Avocational Paleontology

Everyone Has a Place in Paleontology
We embrace the pivotal role of avocational paleontologists in the advancement of our shared understanding of the Earth’s fossil record

What Is Avocational Paleontology?
Avocational paleontology is the non-professional study of fossils of every kind. Avocational paleontologists are often highly trained, deeply knowledgeable individuals whose professional work is in other fields, adults or children who have recently come to the study of paleontology, or anyone enthusiastic and interested in the study of fossils. We believe paleontology can and should be accessible to people at every level—and that collaboration benefits us all.

Resources for Avocational Paleontologists:





Want to Get More Involved in Paleontology?
The Paleontological Society has a host of opportunities for avocational paleontologists to increase their engagement with the field. We have a membership level for non-professional paleontologists, which offers opportunities to connect with likeminded people via events, forums, and more. Our publications highlight recent research in paleontology that sparks new ideas and deepens knowledge. We regular update resources like a Q&A page and a fossil identification service that provides opportunities for amateur paleontologists to serve the paleontology community as well as get all of their questions answered.

Become a Member of the Paleontological Society

As a member of the Paleontological Society at the avocational level, you receive resources, support, and opportunities to advance your understanding of paleontology. Through membership, you also are able to engage with a community of professional and amateur paleontologists, apply for grants and awards, and share your knowledge with others.

Avocational membership includes:
Access to every one of our journals as well as large collection of research papers
Members-only discounts on paleontology books
Grant and award opportunities
Discounted rates for annual meetings
Opportunities to participate in North American Paleontological conventions
And more!