in Paleontology, Professional Development Workshop.” We are still looking for applicants for this free program, so if you have local contacts in California K-12 schools please send along the link! There is a stipend to aid in offsetting any travel expenses and/or pay for professional development credits.

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