by Shari Ellis
The FOSSIL Project is seeking newsletter articles of all types from the community, but especially those for our “Club Corner” section.
Did you know there are around 60 organized groups of fossil collectors and hobbyists across the U.S.? These groups range from loosely organized social organizations to legally recognized 501(c)3 corporations. The FOSSIL Project seeks to highlight one of these clubs or societies in each issue of its newsletter and is soliciting articles written by group members to be included in upcoming issues. Our goal is to increase the visibility of these organizations among the paleontological community and beyond.
The FOSSIL Newsletter is a great way for your organization to publicize its contributions to your local community and to science! Sharing news about your field trips and other successful programs might inspire other clubs to try the same. By virtue of being in the newsletter, your organization becomes easier to find by potential new members–including youth and their families who may not be familiar with the long-standing amateur tradition in paleontology–or travelers visiting your area.
The articles on clubs and societies published so far have been fascinating! We have learned that:
- at least one organization has been in existence since the 1940s
- many have scholarship funds for students
- others collect fossils to donate to schools and other organizations that provide programs for children
- some hold special programs for children
- some have close relationships with museums or universities while others are independent organizations, and still others operate their own centers and sites
- many sponsor collecting field trips
- some club members have new taxa named after them
- some groups have close ties with other clubs
- they often assist local museums and institutions with fossil excavations
- some have their own “identification” squads
- some started at universities and some in people’s backyards
No club or organization is too small or casual to be included in the newsletter! Don’t like to write? No problem–we have excellent editors on our team who can help you polish your article! All we need is your story and a few images of your group in action. If you are interested in providing an article about your organization, please contact Eleanor Gardner, Project Coordinator, at [email protected].
And, while we are on the topic, we are also always looking for suggestions from the community about cool fossils or fossil mysteries, successful education and outreach programs, exhibitions, festivals and other events, and individuals to highlight in both the professional and amateur categories. The first amateur we wrote about–Zack Deyo–was nominated by his club president so don’t be shy!