Welcome to Cincinnati

October 18 – 21, 2023

The Host Committee of the 83rd Annual Meeting is delighted to welcome all participants to the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology’s 2023 meeting in the Queen City, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. The meeting will take place at the Duke Energy Convention Center, located just blocks from the banks of the Ohio River.

This will be the first annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology held in Cincinnati and we are excited for your arrival. This year’s meeting is co-hosted by Cincinnati Museum Center and the University of Cincinnati. Cincinnati is a hub of paleontology in the Mid-West of the USA with more per capita professional paleontologists in the metro region than any other area of the country. The Cincinnatian Series of Late Ordovician rocks underlying the city is internationally known for the abundance, diversity, and preservational quality of its fossils. After 150 years of intensive study, it continues to be a natural laboratory for scientists interested in the history of our planet and questions of deep time, biodiversity, climate change, and evolution.

Cincinnati Museum Center has a legacy of discovery 200 years in the making, from the founding of the Western Museum Society in 1818 to today’s award-winning multi-museum complex. Housed in Cincinnati Union Terminal, an art deco train station and National Historic Landmark, Cincinnati Museum Center continues to bring the world to Cincinnati through its millions of specimens, artifacts, archival materials and artworks. Its first employee was a relatively unknown artist, John James Audubon, who was hired in 1819 as a taxidermist and background painter. During his brief time in Cincinnati, Audubon began his multi-volume masterwork Birds of America, cementing himself as a world-renowned wildlife artist. After two years of fundraising and collections acquisition, the Western Museum, the predecessor to CMC’s Museum of Natural History & Science, opened in 1820, the first public science museum west of the Allegheny Mountains.

The University of Cincinnati is a public research university founded in 1819 as Cincinnati College. It is the oldest institution of higher education in Cincinnati and has an annual enrollment of over 44,000 students, making it the second largest university in Ohio. The Department of Geosciences is a nationally ranked program with a proud history of paleontological research and instruction. To celebrate Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday, the University of Cincinnati hosted the 2009 North American Paleontological Convention.

The Vertebrate Paleontology Collection of Cincinnati Museum Center is housed at the Geier Collections & Research Center and comprises over 30,000 specimens, with special emphasis on Paleozoic and Pleistocene material from the middle Ohio Valley tri-state area (Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana), but with historic comparative materials from around the world. Also represented are significant holdings from Mesozoic marine deposits of the US Western Interior and mid-continental terrestrial fossils, notably from the Morrison and Hell Creek formations.

Cincinnati is also home to the world’s longest continually operating amateur paleontology society, the Dry Dredgers Association of Amateur Geologists and Fossil Collectors, founded in 1942. The Kentucky Paleontological Society, based in Lexington, Kentucky, operates in the area and collaborates with the Cincinnati community on numerous projects. The collaborative approach and atmosphere of mutual respect that exists between the amateur community, university scientists, and museum professionals in Cincinnati makes our city an excellent venue for the dissemination of paleontological knowledge and the continued understanding of, and respect for, evidence-based approaches to science and public policy.

A short drive from downtown is Big Bone Lick State Historic Site, rightly described as the birthplace of American vertebrate paleontology. It was here in 1739 that European explorers were first made aware of the existence of Pleistocene fossils that would later figure prominently in the history of science, documenting for example, the concepts of extinction, comparative morphology, climate change, and evolution. William Clark, at the behest of Thomas Jefferson, conducted the first organized paleontological excavation in the Americas here in 1807, while Charles Lyell visited the site in 1842.

Cincinnati is a fun, dynamic, quirky, sophisticated, and thriving city with old-world charm on the banks of the Ohio River and a metro population of over 2 million. Seven fortune 500 companies call the area home. Cincinnati is in the midst of an exciting renaissance with a convergence of developments, entertainment districts, historic architectural renovations, parks, restaurants, museums, and a growing residential population downtown. Cultural attractions of interest to visitors include the Cincinnati Art Museum, Taft Museum of Art, Music Hall, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Contemporary Arts Center, 21C Museum Hotel, Aronoff Center for the Arts, Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens, The Banks, Over-the Rhine historic and entertainment district, Newport Aquarium, and of course, Cincinnati Museum Center, all in or in close proximity to downtown. A free public streetcar system is a convenient way to access dining and entertainment in the urban core.

We invite everyone to attend the Welcome Reception at the Cincinnati Museum Center where we will highlight the city’s rich heritage of paleontological research, collections, and education. We hope you will enjoy all that Cincinnati has to offer during the 83rd Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology!

2023 Annual Meeting Host Committee
Glenn Storrs, Cincinnati Museum Center (co-chair)
Joshua Miller, University of Cincinnati (co-chair)
Jonathan Calede, The Ohio State University at Marion
Brooke Crowley, University of Cincinnati
Brenda Hunda, Cincinnati Museum Center
Takuya Konishi, University of Cincinnati
Carlos Peredo, Miami University
Julie Reizner, Northern Kentucky University
Cameron Schwalbach, Cincinnati Museum Center