Paleontological Society Outreach and Education Grant

The Paleontological Society Outreach and Education Grant provides support to our members for programs and activities involving educational out reach and community engagement. Potential fundable projects include, but are not limited to, field trips to fossil sites and/or museums for teachers and pre-college students, educator training and curriculum development, participation in local community initiatives, development of educational materials for classroom use, and website or other online material development.

The subject matter covered by outreach proposals may fall within any sub-discipline of paleontology/paleobiology. Particularly encouraged are projects that (1) include opportunities for undergraduate students to become involved in paleontological outreach to younger students or the public, (2) create new educational “apps” or other technologies, and/or (3) produce educational materials that could be distributed more widely through the PS website.

Prior recipients of a PS Outreach and Education Grant must wait one year before being eligible to submit another application (e.g., a 2016 grant recipient must wait until 2018 to submit another proposal). Prior recipients must also submit their required final report on the funded project before being eligible to apply for a second award.

Amount of Grant

The Paleontological Society will issue grants of up to $2,500 each; the number of awards to be made is flexible.

Deadline: March 2nd
Recipients will be notified May 4th
Grantees are required to submit a follow-up project report by March of the next year

Who May Apply?

Applicants must be members of the Paleontological Society at the time of application. Graduate student applicants should provide documentation of a professional member’s willingness to serve as advisor for the project.

How to Apply:

Applications for a PS Outreach and Education Grant must include:

1. A project proposal, three to five pages in length, which must include:

  • a project title
  • names and contact addresses of participating personnel
  • the proposer’s Paleontological Society Member Number
  • a brief synopsis of the project
  • target audience (e.g., grade level, in-service teachers, the public)
  • project description
  • goals of the project
  • expected outcomes (including how they will be assessed)
  • timeline
  • a discussion of the significance to the science education community.

2. A detailed, itemized budget with justification of the uses of the PS Education & Outreach funds. We cannot pay overhead or indirect costs. Matching funds from other sources are strongly encouraged.
3. A one page CV for each of the project personnel.

All applications must be submitted electronically by completing and submitting this form. The cover sheet, research proposal, and CV must be sent in one PDF file as a form attachment.

PS Education and Outreach Coordinator

Dr. Rowan Lockwood
Professor of Geology
The College of William and Mary
[email protected]

Review Process

Grantees will be selected by a subcommittee of the Paleontological Society’s Education & Outreach Committee. Evaluation criteria include the goals, significance, feasibility, creativity, and likely impact of the project, and the soundness of the budget. Recipients will be notified by May 4.

Grant Award Procedures

Grant awards can be made directly to individuals or to institutions. Please be advised that if a grantee opts to receive the funds directly, the Paleontological Society is required to issue an IRS 1099 form at the end of the calendar year. The grant funds may or may not be taxable; grantees must make that determination themselves. The Society cannot offer tax advice. Grantees are required to submit a follow-up project report by March 2020 detailing the project’s outcomes. Details on the reporting requirements will be sent to all grantees.


PS Outreach and Education Grant Awardees for 2019

Nina L. Baghai-Riding (Delta State): Improving scientific education in the Mississippi Delta through paleontology

Matthew Borths (Duke Lemur Center, Duke University): Making the primate family tree tangible

Diana Elizabeth Fernández (Departamento de Ciencias Geológicas, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires): It’s popcorn time!: educational videos with activities for understanding evolution and paleontological heritage in high school

Nigel Hughes (University of California Riverside): Trilobite fossils on mountain tops: a paleontological outreach project in Myanmar

Carlos Martinez-Perez (University of Valencia): The Hospital’s fossil

Gregory J. Smith (Vanderbilt University): Fossil finders at Fort Negley: Discovery of fossils and Nashville’s ancient environments by families and elementary school students

Ellen Thomas (Wesleyan University): Using natural history collections in liberal arts education: a new look at an old mosasaur

Lisa White (UC Museum of Paleontology, University of California Berkeley): 3D digitization of coastal geology for scientific study, public outreach, and K-12 education


PS Outreach and Education Grant Awardees for 2018

To further its mission of promoting the science of paleontology, the Paleontological Society has committed resources to provide support to our members for community engagement and educational outreach. These activities are critical to capturing the imaginations of children and encouraging support for our field among the public.

