Monday, May 10, 2021



Fossils of the Black Belt 21 (2021) — a Hands-on Field Workshop

The Geological Survey of Alabama and the University of West Alabama take the lead in presenting Fossils of the Black Belt 21, the latest in a long-running series of annual field paleontology workshops for teachers. This year's workshop will focus on paleoecology and paleoenvironmental analysis, the science of understanding environments and living things of the distant past.

The workshop will be in two parts. In part one, Alabama paleontologists will present the geologic history of West Alabama, the origin and nature of the chalk, as well as methods and aims of paleoecology and paleoenvironmental analysis. These lectures will be prerecorded and delivered via Zoom. They will be viewable beginning a few days before the field workshop, and you can watch them whenever it's convenient. The field workshop will take place on Tuesday October 12 on a large chalk outcrop near Selma. You will divide into groups and, by examining the chalk and its fossils, develop hypotheses about the origin of the chalk. This field activity will be conducted using social distancing, and masks will be required. Depending on the nature of the health crisis at that time, and the possibility of severe weather, the field activity may need to be canceled. If this happens, we will mail the guidebook, Jim Lacefield's book, and all other handouts, to registrants. The Zoom lectures will be provided even if the field workshop is canceled.

We will meet at Harrell Station, a productive Cretaceous fossil site on private land near Selma, Alabama. The workshop will take place on Tuesday, October 12 2021. The cost is $28 for this one-day workshop. This includes lunch and a vast array of science-education goodies, including the famed book by Jim Lacefield, Lost Worlds in Alabama Rocks (a $25 value).

To register, please contact Dr. David Kopaska-Merkel, 205-246-9346,


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