Since our last news, there is much to report from the Paleontological Society (PS). In particular, as you likely know, in 2016 the PS instituted a new avocational member category. Since that time, more than 60 members have signed up as avocational members; this bodes well for the future. The PS has also added a member of the amateur/avocational community as an advisor to the PS Council. We are pleased to announce that Jayson Kowinsky of the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area and founder of The Fossil Guy web site has agreed to serve a two-year term. Jayson is otherwise known to members of myFOSSIL in several capacities, including as the first speaker in our 2016 webinar series, and as a presenter at GSA 2015 in South Carolina and 2016 in Pittsburgh, the latter where he also led a very successful field trip collecting Carboniferous plants. We are excited that Jayson has agreed to serve and we look forward to both his input and representation of the amateur fossil community.
Douglas S. Jones elected to be a PS Fellow
Dr. Douglas S. Jones, Director of the Florida Museum of Natural History, has been elected as a Fellow of the Paleontological Society. PS Fellows are recognized for their long-standing contributions to paleontology. Among his many contributions to the field of paleontology, Dr. Jones was elected for his pioneering work on sclerochronology (the study of incremental growth), as co-editor of the journal Paleobiology (2011-2015), and his national leadership in the natural history museum community. On the faculty at the University of Florida since 1979, Dr. Jones is also Curator of Invertebrate Paleontology. Upon learning of his election, Doug noted that: “it is indeed an honor, and I am most grateful to be recognized as a Fellow of the Paleontological Society.”
Dry Dredgers 75th Anniversary
On Friday, April 28th, 2017 the Dry Dredgers fossil club from the Cincinnati, Ohio area celebrated their 75th Anniversary. The Dry Dredgers are the oldest continuously-organized fossil club in the United States. About 115 members and guests attended the celebration at the meeting held on the campus of the University of Cincinnati. At that time, the PS President, Arnie Miller, awarded a PS Presidential Citation to the Dry Dredgers, which was accepted by their President, Jack Kallmeyer. Former Cincinnati Museum curator Nigel Hughes gave a keynote talk at the meeting about the importance of amateur and professional collaborations. About this celebration, Jack noted: “The meeting was a true tribute to the spirit of the Dry Dredgers organization with ten professional paleontologists, numerous graduate students, and members from age 7 to 90 in attendance.” I would like to thank the Dry Dredgers for their continued support of the FOSSIL project and for their leadership as a model club. It also was an honor for me to attend their celebration.
Ross Fargher receives the Strimple Award
Each year, the PS presents the Strimple Award for outstanding achievement in paleontology by an amateur (someone who does not make a living full-time from paleontology). The 2017 Strimple Award was presented to Ross Fargher of Nipern Station, South Australia. Nominator Mary Droser of the University of California-Riverside noted that Ross has been instrumental in helping to conserve the world-class localities on his property that produce the Ediacara Fauna from South Australia. The science of paleontology can only advance with the combined efforts of people interested in fossil protection and preservation. Ross Fargher is exemplary in this regard and, as such, richly deserves the recognition provided by the Strimple Award.