Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Paleontology Field Workshop for Teachers

Field Workshop — Paleontology of the Black Belt of Alabama

The Geological Survey of Alabama, the University of West Alabama, Discovering Alabama, the Alabama Geological Society, and the Birmingham Paleontological Society have collaborated for 20 years on an annual one-day field workshop in paleontology. This workshop is specifically aimed at K-12 teachers, but other kinds of educators are welcome to participate. The workshop is held on a Tuesday in October (the dry season) at a privately owned large fossil-rich outcrop, to which we have access for this purpose.

The Black Belt is a swath across central Alabama, named for its rich soil.

Last year, we focused on studying evidence of interactions among ancient organisms. This year, our focus will be using fossils to understand the stratigraphy, the layering of different kinds of rocks, in the field area.

Here are some photographs from past expeditions. We always find many kinds of fossils. In the past, these have included two pterosaurs, a brittle star, a mosasaur jaw, and a sea turtle shell.

At the bottom, is a registration form. We hope you will join us this coming fall!

Scenery not to be sneezed at.

A fish vertebra just lying on the ground waiting to be picked up.

Conversations in the field.

Shark teeth from many species can be found here.

As well as many other things.


All kinds of teeth.

Oysters and other kinds of shells are common.

All kinds of free publications for teachers to take home. Lunch and snacks are provided. We will help you identify the fossils that you find. You get to take them home, unless you find something truly remarkable. Those specimens go into the museum, with you listed as the collector.

Use this form to register, or email me at

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