The Paleontological Society is pleased to announce the 2018 recipients of PS Outreach and Education Grants:

Adriane R. Lam, Jennifer E. Bauer (University of Massachusetts Amherst, The University of Tennessee Knoxville): Time Scavengers: A website to educate the public about climate change and evolution and conduct research into best education and outreach practices

Jacalyn M. Wittmer, Naomi Wasserman (State University of New York at Geneseo, University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign): Digging into Dinosaur Behavior: Development of an interdisciplinary and field-based dinosaur dig site for PreK-8 education and outreach at the Orpheum Children’s Science Museum

Jocelyn A. Sessa, Rosie L. Oakes, Jacqueline Genovesi (Academy of Natural Sciences, Drexel University): Summer was made for adventure: paleontological and geological field experience for minority high school girls

Larry Taylor, Lisa White (University of California Museum of Paleontology): Museum Outreach to Local Community Colleges as a Means of Increasing Diverse Students’ Access to Paleontology

Laura Vietti, Tyler Kerr (University of Wyoming Geological Museum): Augmenting the Reality of Wyoming’s Rich Fossil Record

Marta Toran, Andrew Heckert (Appalachian State University): “Deep Time Toolbox” Workshop for Elementary School Teachers in Rural North Carolina

Mary Droser, Kylie Piper (University of California Riverside): Ediacara Learning Center: Bringing Ediacara Fossils to the Local Communities

Ryan J. Haupt, Juliana K. Olsson, and John P. Giroir (Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, National Youth Science Camp): Wild and Wonderful Fossil Hunting Field Trip for the Delegates of the National Youth Science Camp: Developing a Comprehensive and Repeatable Program to Showcase Appalachian Earth Science to Recent High School Graduates

Ryan Ridder, Eleanor Gardner (KU Natural History Museum, University of Kansas): Wanderers Through Time: A “Council’s Own” Badge for Girls Scouts of Northeast Kansas / Northwest Missouri


PS Outreach and Education Grant Awardees for 2017

To further its mission of promoting the science of paleontology, the Paleontological Society has committed resources to provide support to our members for community engagement and educational outreach. These activities are critical to capturing the imaginations of children and encouraging support for our field among the public.

The Paleontological Society is pleased to announce the 2017 recipients of PS Outreach and Education Grants:

Austin Hendy, Katy Estes-Smargiassi, Lindsay Walker, and Molly Porter (Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County): PROJECT PALEO: Marine Invertebrate Fossils of Southern California

Ed Robeck (American Geosciences Institute): Paleontology Play Space: Using technology to put the public in the paleontological picture

Gregory Wilson (Burke Museum): The Discoveries in Geosciences (DIG) Field School Helping teachers inspire students with real science in the classroom

Haley O’Brien, Paul M. Gignac, and Holly N. Woodward Ballard (Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences): Perceived Contrasts: A STE(A)M Partnership Between Oklahoma: Paleontologists, Anatomists, and Artists

Jason Schein, Rick Schmidt, Jason Poole, Brittany Malinowski, Laura Rooney (Bighorn Basin Paleontological Institute and Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University): Dinosaur Treasures In Our Backyard

Jordan Bestwick and Christopher Nedza (University of Leicester): What did it eat?: Presenting quantitative dietary analysis in palaeobiology to a general audience at the Yorkshire Fossil Festival, UK

Kerry Howard (University of Nevada, Reno): Using 3D Maker’s Space Equipment to Create Nevada Fossil Replicas for Hands–‐on Investigations

Trisha Smrecak, Maggie Johnston, and Ashley Allen (McDowell Environmental Center): Who Walked Where When? A Place-Based, Deep Time Curriculum for the Minkin Paleozoic
Footprint Site

Warren Allmon, Robert Ross, Don Duggan-Haas, Maureen Bickley, and Helaina Blume (Paleontological Research Institution): Daring to Dig: Women in Paleontology Education Materials

Education and Outreach Grant Awardees for 2016
The Paleontological Society is pleased to announce the 2016 recipients of PS Outreach and Education Grants:

Florida Fossil Hunters club and the FOSSIL Project team, Women in Paleontology Day.

