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Annual Meeting Field Trips

Ten field trips will be offered in conjunction with the Annual Meeting. Advanced registration for all field trips is required. Onsite registration will not be accepted. SVP reserves the right to alter or cancel a field trip due to low registration or if access to sites is limited or closed to the public. In the event of a field trip cancellation, SVP will refund fees in full.

All field trip attendees must have personal liability insurance.

1. Southern Ohio Prehistoric Earthwork Tour

Join Cincinnati Museum Center archaeologists for a tour of iconic southern Ohio prehistoric earthwork sites, to include Serpent Mound, the pre-eminent effigy mound in North America, Hopewell Culture National Historical Park (Mound City), and Fort Ancient State Memorial, the world’s largest hilltop enclosure.  Each site is under consideration for World Heritage status.

At approximately one-quarter mile in length, Serpent Mound is the longest snake effigy in the world.  Situated on a ridge saddle overlooking a major stream, it forms a coiled serpent with a head swallowing either an egg or the sun.  Conflicting radiocarbon dates place the effigy between approximately 300 BCE and 1070 CE.  Serpent offers an elevated viewing tower and a small museum detailing the history of the earthwork.  The valley below the effigy forms the western rim of a four-mile wide circular crater, the eroded remains of an ancient crypto-explosion, determined to be a Permian-aged asteroid collision (astrobleme) resulting in a central uplift of nearly 1000 feet and a corresponding subsidence along the rim of nearly 400 feet.  This “disturbance” was first noted by Cincinnatian Dr. John Locke in 1838.

Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, located in Chillicothe, Ohio is a collection of six earthwork sites dating to the Hopewell Period, ca. 1 CE to 400 CE.  Our visit will be to Mound City, the flagship site of the park.  Located along the edge of a broad river valley, with unglaciated uplands as a backdrop, Mound City comprises two-dozen densely clustered mounds surrounded by an earthen embankment or earthwork.  Excavations over the years have revealed structure floor plans and exotic artifacts of mica and copper.  

Of the many Hopewell-age hilltop enclosures in Ohio and neighboring states, Fort Ancient is by far the largest and best preserved.  Situated on a high plateau above a state and national scenic river, Fort Ancient boasts two miles of embankment walls, more than 100 constructed ponds, and 84 openings or gateways.  This massive prehistoric undertaking encloses over 100 acres.  Excavations over the last 100 plus years have revealed areas of domestic and ritual use.  

Date: October 13, 2020
Cost: $55 (includes van transportation, admission fees, Guide to Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks pamphlet, and box lunch)
Minimum number of participants: 7
Maximum number of participants: 20
Physical Capabilities: The tour incorporates good accessibility at each of its sites, although accessibility varies.  The terrain at all three sites is relatively flat with only minor areas of relief.  At Mound City and Serpent Mound, trailways are paved, while at Fort Ancient, trails are in mulch or low grass.  Hiking distance at each of the sites is relatively short.  Mound City is completely wheel chair accessible, although rental vans for the tours will not accommodate wheel chairs.

Tour Leaders:
Robert Genheimer, Rieveschl Curator of Archaeology, Cincinnati Museum Center,(
Tyler Swinney, Tribal Liaison/NAGPRA Coordinator, CMC, (

2. Field Trip to the Birthplace of Vertebrate Paleontology in the United States: Big Bone Lick, Kentucky
Participants will visit Big Bone Lick State Historic Site, the birthplace of American vertebrate paleontology, and learn about its role in the development of the science of vertebrate paleontology, the historical figures involved, and current knowledge of its paleontology and geology.  The park includes a visitor center/gift shop and participants will make a short, ¼ mile hike to Big Bone Creek and an active salt spring on a largely paved trail. As described by Daniel Drake, a founder of the Western Museum Society, precursor to the Cincinnati Museum Center in 1815: “It is indeed well worth a visit from those who can relish the sentiments and the speculations excited by contemplating the ruins of the largest animal species which have appeared on our globe.  And if, according to Mr. Jefferson, the passage of the Potomac through the Blue Ridge, be a scene worth a voyage across the Atlantic – the tomb of the mammoths will certainly reward the traveler of taste and science, for a journey from Cincinnati.”
Venue: Big Bone Lick State Historic Site, Kentucky; Devou Park, Dinsmore Woods Bison Trace and Geier Collections and Research Center.
Date and Time: Tuesday, October 13, 2020, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM 
Cost: $65
Materials provided: Field trip guidebook and box lunch.
Transportation:  Bus from Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Cincinnati and return.
Minimum number of participants: 30
Maximum number of participants: 43
Physical capabilities: This trip will include approximately 1 mile of non-strenuous walking in total.

