Monday, May 25, 2009

Two great meetings

Hello everyone! I am back from the 8th Conference on Fossil Resources and the Advances in Late Cretaceous Paleontology and Geology in the Escalante-Grand Staircase National Monument meetings in Saint George, Utah. These were two really great meetings! I learned quite a bit and had a really good time! Thanks to all of those of you who read the blog for saying hello. It was fun to hear that you keep up with the random things I post here. I was also fun to see one of my blog post/comments on the PRPA worked into a talk! 

It was hard to pick one talk at the 8CFR that stands out - they were all really good and interesting. I did enjoy the open forum sessions that we had and wish that a few of them could have lasted longer! I learned so much about my current work at this meeting! There are so many things that I was either not aware of or little details that I did not know the whole story on. It was great! There was a nice social mixer the night before the meeting started and a great get together at the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm the next evening. This is a really great museum! If you have never had a chance to visit I highly recommend it!
Above: a eubrontes track with radiating mudcracks.
Below: tracks from the largest single block of dinosaur tracks on display in a museum anywhere in the world, discovered on Feb. 10. 2004.

I really feel like this meeting was a great learning experience and I wish more academic paleontologist had attended. I really think they missed out on some important details, especially surrounding the PRPA and any changes that may be coming up (such as needing permits to collect invertebrate fossils on federal lands, which could happen). Also regarding the PRPA, Ted Vlamis, the Government Affairs Committee Chair for the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, gave a great detailed keynote address about the history of getting the PRPA passed. It was amazing the amount of time and effort it took to get this bill passed and signed into law! I never realized how much time it took! I am looking forward to sharing an abbreviated version of this history with you soon (I took 3 pages of notes!).

Below: Group photos of meeting attendees

There were many good talks at the ALCP meeting. This was a different type of meeting compared to the 8CFR, being more research oriented. Eric Roberts and Zubair Jinnah's talks got my stratigraphy mind thinking about a few research interests I have been tossing around. I missed Ian Miller and Kirk Johnson's talk on the flora of Grand Staircase, but I hear it was really good. Mike Knell gave a good talk about the freshwater turtles of the Monument, which reminds me to tell you all to check out the Gaffney Turtle Symposium (Oct. 17th & 18th of 2009)! The evening of the first day there was a nice social mixer at the hotel where Alan Titus and his band, Zion Rocks, preformed. They were great!

The second day was a good, but long day (maybe long because we stayed up to late partying or because I had to be the AV chick all day). It got started off on the wrong foot as I, in my sleep deprived state, had unplugged the USB devices that ran the slide show remote (I though it was just a flash drive someone had forgotten to remove). This messed up poor Barry Albright's talk, and I had to advance his slides manually while everyone else had to hear "next slide" over and over at 8AM.  By the next talk we had three working remotes and all was good. There were several good talks in the morning on everything from plesiosaurs, to Deinosuchus in the Kaiparowits and Wahweap formations (in press), to taphonomy of dinosaur bonbeds in the Kaiparowits Formation (one of my favorite talks). Scott Sampson kicked off the afternoon talks with a review of the dinosaur fauna of the monument, with other talks on mammals, birds, theropods, hadrosaurs, and ceratopsains (!). Scott Sampson also closed out the meeting with a great keynote talk on the late Campanian of Laramidia ("West America"), which would have been a very interesting time to have visited. 

These two meetings were two of the best I have been to in a long time. I hope many of you were there to enjoy them. If not, remember that you can still download the programs and read the abstracts!

© ReBecca K. Hunt-Foster

1 comment:

Doug said...

Sounds like a blast. just reading through the abstracts, there were lots of talks i would have loved to have heard. Wish i could say I was there to enjoy them, but i am stuck out here on the coast.