Annual Meeting 2017 Seven Workshops will be offered in conjunction with the Annual Meeting.  Advance registration is required for all Workshops.  Onsite registration will not be accepted.  SVP reserves the right to alter or cancel a Workshop due to low registration.  In the event of a Workshop cancellation, SVP will refund fees in full.
 
  • Air Abrasion - Preserving the Smallest Details
  • Diverse Approaches to Paleo Outreach Programs: Ideas, Strategies, and Logistics
  • Photogrammetry: Efficient Use of Digital Photography for 3D Data Collection in the Lab, Collections and Field
  • Archiving and Analyzing Vertebrate Paleoecological Data: Best Practices and Current Resources
  • Morphological Evolution in Deep Time: Calculating Disparity and Rates from Discrete Phenotypic Data
  • Filling the Expectation Gap: Paleontologists as Teaching Professors—Professional Development for Paleontologists Working Outside of Research-intensive Universities
  • Advanced Moldmaking (Canceled)
Air Abrasion – Preserving the Smallest Details
Air abrasion as a fossil preparation technique has been in use well over 100 years.  Unfortunately, its strengths and weaknesses as a prep technique are often misunderstood. While modern paleontology requires all preparation to have an attention to detail of the highest degree, at times air abrasion can accomplish preparation detail no other technique can equal. Air abrasion is not the right tool for all situations, yet it is an excellent tool for preparation as long as the preparator has a good understanding of the specimen properties and capabilities of the equipment being used. Air abrasion has great flexibility in its efficacy as a tool and can reveal extraordinarily delicate details given proper visual magnification as well delicate pressure and flow control.  The purpose of this workshop is to introduce participants to the basic concepts and skills in using air abrasion techniques to safely and efficiently remove obscuring material from fossil specimens. The opening discussion segment will address safety for both the specimen and the preparator, workstation ergonomics, specimen characteristics, blast media properties, tactical planning, diagnosing manmade versus natural artifacts and documentation. The hands-on lab portion will give participants a chance to work at several different types of workstations and on a variety of different paleontological materials. The final discussion portion will be on implementation of learned concepts, managing documentation in the lab and interpreting specimen artifacts. Participants may bring cameras, iPads and SD media cards for “data” sets if time permits.   Participants may want to bring a long sleeve shirt. 
 
Date: Tuesday, October 25, 2016 
 
Time: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
 
Location: Natural History Museum of Utah, Paleo Prep Lab
 
Transportation:  Not provided. NHMU is a short 10 minute ride from downtown using Uber and 30 minutes by light rail.
 
Cost: $75.00 USD per person
 
Cost includes: All air abrasion workstations, including a variety of microscopy and live imaging setups.  Paleontological teaching examples, handouts, and certificates for each participants are provided.
 
Minimum Number of Participants: 10
 
Maximum Number of Participants: 12
 
Leaders:
Mike Eklund                                                
University of Texas at Austin JSG
ThinklabZ
872 S Milwaukee Rd. #119
Libertyville, IL  60048
Thinklabsinc@gmail.com
Phone: (406)600-8947
 
Matt Smith
Petrified Forest National Park
1 Park Road, PO Box 2217
Petrified Forest, AZ 86028
Matthew_E_Smith@nps.gov
Phone: (928) 524-6228 ext 240
Cell: (928) 241-3979
 
Diverse Approaches to Paleo Outreach Programs: Ideas, Strategies, and Logistics
The Natural History Museum of Utah has been providing scientific outreach in the state of Utah for more than forty years. In that time, we have developed and sustained a wide array of programs and assessments for those programs that serve our K-16 community and the general public. In this workshop, we intend to share strategies for the development of successful outreach programs and showcase the Natural History Museum’s varied, popular outreach programs which teach paleontology and foster critical thinking, communication, and collaboration. These are essential areas of learning outlined in K-16 curriculums across the country and, in terms of skills, vital to workforce development. Participants will have a chance to become familiar with proven programs, develop an understanding of best practices in the design of programs, the key components that drive development, and build an actionable framework for their own program ideas.
 
