Extending the hammer

September 20, 2019
We hope everyone is excited for the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology’s Annual Meeting in Brisbane, Australia in just a few weeks!  As we pack our bags and put the final touches on those talks and posters, it’s a great time to stop and appreciate how much we have grown as a society, with a membership that is more diverse and inclusive every year.  But there is a lot of work left to do, and we hope that you’ll support our many continuing and new efforts to “Extend the Hammer”!

As many of you know, donations to SVP support 16 different awards and special initiatives, including several awards and travel grants to support the nearly one third of our members who are students.  This year, a generous donation is allowing us to expand the Scientist from Economically Developing Nations Award, which has been renamed as the Jon C. Graff International Paleontology Award, to highlight the international nature of our science and our society.  Many of our activities, especially new initiatives, are supported by the Legacy League Fund, including our Diversity Luncheon at the annual meeting and the Distinguished Lecturer Program in North America, South America, and Europe. New initiatives to be supported by Legacy League Funds in the coming year include the launch of a new Education and Outreach fund and subsidies for childcare expenses to expand participation at our annual meetings.  Legacy League funds also support our many activities to protect fossil resources, including SVP Executive Committee members serving as expert witnesses in testimony to the U.S. Congress regarding cuts to national monuments, joining lawsuits against reductions to several fossil-rich national monuments, raising objections to the high-profile sales of significant vertebrate fossil specimens, and representing SVP on National Fossil Day with a table on the Mall in Washington, DC.  These activities strengthen our membership and raise our visibility with the broader scientific community and public, including lawmakers. We hope you agree that these activities are well worth supporting!

Our goal with these new and ongoing initiatives is to expand our support of members from underrepresented groups or regions and extend the reach of our activities to make sure that our society and our science are as inclusive, high-quality, and impactful as possible.  We need your help! Whether you are attending SVP in Brisbane in person, following along on social media, or saving up for Cincinnati, we hope that you will help us kick off our “Extending the Hammer” campaign by donating generously to the Legacy League Fund!

Thank you for your support of SVP!
Anjali Goswami                     
Chair, Development Committee
The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology