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



Free Educational Book

Free science books for schools


Pennsylvanian Footprints in the Black Warrior Basin of Alabama

edited by

Ronald J. Buta - Andrew K. Rindsberg - David C. Kopaska Merkel

Alabama Paleontological Society Monograph No. 1

In 1999, a science teacher scouted a surface coal mine in north-central Alabama for his class and found a treasure trove of vertebrate trackways that had been imprinted on a tidal mud flat 310 million years before. The Union Chapel Mine is now recognized as the world's best Carboniferous tracksite and has been featured in the Discovering Alabama video series. This volume-an unusual collaboration between amateurs and professionals-tells not only about the footprints and associated fossils, but also about the unprecedented effort to rescue the site from reclamation.


  • Descriptions of trace fossils and fossil plants
  • Photographic atlases of hundreds of specimens
  • Earliest evidence of group behavior in fish and amphibians
  • Global context and significnace of the site
  • Written for the educated layperson

Regularly $49; no charge to public schools while supplies last

For more information about the book, see www.alabamapaleo.org

A limited number of copies of this fascinating book will available at no cost to public-school libraries in Alabama.  In order to qualify to receive a free book, a librarian must write a letter of request on school stationery to:


Geological Survey of Alabama

Education Committee

P.O. Box 869999

Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35486-6999


The Geological Survey of Alabama/State Oil and Gas Board Education Committee is an informal volunteer group of staff members who are dedicated to supporting high-quality science education in Alabama .
No state funds were used to print or distribute this book.



Fossil amphibian trackway collected by Ashley Allen at the Minkin Site.  Scale in centimeters (about 2.5 cm per inch).