Recommended clothing or items to bring: Temperature in Cincinnati/northern Kentucky in October ranges from 45 to 66 °F ( 7-19°C) with an average of 56°F (13°C) and average rainfall is 9 days (68 mm).  Layer your clothes and bring a jacket and a hat.

Trip leaders:
Greg McDonald,; Bureau of Land Management Colorado State Office 2850 Youngfield St, Lakewood, CO 80215, (303) 239-3736
Stan Hedeen,;  3777 Ault Park Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45208 (513) 315-7148)
Richard A. Davis,
Eric Scott,; Department of Biology, College of Natural Sciences, California State University, San Bernardino, 5500 University Parkway, San Bernardino, CA 92407

3. Downtown Cincinnati Walking Tour
This 2 hour, 2.5 mile guided walking tour will focus on the architecture, history and topography of Cincinnati.
Beginning at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza/Carew Tower, attendees will hear the story of this Cincinnati architectural masterpiece, one of the world’s great examples of French Art Deco design. Ascending by elevator to the 49th floor Observation Deck, we will examine greater Cincinnati’s topography, Ice Age history, early settlement and neighborhoods. Descending, participants will hear the story of Cincinnati’s iconic 1866 Roebling Suspension Bridge, the prototype for the Brooklyn Bridge.  We will walk through the city’s heart, Fountain Square, to the historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, one of the remaining intact German districts in the United States. We will see Cincinnati’s famous Music Hall and the Ingalls Building, the world's first reinforced concrete skyscraper while viewing examples of Beaux Arts, Italianate, Chicago School and Renaissance Revival architecture. A number of these buildings are listed on the National Historic Register. Participants will learn why late 19th-century Cincinnati was called the Paris of America and will walk through the Queen City’s oldest and newest parks while hearing commentaries on several of the city’s large-scale murals. Attendees will discover how the city’s urban center has been newly revitalized and how many older buildings have been adapted for innovative residential and commercial use.

Dates and Times (please indicate which tour you will attend when registering):
Thursday, October 15, 2020, 10:00 AM - 12:00PM (depart from and return to the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza hotel lobby)
Friday, October 16, 2020, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM (depart from and return to the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza hotel lobby)
Cost: $20 per person per tour.
Minimum number of participants: 5 per tour
Maximum number of participants: 20 per tour
Minimum age requirement: 18
Physical capabilities: Participants must be able to walk 2.5 miles through an urban landscape.

What to wear and bring: Comfortable, sturdy shoes and dress appropriate for mid-October weather conditions in Cincinnati – warm to cold, wet to dry.  Bring a camera if desired.

Janice Forte,, 513-607-3039
Scott Ehrnschwender,, 513-476-5625, Cincinnati Heritage Programs

4. The Gray Fossil Site and East Tennessee State University Museum of Natural History
This trip will introduce participants to the Gray Fossil Site, one of only a few pre-Pleistocene Cenozoic fossil vertebrate sites in Eastern North America (outside of Florida), and the only one in the Appalachians. Participants will tour the museum and fossil site, which will include seeing exhibits, ongoing excavations, the prep lab, and collections. Leaders will highlight the diverse fauna and flora preserved at the site, which includes over 100 animal species and 100 plant species. Leaders will also discuss karst landscapes and sinkhole formation, as well as the unique forest ecosystem represented by the fossils preserved at the site.

