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

News & Events

Current News for 2022

2022 National Fossil Expo HAS BEEN SCHEDULED

EXPO 2022 has been rescheduled to October 21-23, 2022.

Please note that MAPS is required to follow any State of Illinois COVID-19 protocols that may still be in place by October 2022.

The show will be held at the Orr Building on the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Illinois.

This is a newer facility, with more square footage, restrooms, and easy access for the set up and tear down processes.

In 2022, admission to the show will revert to being FREE FOR ANY WHO WISH TO ATTEND!!

Please note that our keynote speaker will be John Catalani, as Don Bissett has been forced to cancel due to a health issue.

For a PDF of the EXPO 2022 Schedule of Events, please click here.

Schedule of events for Friday, October 21:

At The Orr Building:

Silent Auctions Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Children’s Activities

10:30 p.m. John Catalani: “The Mifflin Member of the Platteville Formation--Source of the Residuum Konzentrat-Lagerstätte”
The Mifflin Member is the overall most fossiliferous rock unit of the Upper Ordovician Platteville Formation. Some would say this unit is the most fossiliferous rock unit in the entire upper mid-west based on both diversity and abundance. I will analyze the environmental factors and paleogeography of the Mohawkian Sea--home of the Platteville fauna often termed the “Gonioceras Fauna”. The four fossiliferous facies of the Mifflin will be described, pictured, and located with a complete faunal list presented for each. Photographs of fossils present in the four facies illustrate the diversity of the fauna contained in Mifflin rocks.

11:45 a.m. “Stump the Experts- Bring your fossils to ID”
Someone will be available at a table near the registration desk at 11:45 Friday and Saturday for fossil ID

1:00 p.m. Tom Williams: “A Crinoid Bank in the Mississippian of Alabama“
During the Chesterian time of the Mississippian, crinoids were one of the dominant reef building organisms. In many cases they formed entire banks or gardens. The Chesterian in Northern Alabama was a time when crinoids in many areas dominated the bottom of the oceans when conditions were right. This talk shows an area in the Lower Bangor Limestone where such a crinoid bank existed and was preserved in situ with some specimens being as long as six feet from the attachment to the crown. The conditions hat allowed this unique site to be preserved is indeed a rare occurrence.

2:30 p.m. Alan Goldstein: “Fossils of the Waldron Shale with a special emphasis on Clark County, Indiana”
The Waldron Shale fauna was first described by James Hall in 1879. Rich (but sporadic) exposures in Indiana and Tennessee have long been a favorite of fossil enthusiasts and scientists alike. In 1994, the Atkins Quarry in Jeffersonville, Indiana, and later, the Sellersburg Quarry, revealed new fossil-rich exposures. Curiously, across the Ohio River in Louisville, KY, this shale is highly dolomitized, and fossils are either not present or very poorly preserved. This presentation will review the Waldron fauna with an emphasis on unique species found in the quarries of Clark Co., Indiana.

At The Northfield Inn:

Friday, October 21, Keynote Address by John Catalani
( John has graciously stepped in to replace Don Bissett - who had to cancel due to illness)

5:45 p.m. ”An Ordovician Konzentrat Lagerstätte: The Dixon Mifflin Residuum Fauna”

Lagerstätten Deposits are explained and important Paleozoic Lagerstätten are graphically located on a geologic time chart. Stratigraphic charts show the rock units exposed at the two quarries: the Dixon residuum Lagerstätte quarry, the subject of the program, and the Lee Center dolostone quarry used as a comparative example of the most common Platteville lithology. Depositional environments, Ordovician paleogeography, and lithology of Platteville rocks around the Wisconsin Arch are described. The two quarries are described and illustrated with field photographs Lists of collected fossils reveal the incredible diversity at both sites. The remainder of the program consists of photographs of specific fossils, one specimen from each of the two quarries, providing a side-by-side comparison of fossil taxa collected.

Schedule of events for Saturday, October 22:

At The Orr Building:

Silent Auctions Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Children’s Activities

10:30 a.m. Rich Fuchs: “Graptolites of the Upper Ordovician”
We will begin with the nature of graptolites and some nomenclature. A brief look will be taken regarding the difference between Dendroidea and Graptoloidea. Examples of both of these are examined, as they are found in the Upper Ordovician in the vicinity of Cincinnati, Ohio. This portion of the stratigraphic layers in the Ordovician is referred to as the Cincinnatian. Finally, we will look at some examples listed with the graptolites, which might not be actual graptolites.

