Upcoming Events

October 18, 2016
Fossil Field Workshop


Geological Hangman


Alabama State Fossil


Basilosaurus cetoides


Fossils of the Black Belt - A Hands-On Field Workshop for Science Teachers

University of West Alabama in Livingston and vicinity

October 18, 2016

8:00am to 4:30pm

Cost: $15.00

preregistration required

Earth Science Week!

Contact Information

David Kopaska-Merkel



Sumter County Field Workshops

Children love collecting fossils, and studying fossils is an excellent way to learn about the prehistory of Alabama. Field trips are great attention-grabbers and often seem like Easter egg hunts. Alabama is one of the best places in the world for fossil collecting, and with a little training teachers can take advantage of this opportunity. In an area the size of England, Alabama has well-preserved fossils of almost every age. It is no exaggeration to say that amateur and professional paleontologists come from all over the world to collect fossils in Alabama.

Since 1997 the Geological Survey of Alabama and the University of West Alabama in Livingston have collaborated on an annual one-day workshop for K-12 teachers. Discovering Alabama is now also a partner in the workshops, which are held in October. Teachers spend several hours at some of Alabama's most famous fossil localities and then, with the help of the field trip leaders, they make fossil kits using the specimens they collected. They can use the kits in the classroom and take their students on field trips to the fossil localities that they visited.

Participants in the workshops also receive the book Lost Worlds in Alabama Rocks (an illustrated geologic history of the state), a geologic map of Alabama, fact sheets on Alabama fossils, a selection of fossils from other parts of the state, and copies of Discovering Alabama DVDs that relate to fossils of Alabama.


If you are interested in attending a future workshop, please contact David C. Kopaska-Merkel.