October 22, 2020 

Dear Paleontological Society Members: 

The Paleontological Society has a large slate of events that will begin on Monday October 26 at GSA 2020 Online. We look forward to joining together virtually with our members around the globe! 

This year, all members are invited to attend Paleontological Society events (exclusive of the GSA technical sessions) free of charge. Just click on the Zoom links for the specific events below to join.  

The most celebratory of our events is the Paleontological Society Awards Ceremony. Please join us on Monday, October 26, noon to 1:30 pm EDT to honor our exceptional students, newly elected Fellows, and 2020 award recipients. Register early for this event here:

During the ceremony:

The Paleontological Society Medal will be presented to Susan Kidwell

Schuchert Award to Lee Hsiang Liow

Pojeta Award to Patricia Kelley

Strimple Award to Linda McCall


Immediately following the Awards Ceremony, please join in to *T64 Future Leaders in Paleontology – Monday October 26, 1:30-5:30

This is PS’s 2nd annual symposium dedicated to showcasing outstanding research by student members of the Paleontological Society, spanning all disciplines of paleontology. Fifteen presentations were selected for inclusion in this Future Leaders in Paleontology session. All presenters will be honored at the Paleontological Society Awards Ceremony and will be awarded a certificate to commemorate their participation, along with a cash prize of $100.

Discover more 2020 PS Technical Sessions
Technical Sessions 
PS Short Course
Our traditional Short Course is canceled for this year, but we will be back next year with the Paleobiology of Echinoderms scheduled for GSA 2021 in Portland, Oregon.
Non-Technical Sessions (GSA registration NOT required)
We’ve scheduled several non-technical events with GSA. The url for each event is listed in GSA’s
program, and here for you. Please join us!
Paleontological Society Awards Ceremony
Monday Oct. 26, 12-1:30pm EDT
Hosts: Bruce MacFadden and Bill DiMichele
Register early for this event here:
We won’t have a traditional banquet this year, but we certainly look forward to seeing everyone online
this year, and to congratulating our 2020 awardees in person in 2021.
Paleontological Society Town Hall Meeting *** please see detailed information at the end of this

Tuesday, Oct. 27, 12-1:30pm EDT
Host: Sandy Carlson, Governmental Affairs Committee Chair

Meeting ID: 968 8694 6402

Passcode: 970483
Paleontological Society Education and Outreach Committee
Wednesday, Oct. 28, 12-1:30 EDT
Host: Rowan Lockwood, Education and Outreach Committee Chair
Meeting ID: 965 6018 5947
Passcode: 370510
Paleontological Society Schuchert Talk and Student Social
Wednesday, Oct. 28, 5:30-8:00pm EDT
Hosts: Annaka Clement and Bridget Kelly, Student Representatives
Speaker: Dr. Jingmai O'Connor, 2019 Schuchert Award recipient
Meeting ID: 992 6989 4548
Passcode: 754852
Paleontological Society Mentors in Paleontology Careers Discussion
Thursday, Oct. 29, 12-1:30pm EDT
Host: Phoebe Cohen, Representative at Large
Please sign up for this event now so you can be paired with your preferred mentors.
Meeting ID: 968 0197 4347
Passcode: 518679
Paleontological Society Paleo X Mixer
Thursday, Oct. 29, 5:30-8:00pm
Hosts: Bridget Kelly and Annaka Clement, Student Representatives
Join us to connect with and support underrepresented groups in paleontology. All are welcome!
Meeting ID: 937 1711 6316
Passcode: 645860
Paleontological Society Welcome and Information Booth (GSA registration NOT required)
Tuesday, Oct. 27, 11am-3pm EDT
Wednesday, Oct. 28, 11am-3pm EDT
Thursday, Oct. 29, 11am-3pm EDT
Hosts: Phoebe Cohen, Representative at Large
Jon Korman, our PS Senior Manager, MCI USA
Our PS Student Volunteers
Yes, this is online too, and we look forward to seeing you there, virtually, so show us your favorite fossil
when you visit us online.
This will also be accessible though our Booth in the GSA virtual exhibit hall.
Meeting ID: 913 2048 8164
Passcode: 045487
Always remember that our PS Member Code of Conduct is in place because this IS PS, Inclusive and Safe Paleontological Society
Our new Paleontological Society website will be unveiled soon.
Check out our new online store! Support PS’s student grants and diversity & inclusion initiatives
with a new hoodie, face mask, t-shirt, or tote bag.
Stay safe, enjoy your research, and share your time with us during our PS-sponsored events
October 26-30 at GSA 2020 Online.

Claudia C. Johnson
PS Secretary
& Executive Committee Members
Bruce MacFadden, Bill DiMichele, Alycia Stigall and Arnie Miller
***Paleontological Society Town Hall Meeting. The Paleontological Society Governmental Affairs
Committee invites all Paleontological Society members to attend the Town Hall meeting on Tuesday,
October 27, 2020 from 12 noon to 1:30 pm EDT (Eastern Daylight Time), during the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting. Clicking on the link below will bring you into the Zoom meeting.
“The Future of Paleontological Collections: Physical and Digital”
Tuesday, Oct 27, 12-1:30pm EDT
Sandy Carlson, Chair of Government Affairs Committee, is in charge of this event
Event ID: 50891464481
Meeting ID: 968 8694 6402
Passcode: 970483
The importance of natural history collections of all types, specifically paleontological, and their
stewardship and maintenance has been a topic on the minds of many scientists this year – numerous
articles providing information and opinion have appeared in the professional and public scientific literature that have raised the awareness of collections and their role in scientific research more broadly. Increasing awareness among policy makers specifically is essential to generate funding necessary for adequate stewardship.
Issues surrounding collections were the primary focus of the (remote) 2020 Summer Geoscience Policy
Internship and following from that, the main topic of the Town Hall this year is “The Future of
Paleontological Collections: Physical and Digital.” This is clearly a topic of great interest and
relevance to all of us, whether we are field paleontologists or programmers. To start the conversation, we have listed a few talking points below. I encourage anyone to send me additional questions or issues they would like to discuss and I will add them to the list. PLEASE JOIN US IN THIS IMPORTANT DISCUSSION!
1. Should the PS craft a white paper to share with policy makers (federal, state, local), administrators,
and others that state the value of collections and the need for space and funding to maintain them
2. Is there a need for a PS document that establishes best practices (storage, funding, staffing,
accessibility) for collections of different sizes and different types?
3. Should there be an attempt from the Paleontological Society to gather together, organize, and/or
advertise in one place the great variety of different sets of digital data on collections that exist but may be difficult to locate or access? Should the PS attempt to establish minimal guidelines for digital data and metadata documentation of physical collections?
4. What role, if any, should the PS play in the stewardship of orphaned collections? Should it play a
more assertive role than it has up to this point?
5. Would a “collections clearinghouse” be useful to members? Could it facilitate new collections-based
One of the main items to discuss is the establishment (pending PS Council approval) of a new
page on the newly revised PS website – a members’ collections clearinghouse. This clearinghouse
would provide a central place for PS members to notify other members of fossil collections they have
made but are not able to study as they had originally intended, for many reasons (retirement, changing
jobs, changing interests, downsizing, etc.) and would like them to end up in the hands of those who would study them. These collections, many with detailed locality data, could be of use to students looking for material to begin to develop a research project, or to others who are not able to collect fossils on their own but would value having them to work on.