Southeastern Section - 65th Annual Meeting - 2016

Paper No. 19-3
Presentation Time: 2:10 PM


PEREZ, Victor J., Geological Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, GODFREY, Stephen J., Paleontology, Calvert Marine Museum, P.O. Box 97, Solomons, MD 20688 and NANCE, John, Paleontology, Calvert Marine Museum, P.O. Box 97, Solomons, MD 20688; Department of Geology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742,

The Calvert Marine Museum (CMM) opened in 1970. From its inception, there has been a strong relationship between amateur and professionals, especially in the realm of paleontology. In fact, the first curator of paleontology at CMM (Bill Dovel) was an amateur collector. In 1981, the Calvert Marine Museum Fossil Club was established, providing the local community with a way to contribute to the preservation of the local Miocene fossil resource; principally those preserved along Calvert Cliffs. Fostering amateur involvement and community collaboration is one of our goals and it continues to keep the Department of Paleontology vibrant. Amateurs contribute to fossil reconnaissance, excavation, preparation, identification, curation, and scientific publications; as well as participate in public outreach and education. Among the approximately 45,000 fossils housed at the CMM, 75% were collected and donated by avocational paleontologists. In turn, the CMM supports the local community through its fossil club and their quarterly publication, The Ecphora; by offering paleontology lectures open to the public, paleontology summer camps for middle school students, and paleontology internships for high school and college students. This synergy between amateurs and professionals could be a model for other institutions. Paleontology enthusiasts benefit from a professional partnership to provide guidance in best practices, whereas professionals are mutually enriched by the in-the-field experience and diligent exploratory efforts of amateurs to continue to expand our documentation of the fossil record. This kind of collaboration has worked exceedingly well at CMM because both parties recognize and respect the valuable contributions that their counterpart has to offer.