MAPS (Mid America Paleontology Society), Sponsor of National Fossil Exposition

Photos from Expo 31 in 2009

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APRIL 1-3, 2011:

Expo 33 show flier and News Release

The topic will be life during the Cretaceous Geologic Time Period about 144 TO 66.5 million years ago.

Expo Location Maps

Workshops  Live Auctions Transportation  Lodging  Parking  Meals 

Expo 33 Vendor Table Registration Form

Vendor Information Area 

F R E E   A D M I S S I O N

The theme for Expo 33 will be "The Cretaceous"

     The keynote talk is titled:
"Application of Archaeological Field Methods in Paleontology"
and will be given by Dr. Steven Nicklas of Atlanta, GA.

     Show hours will be the same as in the past - 8am to 5pm on Friday and Saturday, and 8am to Noon on Sunday.

     The Keynote talk will be given on Friday evening, start time at 5:15 PM.

     The Live Auction will be held Saturday evening, start time at 5:15 PM.

Please note that the start times for the evening events have moved up! The hope is that this will allow more people to attend the Keynote & Auction, and this will hopefully allow the activities to end before dinnertime.


Paleo Prospectors is donating a dinosaur dig trip for the live auction Saturday evening, April 2nd 2011!

  • The dig is for 1 week in June or July of 2012 (choice of approximately three different weeks).

  • Possible digs may be in North Dakota, South Dakota or Wyoming.

  • You will be able to keep almost everything that you find (up to a maximum of $4,000.00).

  • Only individual bones valued at over $1,500.00 and articulated bones are excluded.

  • In all cases, however, if you cannot keep your find, you will receive a finder's fee of three percent after the final sale of the object.

  • In most cases each participant finds several hundred bone fragments, ten or so mostly complete bones and an occasional tooth and claw.

  • The minimum bid is $900.

  • If you are not able to attend Expo but would like to bid on the trip, proxy bids can be e-mailed to Expo chair Tom Williams - (815) 223-9638.

  • Payment may be made in 4 installments.

  • For more information on Paleo Prospectors digs, check out their website.

Above left - Ray Garton of Prehistoric Planet had this Allosaurus skull replica on display at Expo 31 in 2009.

Above right - Russ Jacobson had this slab of crinoid fossils at Expo 31.

Hopefully these pictures help to give you some idea of the kinds of items that will be on display and/or for sale at Expo 33 this April!!

Above left - Paul Gritis Books always has a terrific array of items on sale at Expo!

Above right - You can stop in and see Paula Mikkelsen of the Paleontological Research Institution (PRI).

Hundreds of other vendor tables will be at Expo 33!

Above - Zarko Ljubojas of Benthos Projects holds a crinoid slab which he had for sale at Expo 31 in 2009.



If you would like to get some idea of the scope of the show, click on the links below to see a short video of the 2009 MAPS EXPO XXXI show floor. You may need the QuickTime Player plug-in to view the movies. You can download it here - Free Apple Quicktime download

The videos are unfortuantely very grainy, and were a sort of trial run in 2009.

Also, hi-speed internet is highly recommended to view these.

Large size .mov clip

QuickTime and the QuickTime Logo are trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

Expo 33 will have a series of five Saturday

Workshops on April 2nd, 2011!

at 9:30 AM Don Johnson, AKA 'The Fossil Guy' will present

'When Tyrannosaurs Roamed Montana'

A number of different kinds of tyrannosaurs including Albertosaurus, Daspletosaurus, and T. rex roamed Montana during the Late Cretaceous Period. Were the tyrannosaurs scavengers, predators, or both? What animals did they eat? Were they smart or stupid? What do the fossils tell us about the tyrannosaurs, and what is merely speculation? What was their correct posture, and how did they balance on two legs? For what did they use their tiny arms? What made their teeth special? Get straight answers to these questions and more during this educational program. Those in attendance will see a replica of the 'Peck’s Rex' T. rex jaw, touch real T. rex fossils including a T. rex tooth and claw, and learn about the tremendous teenage growth spurt of T. rex. Don will share his experiences hunting for tyrannosaur fossils in the badlands of South Dakota and Montana.

Don's Contact Information: EIPP President, 319-213-1390, Email:  Don Johnson

Don's bio:

Don is an amateur paleontologist from Fairfax, IA with a special interest in fossil vertebrates. His collection of fossils and fossil replicas is one of the largest in Iowa, and he has experience collecting fossils in Iowa and other states out West. Using his self-given nickname 'The Fossil Guy', he has taught numerous programs since 2002, mostly at the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History and the Cedar Rapids Science Station. In 2005, Don organized (and is currently President of) the Eastern Iowa Paleontology Project (EIPP) in order to establish exhibits and promote science education through the wonder of paleontology using the motto 'Bringing Dinosaurs to Iowa!'

at 10:45 AM Bill Desmarais - a fellow MAPS member - will present:

'Jurassic Jumble: Waugh Quarry, Wyoming'

The Jurassic Period sported some of the largest of all dinosaurs. Many times when they died their skeletons were taken apart by the forces of nature, like a flowing stream, and jumbled together for modern day paleontologists to discover. The Waugh Quarry, near Hulett, Wyoming, is such a place. This workshop will demonstrate field techniques used to find, remove, and document dinosaur remains from this Jurassic quarry. Participants will also be able to do hands-on activities that simulate the work done in dinosaur quarries. This workshop is appropriate for any age.