Date: Tuesday, October 25, 2016 
 
Time: 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
 
Location: Natural History Museum of Utah
 
Transportation:  NHMU is a short 10 minute ride from downtown using Uber and 30 minutes by light rail. Additionally, limited seats will be available via a museum shuttle. The museum shuttle option will pick up and drop off at main entrance of The Grand America Hotel, 555 Mail Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
 
Cost: Free
 
Minimum Number of Participants: 10
 
Maximum Number of Participants: 40
 
Leaders:
Carolyn G. Levitt-Bussian
Paleontology Collections Manager
Natural History Museum of Utah,
301 Wakara Way,
Salt Lake City, UT 84108
clevitt@nhmu.utah.edu
Phone:  (801)581-5578
 
Madlyn Runburg
Director of Education Initiatives
Natural History Museum of Utah
301 Wakara Way
Salt Lake City, UT 84108
mrunburg@nhmu.utah.edu
Phone:  (801)671-7713
 
Kirsten Butcher
Associate Professor
College of Education, Instructional Design and Educational Technology Program
University of Utah
1721 Campus Center Drive, SAEC 3220
Salt Lake City, Utah, 84112
Kirsten.butcher@utah.edu
Phone: (801) 587-1728
 
McKenna Lane
Digital Learning and Curriculum Specialist
Natural History Museum of Utah
301 Wakara Way
Salt Lake City, UT 84108
mlane@nhmu.utah.edu
Phone: (801) 587-5715
 
Natalie Toth
University of Utah
Aline Skaggs Building, Room 403
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
ntoth@nhmu.utah.edu
Phone:  (801)581-4161
 
Photogrammetry: Efficient Use of Digital Photography for 3D Data Collection in the Lab, Collections and Field
Photogrammetry, i.e. 3D model creation from digital photographs, is a powerful and inexpensive tool for documenting the external shape and color of fossil specimens in the field, in collections and in exhibitions during any step of the curatorial process.
 
Participants will learn how to optimize their photogrammetry efforts in common research and conservation scenarios such as own collection mass 3D digitizing, 3D quarry (progress) mapping, 3D tracksite mapping, and mobile 3D digitizing during collection visits. This involves an in-depth discussion of the requirements of image capture and workflow planning. Suitable equipment packages for the mentioned scenarios and their pros and cons will be presented, from cameras to tripods, lighting equipment, and accessory materials like turntables and specimen support materials. Various simple to complex data capture routines, from manual free-hand shooting to mostly automated photogrammetry rigs will be discussed with regards to specimen size, scan speed, work effort involved, and achievable quality, enabling participants to perform cost-benefit analyses for their future projects. The workshop will specifically address suboptimal workspace conditions as typically found in natural history museums, and how to deal with them.
 
In the hands-on part, participants can then test several data capture methods themselves, using their own cameras and provided test specimens, and will then be walked through the necessary data processing in photogrammetry software. A special focus will be put on time-saving and error-avoiding tricks. Finally, participants will see some of the processed data from their photogrammetric work and judge the results of different data capture and processing routines in comparison.
 
Participants will leave the workshop with a better understanding of how they can plan, budget and conduct photogrammetric data capture projects for research and conservation purposes.
 
Date: Tuesday, October 25, 2016 
 
Time: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
 
Location: Grand America Hotel
 
Cost: $30.00 USD per person
 
Materials Provided: Workshop training manual and specimens to photograph.
 
Required Items and Recommended Background: Participants are encouraged to bring their own digital cameras and equipment as well as laptop computers. Basic knowledge of photogrammetry is advisable
 
Minimum Number of Participants: 21
 
Maximum Number of Participants: 40
 
Leaders:
Heinrich Mallison
Museum für Naturkunde Berlin
Invalidenstrasse 43
10115 Berlin, Germany
heinrich.mallison@gmail.com
Phone: +49 30 20938975
 
Matteo Belvedere
Office de la culture - Paléontologie A16
Hôtel des Halles, P.O. Box 64
CH-2900 Porrentruy 2, Switzerland
matteo.belvedere@gmail.com
Phone: +39 349 4477293
 
Oliver Wings
State Museum Hannover
Willy-Brandt-Allee 5
30169 Hannover, Germany
dr.wings@gmail.com
Phone: +49 511 9807-814
 
Neffra Matthews
Geospatial Section
National Operations Center
Denver Federal Center, Bldg. 50
P.O. Box 25047, OC-534
Denver, CO 80225-0047
http://www.blm.gov/noc/st/en.html
Phone: (303)236-0176
 
Brent H. Breithaupt
BLM Regional Paleontologist - WY, ID, MT, ND, SD, NE
5353 Yellowstone Road
Cheyenne, WY 82009
Brent_Breithaupt@blm.gov
Phone: (307) 775-6052
 