Scott Schaefer, Milwaukee Area Technical College, Linking Lecture to Learning (L3): Cultivating Scientific Thinking in Urban Schools.


Education and Outreach Grant Awardees for 2015

EXTRILON, a Trilobite Experience to Understand Extinctions, for Everyone (Massimo Bernardi and Paolo Cocco, Museo delle Scienze, Trento, Italy)

Paleontology in Rural Schools: Distance Learning through Virtual Field Trips at the University of Nebraska State Museum (Victoria Chraibi, Kathleen French, and Annie Mumgaard, University of Nebraska-Lincoln)

The Bearded Lady Project Visits the PaleoFire Lab and Lyme Regis (Ellen Currano and Claire Belcher, The Bearded Lady Project and University of Exeter)

Exploring Invisible Worlds with Elementary Students Using Homemade Microscopes (Andrew Czaja, University of Cincinnati)

Oklahoma Educators Evolve! Addressing Science Education Issues in Oklahoma Schools: A Hands-On Learning Outreach Project (Joseph Frederickson, Janessa Doucette-Frederickson, and Joshua Cohen, University of Oklahoma)

Sternberg Museum Paleontology Camps and the Kansas Fossil Map: Teaching Principles of Basic Paleontology Fieldwork and Research Skills Using Outdoor Science Lessons and Fossil Geospatial Data (David Levering, Sternberg Museum, Fort Hays State University)

Trammel Fossil Park, Sharonville, Ohio: A Unique Resource for Field-Based Education in Paleontology (David Meyer and Brenda Hunda, University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Museum)

Bringing the Pleistocene Megafauna into the Middle School and High School Science Classroom (Stephen Rowland, University of Nevada-Las Vegas)


Education and Outreach Grant Awardees for 2014

David Fastovsky and David Upegui
(University of Rhode Island and Central Falls High School)
“Phylogenetic Systematics: Getting Relationships Right in High School”
This project will develop and pilot a hands-on and specimen-based approach to teaching phylogenetic systematics in an underserved high school life science class.

Randall Irmis, Jessica Seppi, Natalie Toth, and Matt Whittaker
(Natural History Museum of Utah)
“ROCKS – Real Opportunities to Connect Kids with Scientists”
Randall and his team will connect with 4th graders in a rural Utah school by developing online videos on paleontology for the kids to view, followed by live-Skype sessions with museum scientists, and culminating in the class visiting the museum and meeting the scientists in person.

Benjamin Kotrc and Beaudry Kock
(Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Better World Coding)
“Earth in Sixty Seconds: An iOS-based game about geological time and the history of life on Earth”
Ben and Beaudry are developing an iPad game in which contestants must accurately place key events in life’s history onto a geologic time scale.

Ellen Thomas, Pincelli Hull, and Andrea Motto
(Yale University and Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History)
“Foraminifera and Changing Cenozoic Climate”
Yale undergraduates will work with New Haven public high school students to create an interactive science cart for the Peabody Museum that explores the use of microfossils like foraminifera to reconstruct ancient climates.

Christy Visaggi
(Georgia State University)
“Mapping Georgia Through Deep Time: Exploring Fossils and the History of Life using Place-Based Learning in K-12”
Christy will be delivering a one-week summer workshop for K-12 teachers in Atlanta, with a focus on an integrative place-based approach to learning about the paleontology of Georgia.

Jory Weintraub
(National Evolutionary Synthesis Center)
“SACNAS field trip to the Page Museum and La Brea Tar Pits”
The annual SACNAS (Society for Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science) conference takes place in Los Angeles in October 2014. Jory will be taking 25 undergraduate students attending SACNAS to the Page Museum for a behind-the-scenes tour of the museum and tar pits and discussion of careers in paleontology with museum staff.