The Southeastern Geological Society of America Convention is coming soon.

On March 31- April 1 Columbia, SC will host the Southeastern Geological Society of America Convention.  This will be an exciting event which many of you might wish to attend.  As details emerge I will convey the information to you as to the price for attending this professional convention.  For any members who may wish to present a talk on research that you may be working on from an amateur standpoint,  or amateur contributions that you would like to share, there is an abstract deadline in a little over a month (December 15).  It is very important that amateur contributions be recognized, especially in this day and age when amateur collecting is under attack.  I am going to reprint a copy of an email that I received two days ago from Eleanor Gardner of myFOSSIL.  If you are interested or need any information, please contact me and I will try to find an answer to your questions.


Lee Cone

President Friends of the AFM

Copy of the email follows......................

Hello, everybody!

My fellow session organizers, Chuck Ferrara of the Southwest Florida Fossil Society and Linda McCall of the North Carolina Fossil Club, reminded me that we need to announce a call for abstracts for the FOSSIL theme session at the Southeastern Geological Society of America (SEGSA) meeting taking place in Columbia, SC, on March 31 – April 1, 2016.

                The FOSSIL theme session is entitled “Synergistic Paleontology: The FOSSIL Project and Amateur Contributions to the Field,” and we invite abstract submissions from both amateur/avocational and professional paleontologists.  Abstracts for proposed oral and poster presentations must be submitted by 11:59pm on December 15, 2015 using the following website form:  To submit for inclusion in the FOSSIL theme session, please select the “Theme Sessions” link and then, on the next page, select the link for session number 13.  Please note that, unless you are student, an abstract fee of $20 must be paid at the time of submission.  For info on writing abstracts, please read the section below marked with a bullet point.

                For those who may be unfamiliar with the Geological Society of America, it is a global professional geoscience society with a membership headcount of over 26,000 individuals in 115 countries.  The society hosts a national meeting each Fall where professional geoscientists (including paleontologists), students, and educators present original research findings in the form of oral and poster presentations.  (The FOSSIL Project team members actually just returned last week from national GSA 2015 which was hosted in Baltimore, MD!)  In North America, GSA has seven different regional sections, one of which is the Southeastern Section (SEGSA).  SEGSA is made up of the following states/areas: West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Puerto Rico, and 3 states in Mexico.  Each regional GSA section holds its own meeting, typically in the Spring each year.  The SEGSA meetings tend to draw around 2,000 attendees.  The SEGSA organizing committee was kind enough to invite the FOSSIL Project to propose a theme session at the upcoming meeting; since the theme session was accepted, now we need presenters to fill the session!

                Amateur/avocational paleontologists, please recognize that since this is a professional meeting, it is a great opportunity to showcase research and publications by members of your organization(s).  It is also a great opportunity to network with professional paleontologists and other professional geoscientists.  Please take advantage of this FOSSIL theme session!  Note that oral presentations will be given via PowerPoint in an enclosed meeting room with a microphone and laser pointer-clicker provided, while poster presentations will likely be part of the main poster session in the exhibit hall (posters are usually 48” X 36” in size – check out this link for tips and pointers on designing scientific posters).

                Registration for SEGSA 2016 has not opened yet; however, the early registration deadline will be February 26, 2016.  The meeting registration fee for amateur/avocational paleontologists will probably be around $100; for professionals, it will be higher.  I will follow up with the meeting chair on these details and report back as I learn more.  The meeting will take place at the Columbia Convention Center.  Blocks of hotel rooms have been reserved at the Hyatt Place Columbia (1-803-978-2013) and at the Hampton Inn Columbia (1-803-231-2000); you must call the hotel to reserve a room and mention that you are attending the Southeastern GSA meeting.

                Please explore the SEGSA 2016 website for more information – and check back frequently, as it is regularly updated:  Feel free to contact me with questions, and I will do my best to find the answers you need.  I look forward to seeing your abstracts!

                For those who need more information about writing abstracts:

Scientific abstracts summarize research papers/presentations in a clear and concise way.  Abstracts for GSA meetings typically have a 2,000 character limit (not including spaces), and should include an introductory sentence, background, methods, results, and conclusions.  If your proposed presentation is more informational and less scientific, you may not be able to include much in terms of methods and results.  For an example abstract, you can find the one Dr. Bruce MacFadden submitted for the national GSA 2015 meeting here: link.

Thanks for your patience in reading this enormously long email!  Have a great week.



Eleanor E. Gardner, M.S.

FOSSIL Project Coordinator

Florida Museum of Natural History

Phone: (352)-273-1936