Dates: Sunday, October 18 - Monday, October 19, 2020
Venue: East Tennessee State University Museum of Natural History and the Gray Fossil Site
Cost: $210 (includes van transportation to and from Cincinnati and one night’s lodging in Tennessee; meals are excluded).
Minimum number of participants: 10
Maximum number of participants: 20
Physical Capabilities: The ETSU Museum of Natural History is designed to be accessible and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant.  All areas visited (exhibit gallery, prep lab, collections, overlook of excavation pits) should be accessible to all participants.  Tour of the entire facility and exterior excavations would require moving less than 1 km (little exertion), there will be no walking over rough terrain, no hiking, and all movement of participants will be over tiled interior surfaces of buildings (stairs or elevator) or across paved / level gravel exterior walkways.

Recommended items to bring: Camera, notebook, hat, sunglasses

Trip Leaders:
Dr. Joshua X. Samuels,
Dr. Steen Wallace
Dr. Blaine Schubert
Dr. Chris Wigda
Shawn Haugrud
April Nye

East Tennessee State University
Museum of Natural History & Gray Fossil Site
PO Box 70357
Johnson City, TN  37614-1709

5. Megenity Peccary Cave: An Extensive Record of Pleistocene Remains
This one day field trip will proceed to the Lake Patoka Department of Natural Resources office and Nature Center in Birdseye IN, where there will be a PowerPoint presentation and question – answer session summarizing the 32 field seasons of excavation of late Pleistocene remains in the cave.  This includes an examination of the extinct and extralimital fauna, the great amount of Platygonus compressus bone, and the methods and techniques used and challenges encountered during recovery.  After a short lunch the group will proceed to the Megenity Peccary Cave location in the recently dedicated Patoka Hills Nature Preserve to examine the screen water source /screening area, and enter the Entrance Room and Twilight Room of the cave. One or two smaller groups (ca. 7 people) will venture into a short, but much more rugged cave interior that overlooks several vertical pits and rooms where much of the fauna was encountered.

Date and Time: Tuesday, October 13, 2020, 8:30 AM - 6:30 PM (depart from and return to the Hyatt Regency Hotel Cincinnati, 151 W. 5th Street)
Venue: Lake Patoka DNR office and Megenity Peccary Cave, Crawford County, Indiana
Transportation: Rental vans
Cost per person:  $55 (excluding inner cave*) or $65 (including inner cave*)
* Inner cave experience on a first-to-register basis.
Cost includes:  Transportation via vans, lunch, cave coveralls, helmets, water bottle, and field trip guide.
Minimum number of participants: 8
Maximum number of participants: 37
Minimum Age Requirement: 18
Physical Capabilities:  Must be able to endure light to moderate walking for ca. 0.60 mile round trip that includes a moderate slope.
The small deeper cave group must be able to climb with arms & legs, undergo limited “chimneying”, and crawling, and maintain balance on muddy slopes with adjacent vertical drops.
Portable toilets available at beginning and end of the cave & environs at the vehicle parking area.

Recommended clothing and items to bring:  We will be visiting a forested and a cave environment. Hiking footwear is preferred, dressing for the daily weather, and a sweater for the cave.  A water bottle might be useful. Throw-away coveralls will be provided for the cave.  Participants must bring their own LED light and batteries (to be duct-taped to a provided helmet).
A smaller group (limit 7 people) will traverse and climb up and down muddy breakdown, traverse a passage with a few feet of “chimneying”, and undergo some 15 feet of hands-and-knees crawling.  This group will need heavier coveralls (provided), and helmets with lights (provided), and shoes with gripping soles and gloves are a must (not provided). Access to this group will be on a first-to-register basis and include a small surcharge.
*Note: Because of restrictions due to White-nose syndrome (WNS) in bats, participants cannot use any field gear (including shoes) that has been used in another cave, unless the gear has undergone USFW decontamination protocol.
Materials provided:  Cave Entrance & Twilight Room: Tyvek coveralls; helmets; water bottle.  Deeper cave: heavy coveralls; helmet & light.

