by Jack Kallmeyer (@jkallmeyer)
On June 22 through June 28 I was able to attend the NAPC 2019 conference in Riverside, California thanks to support from the FOSSIL Project. My involvement with NAPC was twofold: organizer Nigel Hughes asked me to chair a symposium illustrating Amateur/Professional collaboration and I was also involved as a presenter in the FOSSIL Project session.
My theme session titled, “Two to tango: amateur-professional interactions in advancing paleontological knowledge,” was co-chaired by Professor Emeritus David Meyer from the University of Cincinnati. One of my tasks was to invite both amateurs and professionals to be presenters. Naturally, I asked a number of people from my Dry Dredgers organization but thanks to the FOSSIL Project, I was able to enlist aid from the many contacts I have made through my association with this group. My FOSSIL Project friends also suggested people outside of my list whom I had not previously known. Filling our session would have been much more difficult had it not been for my contacts within FOSSIL. Because of these connections, our symposium extended beyond the original estimated half day into the afternoon. FOSSIL had had a similar symposium at the regional GSA in Pittsburgh in 2017 and we were mostly presenting to our own core group. At NAPC, however, we had upwards of 60 people in attendance at many presentations. NAPC organizer Nigel Hughes even mentioned our symposium in his opening remarks at the welcoming session for the entire conference.
One of the nicest things about NAPC and the FOSSIL Project connection was getting to see so many people again whom I had met through FOSSIL over the years.
Being involved with the FOSSIL Project since its beginnings has given me the confidence to do both poster sessions and oral presentations at professional conferences.