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

About MAPS

See Also: MAPS Governing Board

MAPS is one of the few strictly fossil clubs in the country. It is for the novice/beginner who wants to know more about these treasures from the past; it is for the old-timers who have so much expertise and knowledge to share with the rest of us; and it is for all those who fall in-between who share our love of fossils.

A major benefit of joining maps is the vigorous trading of fossils that occurs between members from different parts of the world. Many members also send give-away fossils to school teachers for use in their classrooms.

MAPS joins with other clubs to sponsor several field trips per year to some local quarries. There we collect wonderful Devonian trilobites, huge nautiloids, the occasional perfect crinoid and many species of brachiopods and other interesting fossils. Of course after each trip we all gather together to swap stories and show off our great finds of the day!

MAPS Expo is the largest fossils-only show in the world.

We do not discuss rocks, minerals, crystals or lapidary. Our desire and aim is that MAPS develop into a semiprofessional society that will make a real contribution to the collecting, the study, the preparation, the identification, and the display of fossils.

Anyone, anywhere who is interested
in fossils is eligible for membership in MAPS.

MAPS has sponsored the National Fossil Exposition since 1979. The EXPO will be held in the fall beginning in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, with fossil enthusiasts converging from all across the nation as well as from Canada and a few overseas countries. It is the place for fossil lovers to be.

Club meetings have shifted as of 2022, due to the annual EXPO moving from the spring to the fall: the second Saturday of January, February, and November at 2 P.M. in Trowbridge Hall at the University of Iowa, 123 N. Capital St., Iowa City, Iowa. (Meetings are occasionally held at other sites, so it is wise to check the news site, in the Digest or with a MAPS officer before attending the meeting if you are not a regular attendee.)

Club meetings will also be held at the spring field trip (usually in April or May) and also at EXPO each October.

Please note, in person meetings have not resumed yet due to COVID-19, but should resume sometime in 2022.
Once they resume, meetings will be hybrid - if you are unable to attend in person, they will be streamed on the web via Zoom which will allow for faraway members to participate virtually. A Zoom link will be sent to all interested MAPS members prior to each meeting.

We have more than 300 families or individuals on our membership list from 40 states 7 countries on 4 continents. The most noteworthy thing about the members is their intense love for the hobby. There are those who have become members after seeing a fossil display in a museum; there are those who are caught up in the charisma of other fossil lovers only to become addicted themselves; there are those who have been in this hobby for forty years; there are those who are professional Paleontologists; and there are those who just quietly go about collecting and sharing. Ages of our members span eight decades.

If you can attend only an occasional meeting of the society, your major contact will be through the MAPS Digest. It is published about 4 times per year. We hope to make this a worthwhile bulletin, with good articles on all aspects of fossil collecting.

If you are interested in joining our community of amateur and professional paleontologists and fossil enthusiasts, we invite you to complete and mail a membership application today.

EXPO 2022 Newsletter