Organizers / Leaders: 

Ronald L. Richards, Senior Research Curator of Paleobiology
Indiana State Museum & Historic Sites
650 West Washington Street
Indianapolis IN 46204
Tel: (317) 232-1642
Peggy Fisherkeller, Curator of Geology
Indiana State Museum & Historic Sites
650 West Washington Street
Indianapolis IN 46204
Tel: (317) 232-7172

Damon Lowe, Senior Curator of Science & Technology
Indiana State Museum & Historic Sites
650 West Washington Street 
Indianapolis IN 46204
Tel: (317) 233-1993

Michele Greenan, Director of Archaeology
Indiana State Museum & Historic Sites
650 West Washington Street
Indianapolis IN 46204
Tel: (317) 473-0836

6. Quaternary and Mississippian Paleontology of Mammoth Cave National Park
Visit Mammoth Cave and see paleontology at the world’s longest cave.  The 412 miles of Mammoth Cave are carved into Mississippian Period limestone.  As these cave passages have dissolved out, Mississippian fossils have been exposed in the walls of the cave.  One stop will allow people to see shark cartilage and shark and ratfish teeth exposed (as well as abundant invertebrates) in the walls of a cave passage that is not open to the public. Following cave formation in the late Neogene and Quaternary, Pleistocene and Holocene fossils were subsequently deposited within.  Stops will include a past entrance with interglacial deposits and fossil mammals, bat roosts from past use of the cave by large free-tail bat colonies, a fossil vampire bat locality, and prehistoric bat roosts that show effects of commercialization of the cave. We will also discuss how management actions have impacted past bat use of the cave and fossil deposits.

Because the trip is in a national park, no collecting will be allowed.

All areas being visited will be on trails that have been prepared for tourists, although some areas will not have fixed electric lighting.  Park will provide hardhats and headlamps for use during the tour.  Tour will involve significant (3 miles) walking within the cave.  The trip will also have several sets of long stairs.  The longest walking segment of the trip will approximate the commercial Violet City Lantern Tour at the park.  It is a strenuous tour with several hills and staircases.  The cave will be approximately 13°C (55°F), so please bring a light jacket for in the cave.  Sturdy hiking shoes or boots are required.

Lodging is included in the trip fee and will be at the Cave Research Foundation’s Hamilton Valley facility.  This is dormitory style housing with bunk rooms with up to four people per room.  You will need to bring a towel and bedding / bedroll.  For people coming from farther away, we may be able to loan bedding and towels.   More on this facility can be found at

Lunches on October 18 and 19, a continental breakfast on October 19, and snacks are included in the trip cost.  Dinner on October 18 will be at the restaurant at the park hotel and will be paid for by the individual.

Because we will be traveling in 12 passenger vans, there will be limited space for luggage.  Please respect a one bag limit for the trip.

Dates: Sunday, October 18 - Monday, October 19, 2020
Cost: $140
Minimum number of participants: 12
Maximum number of participants: 20
Physical Capabilities: This trip will require the ability to traverse long sets of stairs (up to several hundred feet) in both up and down directions and to hike a total of 2.5 to 3 miles. Travel within the cave will be on foot, occasionally on uneven dirt paths with some rock obstructions. Ceiling heights can be as low as 5 feet. One section has a revolving door and a narrow (approximately 2’) area. Some notable inclines with slopes up to 20o and 20 to 30 feet in height will be encountered. Portions of the trails are unlit (headlamps provided). The cave’s historic entrance requires a 0.25 mile hike with a 90 foot loss in elevation.

Trip Leaders:  
Rick Toomey -- Cave Specialist, Mammoth Cave National Park,, 270-758-2145
Rick Olson – Park Ecologist, Mammoth Cave National Park,
Vincent Santucci – Paleontology Program Coordinator, NPS,
JP Hodnett -- Dinosaur Park Paleontologist, M-NCPPC, Department of Parks and Recreation,

