How can myFOSSIL benefit you?

No matter what your level of experience or knowledge is, myFOSSIL can be a valuable paleontological resource!

The myFOSSIL eMuseum is an excellent place to upload your personal fossil collection. Not sure how to get started? We have our YouTube playlist displayed below with short videos walking you though the steps of the upload process and how to best enter in your specimen data.

You can get help on identification through the What is it? Group or the What is it? Forum. Looking to request help more directly? We have a curated list of experts by geologic period, organism, and geographic location. Check it out by clicking here and tag in the people that may be able to help you!

The myFOSSIL eMuseum has several key features that may benefit your personal collection. By entering in your specimen data, the database can generate specimen labels for you and a spreadsheet (CSV) download, meaning you don’t have to hand write specimen labels and can get an up-to-date spreadsheet of your collection with the click of a button.

Do you have too many fossil specimens? If you are looking to downsize but want to make sure your specimens are used for education or research purposes we can help you there too! If you are interested in donating to a museum or institution scroll down the page to Specimen Donations. If you have specimens that may be lacking some important data about the locality or geologic context head to our forum Fossil Requests for K-12 Education, your specimens can still be valuable resources for teaching various aspects of science.

Looking for ways to interact with the paleontology community but have difficulties leaving your office? myFOSSIL is a great way to interact with collectors, students, educators, and avocational paleontologists in one space. Users are always looking for help with identification, collecting procedures, photography set ups, preparation techniques, and more! Add your name to our list of experts with what you are comfortable helping others with.

Join the community and lend your insight and expertise. You can easily document hours spent communicating with others, messages sent, groups joined, and friends made! You could even start a group surrounding your institution or local fossil assemblages!

Additionally, we are always looking for volunteer curators to help assess the quality of data input into the website and help users better their data collection, quality, and standards. This may be a useful venture for graduate students looking to work on their researching and curation skills. Reach out to one of the myFOSSIL eMuseum curators to figure out how to get started.

University of Florida GLY1150L students in Hogtown Creek sieving for fossils, photo by Joshua Dawson

Teaching a class related to paleontology? Do you have your students curate their finds from field trips? Join myFOSSIL! The students can upload their specimens, curate their data following museum standards, and interact with other users in the community. They can even print out specimen labels to go with their new fossil collection.

Read this blog post by Kyle Bostick who uses myFOSSIL in the undergraduate geology program at UF: myFOSSIL in Undergraduate Education.

Looking for lessons to incorporate into your K-16 classroom? Check out what has already been uploaded to myFOSSIL K-12 Resources. Request help or ideas through the Education and Outreach Group or the K-12 Fossils and Lesson Plans Forum!

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Students working in the collections at the Raymond Alf Museum of Paleontology have practiced database entry and data management skills through the myFOSSIL eMuseum. Want to read about how successful this was? Read this blog post by Gabriel-Philip Santos the collections manager that trained these students:  Using myFOSSIL to Teach Students Databasing.

Amateur George Stone of Carterville, Illinois donated his museum-quality trilobites to the University of Tennessee at Martin fossil collection
Amateur George Stone of Carterville, Illinois donated his museum-quality trilobites to the University of Tennessee at Martin fossil collection

Museum specialists, are you looking to grow your collection? Users on myFOSSIL can indicate if they are interested or curious about donating their personal specimens. You can search through the database to identify people to reach out to and discuss long-term care options for their specimens. Individual specimens will have a separate location for users to mark if they are interested in potential donation. Concerned? Set up a Fossil Estate Plan with the collector! Members of our community detailed an example in this newsletter post: Dealing with a Fossil Estate.