Bill's Bio:

Bill Desmarais was a high school science teacher in Iowa for 36 years before his retirement in 2007. He taught biology, earth sciences, and Advanced Placement Environmental Science at Washington High School in Cedar Rapids. Since 1982 he has had the good fortune to work with Dr. Philip Currie of the University of Alberta at Edmonton and Pete and Neal Larson of the Black Hills Institute at several dinosaur quarries in South Dakota, Wyoming and several locations in Alberta, Canada. The adventure and thrill of discovering dinosaur remains is what drives him to hunt the 'terrible lizards'.
Bill is a fellow in the Iowa Academy of Science and a member of the Cedar Valley Rock and Minerals Society and the Mid-America Paleontological Society.

at 12:45 PM John Catalani - retired High School Science teacher and Cephalopod Expert - will present:

'Ammonites: End of an Era'

John's talk will compare and contrast nautiloids and ammonoids in terms of morphologic features and lifestyles. For too long, the modern day Nautilus has been the main analogue to ammonoid structure and behavior when in reality ammonoids were more closely related to coleoids. (Coleoids include such familiar modern day cephalopods as squid, octopus, and cuttlefish.) This program will provide background and evidence to evaluate the survival of the nautiloids and the extinction of the ammonites at the end of the Cretaceous Period.

John's Bio:

John Catalani taught high school Earth Science for 32 years before retiring in 2004. Since 1995, he has written the 'An Amateur's Perspective' column for the newsletter magazine of the Paleontological Research Institution, American Paleontologist. John has several publications including one on Upper Mississippi Valley nautiloids for the Minnesota Geological Survey's Report of Investigation 35 on the Ordovician conference held in conjunction with the 1987 North-Central GSA meeting and several with Robert Frey on Platteville Group Nautiloids. He has also presented many programs to clubs and at PaleoFest at the Burpee Museum in 2010.

at 2:00 PM Charles Newsom - University of Iowa Physics Professor and an avid amateur fossil collector - will present:

'Stump the Experts - Bring your Fossils to ID.'

If Charles can't identify it, he will find someone who can! He will also give general tips on IDing your material.

Charles shares a love of all things fossilized with his friends and spends much of his spare time working on his extensive fossil collections from all over the nation.

     at 3:15 PM Tiffany Adrain,
     Curator of the University of
     Iowa Geoscience Repository
     will present:

'Who Will Look After My Fossil Collection?'

In this workshop we will discuss why, when and how fossils might be donated to a museum, what museums do with donations, what they can and cannot accept, why it takes such a long time for your donated specimens to appear in print or on display, and legal requirements for owner transfer and tax deductions for charitable giving.

Tiffany Adrain is Collections Manager at the University of Iowa Paleontology Repository. She has been looking after fossil collections for 20 years both at Iowa and, previously, in London, England.

Transportation - Lodging - Parking - Meals


There are 2 highways leading into Macomb—IL 136, an E-W route, and IL 67, a N-S route.
There is no plane service to Macomb at this time, but you can fly into Moline, IL, St. Louis, MO, or Peoria, IL, and rent a car and drive to Macomb.


HOTELS-MOTELS We have been informed that most Macomb motels have different prices for weekends than for weekdays, so check prices if you are concerned about costs.
It has been reported that some of the hotels raise the price for EXPO weekend, so you might want to check prices.

If you plan to stay in a motel, we urge you to make your reservations early. Local motels are generally filled during the weekends.


Macomb area code is 309, ZIP code is 61455
with link to hotel web site
Phone Number Address E-Mail
836-6700 1655 E. Jackson St.
Macomb Days Inn
(See below for Expo Special)
833-5511 1400 N. Lafayette (US Hwy 67)  
833-4521 1414 W Jackson (US Hwy 136)
837-6000 1631 East Jackson
837-2220 1646 N. Lafayette
Star Motel
(See below for Expo Special)
837-4817 1507 E Jackson St
(Hwys 67 S and 136 E)
836-8888 313 University Ave
Pineapple Inn
837-1914 204 Jefferson St.  
298-1941 West Murray St.
Brockway House
Bed & Breakfast
837-2175 331 E. Carrol  

Much more restaurant & hotel info can be found at: Macomb Area Convention & Visitors' Bureau
and also at: Macomb Area Business Guide Motels Page

CAMPERS Persons traveling in self-contained camping units may park in the parking lot at the Expo.
See Public Safety located in the Union. IDENTIFY WITH MAPS

MOBILE HOME PARKING Parking is offered at TILL JORDAN MEADOW MOBILE PARK by calling 309-837-2883, for those who wish utility hook-up.

UNION No rooms are blocked at the Union. Contact Western Illinois University directly at 309-298-1941 to see if rooms are available. (Note: the show is held in Western Hall.)