7. Concretions, Cyclothems, and Mazon Creek: Stratigraphy and Paleontology of the Middle Pennsylvanian Carbondale Formation in Northeastern Illinois
This two-day field trip will explore the geology, paleontology, and stratigraphy of the lower part of the Carbondale Formation in the famous Mazon Creek region of northeastern Illinois.  
The Mazon Creek region is situated on the Western Illinois Shelf in the northwestern flank of the Illinois Basin.  These Pennsylvanian-age rocks, characterized by sharp vertical changes and lateral continuity of a variety of rock types, have long been famous for stratigraphy and paleontology alike.  It was in the outcrops in this region that sedimentary cycles were first described by Johan August Udden, who in 1912 recognized the repetitive sequence of coals, shales, and sandstones.  Harold R. Wanless and J. Marvin Weller soon found these sequences, or cycles, throughout the region, introducing the term “cyclothem” (Wanless and Weller, 1932) to describe the phenomenon.
Fossils found in iron concretions within the shales, famously known as the Mazon Creek fossil beds, have been actively collected and studied since the 19th century.  The Mazon Creek beds are a conservation Lagerstätte, frequently preserving both hard and soft tissues of plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates.  These rocks record a remarkably diverse biota, comprised of over 400 floral and over 300 faunal species, including Illinois’ famous state fossil, the “Tully Monster” (Tullimonstrum gregarium).  The type locality was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1997 for its paleoecological importance.
Furthermore, the rocks of the Carbondale Formation are economically important.  Coal, mined for energy production, is among the most important mineral resources in Illinois; clay and shale are mined extensively in northern Illinois for use in agriculture and infrastructure.  
On Day 1 of the trip we will explore outcrops in eastern Illinois to study the coals and overlying shales and sandstones of the Carbondale Formation.  After staying overnight near Tomahawk Bluff, we will continue on to localities in northern Illinois to examine the lower and middle Carbondale Formation, including the remarkable flora and fauna of the Francis Creek Shale Member.  The collection of flora and invertebrate fauna is permitted in accordance with the Illinois State Geological Survey.

Date and Time: Monday, October 12, 2020, 8:00 AM - Tuesday, October 13, 8:00 PM (depart from and return to the Hyatt Regency Hotel, 151 W. 5th St., Cincinnati, OH 45202)
Cost: $160 (includes transportation via vans; lunches; overnight stay at a hotel (includes breakfast); and a field trip guidebook. Dinners will not be provided).
Minimum number of participants: 12 (excluding organizers/leaders)
Maximum number of participants: 25 (excluding organizers/leaders)
Venue: A series of road cut and riverbank outcrops in northeastern Illinois.

Recommended clothing and items to bring:
•    Clothing, covering arms and legs – protection from sun and cold (40-70F temperatures)
•    Hat – protection from sun and rain
•    Jacket – possible cold weather
•    Rain jacket – possible rain
•    Outdoor footwear – outcrops are adjacent to roads, but terrain may be slightly hilly and rocky
•    Water bottle – some water will be available, but a personal bottle is ideal
•    Snacks – lunch is provided, but additional food may be desired
•    Sunscreen – protection from sun
•    Hammers are not needed as concretions are best split by boiling or freeze-thaw; a screwdriver or pocket knife is sufficient to free nodules from the shale; bags will be available for collecting


Jack M. Wittry
Collections Associate
Science and Education
The Field Museum
1400 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago IL 60605
Research Associate
NMNH Smithsonian Institution
10th St. & Constitution Ave. NW
Washington DC. 20560
Cameron Schwalbach
Paleontology Collections Manager
Cincinnati Museum Center
Geier Collections & Research Center
760 W. 5th Street
Cincinnati OH 45203
Tel: +1-513-768-6244, Ext. 6244

8. A Tour of the Universe
Cincinnati has a long history of science exploration and education.  The Cincinnati Observatory was founded in 1842 and is recognized as ‘The Birthplace of American Astronomy.’  The Observatory was the first public observatory in the western hemisphere and houses one of the oldest working telescopes in the world.  The Observatory is a fully-functioning 19th century observatory that is still used daily by the public, teachers, students, and amateur astronomers.  The main telescopes are an 11-inch Merz and Mahler refractor, the 3rd largest in the world when installed in 1845, and a 16-inch Alvan Clark and Sons refractor from 1904; the two historic buildings are designated as a National Historic Landmark.  Join us for a social evening of history and science featuring an astronomical presentation, meteorite display, and tour, as well as telescope viewing of the planets Mars, Jupiter and Saturn through the original telescope.  Viewing of the planets will be weather-dependent.  Refreshments will be provided, including allergy-friendly options.

