Society for Vertebrate Paleontology’s Ask a Paleontologist

Find a bone while digging in your backyard? Interested in how to become a paleontologist? Email us with your questions, pictures of fossils etc. and we’ll be happy to help!

Dr. Barbara Shaw, Colorado State University, Dr. Jeb Bevers, Yavapai College, Dr. Jerry Smith, University of Michigan, Dr. Tom Holtz, University of Maryland, Lisa Herzog, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, and Lee Hall, Museum of the Rockies are standing by!

SVP’s Ask a Paleontologist page

Report Your Vertebrate Fossil Find
to the Bureau of Land Management

You can be involved in and contribute to today’s exciting advances in paleontology. Many museums and colleges offer opportunities for volunteers to study and work alongside trained professional paleontologists.

You can also help the BLM manage and protect these unique resources by simply reporting the location of any vertebrate fossils you find to the nearest BLM office. This way, land managers can alert professional paleontologists to ensure that  the bones are properly removed, studied, and preserved for everyone’s benefit.

Please do not attempt to remove them yourself. Important information may be lost, no matter how careful you might be. There are also serious penalties for unauthorized collection.


You can use the locality form at the link above to record helpful information about a site you’ve found. Don’t worry about filling in items that don’t apply or that you don’t know. GPS coordinates are very helpful, as are photos of your find. Thanks!

Tread Lightly’s Respect and Protect Campaign

Based in research, Respected Access is Open Access is an issue specific campaign aimed at protecting and enhancing access and opportunities by fostering a stronger sense of individual stewardship throughout the recreation community.

Tread Lightly! created this education and outreach campaign at the request of the Federal Lands Hunting, Fishing and Shooting Sports Roundtable. Strategic marketing and communications efforts are crucial in turning this public/private initiative into a full-fledged, systematic and persuasive communications campaign targeting explicit behaviors.

Click for more information.


National Fossil Day™

MISSION: National Fossil Day is a celebration organized by the National Park Service to promote public awareness and stewardship of fossils, as well as to foster a greater appreciation of their scientific and educational values.

Visit the National Fossil Day website for more information and planned events.

The Paleontology Portal

“This site is intended as a central resource on fossil preparation for anyone who has an interest in paleontology, from museum and laboratory professionals, to amateur collectors, to school and university students. If you are responsible for a fossil collection in an institution, have a private collection, are interested in the science of paleontology or about a career in the field, or just are curious how museums use and exhibit their fossil collections, this site is for you.”

The Association for Methods and Materials in Paleontology

AMMP was born through an evolution of decades of discussion and action targeted at the improvement of laboratory and field methods in vertebrate paleontology. Taking shape at the 2012 Fossil Preparation and Collection Symposium, AMMP received a name and a leadership council was formed.

Utah Geological Survey

The Utah Geological Survey is the lead agency in Utah state government regarding paleontological issues, and this agency also houses the Office of the State Paleontologist.