OLSON HALL Dormitory-style housing is available at the University in Olson Hall—Dorm rooms with community bath on floor. CONTACT THE UNIVERSITY directly at 309-298-3500 for reservations.



Parking at Western Hall will be free in the large lot adjacent to the hall. Check to see if visitor permits are available when you arrive. If you get a ticket, it can be fixed with a phone call; the number will be available at the
front desk. For those staying in the Union, parking is in the lot to the east with room permits.


There will be a food stand in a room adjoining the Gym. Meals are also available in the Union: fast food in the LOWER level and a deli in the basement. Ice cream is also available. There are many restaurants in town and a deli bar in a nearby grocery store.

For a restaurant list see: Macomb Area Convention & Visitors' Bureau Food Page


Position Name
(with clickable e-mail link)
Address Phone Number
Show Chairman
Tom Williams 2122 14th St.,
Peru, IL 61354
(815) 223-9638
Co-Chairman &
Vendor Table Reservations
Steve Holley 30795 N. Norris Blacktop Rd,
Farmington, IL 61531
(309) 231-8861
Live Auction &
Show Publicity Chair
Marv Houg  
Silent Auctions
Wanda Aldred 9522 Mill Road,
Shoals, IN 47581
(812) 247-3780
Expo Digest Editors
John Catalani
Chris Cozart

Vendor Information Area




Steve Holley
30795 N. Norris Blacktop Rd.
Farmington, IL 61531

• Everyone is requested to make advance table registration by February 15, 2011. Mark your calendars now so you don’t forget!

• The floor plan will be first laid out on February 15, with all received requests being assigned tables. Thereafter, tables will be assigned on a first come/first served basis. This is necessary to insure fairness to all registrants, and to determine remaining number of tables.

• Registrations with special requests (e.g. same as last year, next to John Doe, etc.) must be received by February 15 to be honored. Special requests received after Feb. 15 will be honored if possible, but cannot be promised.

• If a request is made to be next to a friend or family member, all the involved people must have their payments and registrations in by February 15 to be honored. For example, if 4 members wish to be clumped in a group, 3 turn in registrations and the 4th does not, the 4th person may not be set up with the grouping, if the tables are used up. (Of course, every effort WILL be made to keep the 4 members together.)

• If Western Hall fills to capacity, a waiting list shall be created. As cancellations occur, the tables will be assigned in the order received.

• A maximum of 10 tables can be reserved per person, organization, or membership. Tables are 6’ long. (Only 3 tables/person can be along the wall.)


Admission to the show is free. Please send dues to Treasurer before EXPO. If you do pay at Expo, please be sure your dues payment is recorded before you leave the desk.

  • Everyone Is Expected To Stay Through 5:00 Saturday, And All Are Encouraged To Stay Through Sunday.
  • Please Note Your Plans For Leaving On The Reservation Form.
  • The Committee Insists That All Materials Be Fossil Or Fossil-Related. Mountings, Gemstones, Minerals, Human Remains, Artifacts, or Relics, etc., are NOT PERMITTED!!!
  • Please Be Sure All Your Material Is Legal.
  • Aisles Must Be Kept Clear At All Times.


The MAPS Board has voted, and WIU has agreed, to allow dealers to set up table coverings, lights, and cases on Thursday night March 25th starting at 6:00 p.m.
  • Dealers may bring boxes of fossils or other items in but they cannot set them out.
  • There will be absolutely no displaying, selling, or trading of fossils or other fossil related items on Thursday night in the hall.
  • Failure to comply with this will result in not being allowed back next year.
  • Also please note that there will be NO SECURITY on Thursday night.
  • Anything brought in by dealers on Thursday night is at their own risk.


A live auction will be held on Saturday evening of EXPO, following a brief business meeting and award presentations. Also, during show hours, a silent auction will be held to shorten the live auction. As part of your table fees, you are required to donate a correctly labeled, quality fossil(s) or fossil-related item(s) to the Auction. Information to include with the specimen is as follows:

  • Brief description and common name, species information, location, and time period.
  • A minimum guide to the value of your donation would be something equal to your table fee. In other words, if you have one table, the donation should have a minimum value of $20; two tables, $40; and so on.

Preference on future table assignments will be given to those who make a donation to the auction.

Most proceeds from the auction go to the Paleontological Society Scholarship Fund. As an interesting note, a number of Auction donations are made by individuals who do not have tables, or who are unable to attend EXPO or the Auction.

The many generous donations in preceding years have allowed us to contribute approximately $3500 for each of the past several years. 2007’s auction brought about $5100 with the addition of a dinosaur-hunting trip. Our primary support goes to the Paleontological Society for scholarships and the Strimple Fund, with additional support to the Paleontological Research Institute (PRI), and the Repository at the University of Iowa, which hosts MAPS board meetings. With continued membership support, we hope to continue this trend.


Displays are welcome at the show. Please note any displays you are bringing on the registration form.

SCHOOL CHILDREN A large number of school children usually visit Expo on Friday morning.