Date:  Thursday, October 15, 2020
Time: Meet vans at 6:30pm, return by 9:30pm.  Program itself runs 7-9pm.
Venue: The Cincinnati Observatory Center, 3489 Observatory Place, Cincinnati, OH 45208
Transportation: Transportation is provided.  Meet in front of the Hyatt Regency Cincinnati, 151 W 5th St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Cost per person:  $45
Minimum number of participants:13
Maximum number of participants: 42
Physical capabilities: Both buildings, separated by approx. 200’ (70 meters), are handicap accessible to their main floors where the gathering, presentation and majority of the tour will be held. Parts of the tour and stargazing require climbing stairs. Detailed information at

What to wear and bring:  October in Cincinnati can be chilly. The Observatory’s public areas and classrooms are heated. However, the telescope rooms visited during the tour and viewing are not heated so dress in layers to be comfortable indoors and outdoors.

Materials provided:  Hot beverages and snacks will be provided on site.

Field Trip Organizer / Leader:
Emily Imhoff, Ph.D.
Collections Manager
Cincinnati Museum Center
1301 Western Avenue
Cincinnati, OH  45203 USA
tel: +01-513-455-7181
Venue Contact:
Craig Niemi, Executive Director
Cincinnati Observatory Center
3489 Observatory Place
Cincinnati, OH 45208
tel: +01-513-321-5186

9. Exploring a Sea without Fish: Late Ordovician Stratigraphy and Paleoecology of the Cincinnati Arch Region
The tri-state region of Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana is world famous for its type-Cincinnatian Series rocks and fossils, which have undergone over 175 years of professional study.  This one-day field trip explores the geology, paleontology, and stratigraphy of these Upper Ordovician rocks throughout the Cincinnati Arch region in order to gain insight on the climate and ecology of this geologically and historically significant region during Late Ordovician times.  
Although the rocks of the Cincinnatian Series are characteristically devoid of vertebrate fossil material in their type area, the quality and abundance of invertebrate fossils they contain is unmatched, and their utility in understanding the paleobiology and paleoenvironmental systems during Late Ordovician times is invaluable.  This interval has been recognized as one of substantial intracratonic flooding, and dynamic fluctuations in both climate and sea level.  Moreover, the paleoceanographic changes recorded in Cincinnatian rocks are accompanied by an episode of major ecological change known as the Richmondian Invasion.  This trip will facilitate the investigation of these and other factors at play in Laurentia during the Late Ordovician through the examination of carefully selected and easily accessible outcrops.
The trip will begin in metropolitan Cincinnati, towards the middle of the Arch, where some of the oldest Cincinnatian strata are exposed.  Here, we will overview the geologic and paleontologic history of the Cincinnati Arch and see firsthand the stratigraphic architecture used throughout the region.  We will then travel southeast into Kentucky, following the AA Highway to our first stop at a roadcut near Holts Road, where we will examine the base of the Cincinnatian Series.  Continuing along the AA towards Maysville, Kentucky, we will stop at two spectacular large roadcuts that effectively form the reference section for the Maysvillian Stage.  We will have a picnic lunch at a park in Maysville, Kentucky.  Next, we will travel a short distance south on Rte. 11 to view an exposure of seismites, followed by another stop south of Flemingsburg, Kentucky with abundant stromatoporoids, solenoporid sponges(?), and brachiopods.  Finally, we will return to the AA Highway for a final stop with the classic Richmondian fauna, featuring abundant rugose corals, diverse brachiopods, and tentaculitids.  The trip will end with dinner (not included in trip cost) in Maysville, Kentucky, before returning to Cincinnati, Ohio.  The collection of invertebrate fossil material is encouraged, and plastic bags will be provided for this purpose.

