News from the Paleontological Society, Winter 2017

By Bruce MacFadden, President-elect

We are pleased to announce that after the first year of offering a new amateur/avocational membership category, about 85 individuals have signed up as PS members. We hope to continue to increase benefits and representation to make the PS more inclusive and attractive for fossil enthusiasts.

Every year the PS has a series of awards and grants, some of which might be of interest to the amateur fossil community:

Strimple Award

The Strimple Award recognizes outstanding achievement in paleontology by amateurs (someone who does not make a living full-time from paleontology). Contributions may be an outstanding record of research and publication, making outstanding collections, safeguarding unique paleontological materials through public service, teaching activities in the area of paleontology, and collaborations with others working in paleontology. Anyone, including other amateurs, may make a nomination. Nominators do not have to be members of the Paleontological Society.

PS Outreach and Education Grants

The Paleontological Society works to increase the public’s awareness and understanding of paleontology by enhancing formal and informal educational opportunities. The Paleontological Society Outreach and Education Grants provides support to our members for programs and activities involving educational outreach and community engagement.

The application deadline for the Strimple Award is 1 February 2018 and the deadline for the Outreach and Education Grants is 2 March 2018. For more information see:

RISE Program

There is increasing awareness within professional societies about the importance of diversity among its membership, equality in terms of opportunity, and inclusiveness—feeling welcome and part of the professional community. In 2017 the Geological Society of America (GSA) started a program called RISE (Respectful, Inclusive, Scientific, Events) that seeks to develop and maintain affirming environments at professional meetings, and other sponsored activities (e.g., field trips). Each of the PS presidents (current, elect, and past) took the RISE training before the GSA Annual Meeting in Seattle in October 2017. We look forward to continuing the awareness of, and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusiveness to broaden representation as part of our culture within the PS.

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