Archiving and Analyzing Vertebrate Paleoecological Data: Best Practices and Current Resources
This workshop will provide 1) guidance on best practices in the archiving and analysis of paleovertebrate data and 2) training in the use of the Neotoma Paleoecology Database (www.neotomadb.org) to archive, access, and analyze paleoecological data. Neotoma is a multiproxy paleodatabase that stores multiple kinds of paleoecological & paleoenvironmental data, including vertebrate faunal data. One of the strengths of Neotoma is the ability to compare faunal data with other proxy data such as fossil pollen, diatoms, ostracodes, insects, charcoal, and geochemical data. In addition, the database is structured to relate absolute dates to taxon occurrences and to allow the creation and storage of age models built on absolute dates from stratigraphic sections. Neotoma is a public-access, community-supported database that is emerging as the standard repository for Pliocene and Quaternary paleoecological data.
 
This one-day workshop will include lecture material and hands-on work with vertebrate paleoecological data, focusing on Cenozoic mammals. Workshop participants will learn how to search and acquire faunal data using web tools, and how to peruse the data using online mapping functions. Participants will also learn how to use Neotoma’s APIs (Application Programming Interface) and the neotoma R package to write scripts to import Neotoma data into R for further analysis and perform simple analyses with those scripts. Participants will be introduced to R as a tool for data and metadata entry. Finally, Neotoma and the Paleobiology Database have a new project to facilitate cross- database queries, and reconciling results across the two platforms will be discussed.
 
Early-career scientists are especially encouraged but all are welcome.
 
Date: Tuesday, October 25, 2016 
 
Time: 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM
 
Location: Grand America Hotel
 
Cost: Free
 
Materials Provided:  Coffee and tea will be provided
 
Required Items and Recommended Background: Participants should bring a laptop computer. Participants should have downloaded and installed R and RStudio. Both are free to download and work on multiple platforms. Familiarity with R is helpful but not required.
 
Minimum Number of Participants: 10
 
Maximum Number of Participants: 20
 
Leaders:
Jessica Blois
UC Merced
Life and Environmental Sciences
5200 N. Lake Rd.
Merced, CA 95343
jblois@ucmerced.edu
Phone: (209) 228-2256
 
Edward Davis
University of Oregon
Dept. of Geological Sciences 1272 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-1272
edavis@uoregon.edu
Phone: (541) 346-3461
 
Morphological Evolution in Deep Time: Calculating Disparity and Rates from Discrete Phenotypic Data
Paleontologists have a unique insight into morphological evolution over long time periods, unavailable to evolutionary biologists and ecologists working in the lab or studying modern ecosystems. Morphological diversification in deep time has been the focus of a tremendous amount of research over the past century, and new methodologies are developing at a rapid pace. At the same time vertebrate palaeontology in particular is producing phenotypic data sets in the form of character-taxon matrices at an ever growing rate. Although most frequently used to infer phylogeny, such data sets may also be appropriate for analyses of disparity (morphological diversity) and evolutionary rates (tempo). In this workshop we will introduce the history and development of these two major methodological approaches and show how they can (and should) be applied.
 
Attendees will be taught how to apply the full suite of available disparity and rate analyses in the freely-available software R using the custom-written package, Claddis. By the end of the workshop each attendee should be able to produce all the visualisations and data that might be expected to appear in the figures, tables, and supplementary information of a peer-reviewed publication.
 
Date: Tuesday, October 25, 2016 
 
Time: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
 
Location: Grand America Hotel
 
Cost: $25.00 USD per person
 
Minimum Number of Participants: 20
 
Maximum Number of Participants: 25
 
Required Items and Recommended Background: We will expect attendees to bring their own laptop, but no previous R experience will be required as we will cover all the basics required to complete the exercises. We also encourage attendees to bring their own data, although this is not a requirement as we will use an example data set.
 
Leaders:
Graeme T. Lloyd
Macquarie University, Sydney
graemetlloyd@gmail.com
 
Stephen L. Brusatte
University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh
Stephen.Brusatte@ed.ac.uk
 
Filling the Expectation Gap: Paleontologists as Teaching Professors—Professional Development for Paleontologists Working Outside of Research-intensive Universities
Many graduate students in vertebrate paleontology are primarily trained for and expect eventually to be employed in museums or as tenure-track faculty at research-intensive universities. However, because these positions are very rare, paleontologists often work in teaching-intensive institutions for which they have little formal training and the realities of the position do not match the planning done in graduate school.
 