Venue: A series of roadcuts throughout the Cincinnati Arch region of central Kentucky.
Date and Time: Sunday, October 18, 2020, 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM (depart from and return to the Hyatt Regency Hotel, 151 W. 5th St., Cincinnati, OH 45202)
Cost: $70 (includes transportation via vans, lunch, and a field trip guidebook.  Dinner will not be provided.)
Minimum number of participants: 12 (excluding organizers/leaders)
Maximum number of participants: 25 (excluding organizers/leaders)

Recommended clothing and items to bring:
•    Clothing, covering arms and legs
•    Hat
•    Jacket/Rain jacket
•    Outdoor footwear
•    Water bottle
•    Snacks
•    Sunscreen
•    Hammers, picks, and chisels are not necessary; bags will be available for collecting


Cameron Schwalbach
Paleontology Collections Manager
Cincinnati Museum Center
Geier Collections & Research Center
760 W. 5th Street
Cincinnati OH 45203
Tel: +1-513-768-6244, Ext. 6244
Brenda Hunda
Curator of Invertebrate Paleontology
Cincinnati Museum Center
Geier Collections & Research Center
760 W. 5th Street
Cincinnati OH 45203
Tel: +1-513-455-7160
Carlton Brett
University Distinguished Research Professor
Geology Department
University of Cincinnati
Cincinnati OH 45221-0013
Tel: +1-513-556-4556

10. Paleozoic Vertebrates of the Ohio River Valley Area
This is a two-day trip covering vertebrate fossil sites in the Devonian, Carboniferous, and Permian of Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Sites preserving both marine and freshwater faunas will be explored. We will travel across the entire width of the Cincinnati arch, and see rocks deposited prior to the deformation of the arch, as well as deposition in the nearby Dunkard Basin. Dense horizons of vertebrate fossils will be seen in Devonian carbonates, where we expect to see the remains of acanthodians, sharks, lobe-fined fishes, and the possibility of placoderms on the first day. On the second day we will look at bonebeds in nearshore Carboniferous clastics which preserve a record of chondrichthyans, bony fishes, and occasional early tetrapods. We will also view bone beds in freshwater limestones,  where we expect to see body fossils from xenacanth sharks, hybodont sharks, bony fishes, and the rare possibility of temnospondyl amphibians and synapsid amniotes. Nearby interbedded terrestrial mudstone and sandstone deposits of early Permian age can be rich in tetrapod trackways from temnospondyls, lepospondyls, and synapsid amniotes.

Venue: Fossil sites near East Liberty, Columbus, Caldwell, Cambridge, and Marietta, Ohio; Clarksburg, West Virginia, and Washington, Pennsylvania.  Visited fossil exhibits will include the Permian exhibition at the Campus Martius Museum in Marietta.
Date and Time: Monday, October 12, 7:30 AM - Tuesday, October 13, 2020, 8:30 PM (depart from and return to the Duke Energy Conference Center in Cincinnati, Ohio)
Cost: $165.00 per person (includes transportation, lodging for one night, and a field trip guide)
Minimum number of participants: 7
Maximum number of participants: 15
Minimum Age Requirement: 15
Physical capabilities: Participants must be able to hike at least 1.5 miles or 2.5 km over moderate terrain. They should be equipped to deal with sporadic but prolonged exposure to wind, sun, or rain. It is also suggested that each participant be able to carry at least 10lbs or 4.5kg.

What to wear and bring: Clothing and shoes for mild to moderate hiking less than 1.5 miles or 2.5 kilometers. Clothing suitable for temperatures between freezing (32 degrees F; 0 degrees C) and mildly cold conditions (50 degrees F; 10 degrees C). A backpack, rain jacket, sunscreen, water bottle, and hand lens may be useful. Hammers, picks, and/or pry-bars will be beneficial at some sites.


Chuck Ciampaglio
Wright State University, Lake Campus
Celina OH
Don Esker
Marietta College
Marietta OH
Ryan Shell
Wright State University
Dayton OH

David Peterman
Wright State University

David Jeffery
Marietta College
Marietta OH