The goal of this workshop is to identify the variety of challenges encountered by paleontologists at institutions other than “R1s” and provide resources, strategies, and support for successfully navigating those challenges. We will identify a variety of professional positions that paleontologists hold, including faculty at community colleges and smaller, teaching-intensive four-year colleges and universities. We will suggest ways for advanced graduate students to better prepare themselves for these careers, such as taking on their first lead-instructor teaching experiences and professional development opportunities at their institutions. We will discuss strategies for maintaining a research agenda at teaching-intensive institutions, including approaches for how new faculty can do research even when students or institutional funding for research are lacking. Participants in the workshop will lay the foundation for planning a new course from the ground up though integrated course design, and will share suggested strategies and resources for effective teaching in biology and geology courses. We will discuss strategies for time management when maintaining a heavy teaching load, work-life balance, and the additional roles of faculty at teaching-intensive institutions. Beyond the job itself, we will also talk about selfimage of paleontologists outside the mainstream—how to maintain professional activities within the field in settings that are very different from our graduate programs. Finally, we will start a network of faculty in similar positions who can provide mentorship and peer support. This workshop will be of interest to those (1) who have new or developing teaching duties; (2) who are getting ready to navigate the post-doctoral and early career landscape; and (3) to mentors seeking to support graduate students in preparation for these careers.
 
Date: Tuesday, October 25, 2016 
 
Time: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
 
Location: Grand America Hotel
 
Cost: $65.00 USD per person
 
Materials Provided: Lunch and handouts
 
Minimum Number of Participants: 10
 
Maximum Number of Participants: 30
 
Leaders:
Andrea Bair
Instructor of Geology Delta College
1961 Delta Rd.
University Center, MI 48710
andreabair@delta.edu
Phone: (989) 686-9252
 
Allison Beck
Assistant Professor of Biology
Black Hawk College
6600 34th Avenue
Moline, IL 61265
becka@bhc.edu
Phone: (309) 796-5240
 
Eric Dewar
Associate Professor of Biology
Suffolk University
8 Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108
edewar@suffolk.edu
Phone: (617) 994-6465
 
Advanced Moldmaking (Canceled)
Moldmaking is a skill required of the competent preparator and yet is one of the most difficult skills to master. Complex, multi-part molds are often undertaken by inexperienced preparators; sometimes to the detriment of the specimen. Because of the time intensive nature of complex mold making (requiring several days for one mold), training has been limited to either on-the-job training or workshops that teach only simple molding techniques. There are many aspects to consider when making molds of fossil specimens - when it is appropriate and when inappropriate to mold a certain specimen; how to choose appropriate materials and type of mold; what areas need to be filled to maintain the safety of the specimen and which are necessary to maintain the most information. This workshop will attempt to clarify these choices and concepts through a combination of PowerPoint and pre-made examples, showing the steps and the thought processes involved in creating a variety of complex molds. Participants will leave with an understanding of the concepts necessary for safely creating complex molds and handouts describing techniques as well as samples of materials used in this type of moldmaking.
 
From “Defining The Professional Vertebrate Fossil Preparator: Essential Competencies”:
10. Understanding and Use of Molding and Casting Materials and Techniques
The qualified preparator is familiar with the ethical implications of using molding compounds on museum specimens and the kinds of scientific data that may be obscured, lost, or destroyed during the molding process. The preparator is able to determine the suitability of the fossil for molding and type of mold produced based on its fragility, morphology, and other physical properties. The preparator is familiar with the physical properties and uses of various gap fillers, separators, molding, and casting compounds commonly used in paleontology, is adept in their use, and also trained in the management of potential health risks associated with molding and casting.
 
Date: Tuesday, October 25, 2016 
 
Time: 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
 
Location: Grand America Hotel
 
Cost: $50.00 USD per person
 
Materials Provided: Sample packs of molding materials for participants, handouts describing techniques, suppliers and materials
 
Minimum Number of Participants: 20
 
Maximum Number of Participants: 35
 
Leaders:
Marilyn Fox
Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History
Vertebrate Paleontology
170 Whitney Avenue
New Haven CT 06511
marilyn.fox@yale.edu
Phone: (203) 432-3747
 
William Sanders
Museum of Paleontology
University of Michigan
1109 Geddes Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1079 
wsanders@umich.edu
Phone: (734) 647-2098
 
Kyle Davies
Sam Noble Museum
2401 Chautauqua Avenue
Norman, OK, 73072-7029
ankylo@ou.edu
Phone: (405) 325-4772