11:45 a.m. “Stump the Experts- Bring your fossils to ID”
Someone will be available at a table near the registration desk at 11:45 Friday and Saturday for fossil ID

1:00 p.m. Dan Cooper: "A history of 10 Famous Paleozoic fossil sites of the United States"
The 10 sites : Sylvania, Ohio; Crawfordsville, Indiana; Walcott Rust, New York; Antelope Valley, Utah; Cincinnati, Ohio; Penn Dixie, New York; Marble Mountains, California; Montevallo, Alabama;  Pontiac, Illinois; and Waldron, Indiana

2:30 p.m. Alan Goldstein: “The Falls of the Ohio State Park – Today and in the Devonian”
The Falls of the State Park was established in 1990 to preserve and interpret the 390-million-year-old Devonian fossil beds, one of America’s first known significant fossil deposits. The park has a 16,000 sq. foot Interpretive Center, several access points to the fossil beds, and amenities for a day-use property. The large “lower fossil beds” are best exposed in late summer though late fall. Here, it is possible to walk (“dry snorkel”) on the floor of a coral-stromatoporoid bioherm with fossil that lived at about the same time. The upper fossil beds have greater faunal diversity and are only covered by the Ohio River sporadically throughout the year.  


5:30 p.m. Saturday, October 22

Approximately 80 fossils and fossil-related items will be auctioned.

Note: The Dinosaur Dig Trip normally offered by Paleo Prospectors will not be offered this year.

Schedule of events for Sunday, October 23:

At The Orr Building:

Silent Auctions Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Children’s Activities

1:00 p.m. Jim Preslicka: “Devonian Fossils from Independence, Iowa”.
Discovery of an unusually fossiliferous layer in a quarry in Independence, IA in 2007 by members of the Black Hawk Gem & Mineral Society led to a 10+ year partnership with the University of Iowa Geoscience Repository to collect and preserve thousands of specimens for further study. Many of these specimens were of species that were either poorly known or had not been found in Iowa/the Midwest before.

Speaker information:

John taught high school Earth Science for 32 years before retiring in 2004. From 1995 until it ceased publication in 2011, he authored 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 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.

Alan Goldstein is a life-long fossil enthusiast. He has been the full-time interpretive naturalist and park paleontologist for 29 years where he developed the programing that has reached hundreds of thousands of students and public visitors. He has presented at regional and national conferences on science education topics, collaborated with Dr. William Ausich in describing 10 new Mississippian crinoids from Kentucky, and has had articles in paleontology, mineralogy, astronomy, and science education published for over 40 years. In 2021, Alan’s mid-grade children’s fantasy novel was published.  

Rich was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, and graduated from Xavier University. He spent 42 years teaching high school chemistry. Occasionally, He also taught algebra, geometry, and calculus. He is currently retired. Rich became a member of the Dry Dredgers in 1981 and is now the vice-president and program chairman. He is also a member of MAPS and the Paleontological Society. Rich has also been a volunteer in paleontology at the Cincinnati Museum Center for the last 30 years. He is also a member of the board of Geofair , in Cincinnati. He began collecting fossils more than 40 years ago and shifted his attention to a lot of fossils that other collectors tend to ignore: among these are graptolites, trace fossils, and scolecodonts.

Dan Cooper was born and in raised in the greater Cincinnati area that allowed access to the excellent collecting locations of the Cincinnatian strata. Applying many of the techniques and experiences from his profession as an Aerospace Engineer, he has successfully collected, donated, and contributed scientifically to the science of trilobites. He has co-authored several scientific publications and has donated thousands of specimen to universities, museums and other scientific institutes. He has collected over 20,000 trilobites from his Mt. Orab, Ohio property purchased in 1982. He along with Tom Whiteley also rediscovered the famous soft body Triarthus collected in the late 19th century and assisted the American Museum of natural History and the Smithsonian in adding thousands of specimen to their collections.

Tom is a geology graduate of Western Illinois University and later received a Master of Science in Geohydrology at Illinois State. He has worked for 30 plus years as a geologist for Soil Testing Services Consultants, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and as a part time instructor at Illinois State in Geologic Environmental Classes. He has contributed articles to several MAPS digests and is currently Show Chairman for EXPO. He has specialised mostly in collecting Crinoids in the Mississippian Chesterian age since 1980, contributing knowledge and some important specimens while collecting with other researchers. In 1998 he worked with Dennis Burdick on a major crinoid dig in the Chesterian of Alabama which uncovered many important specimens including whole plates up to five ft by five feet with some specimens having stems five to six feet long. A fossil trip with Paleoprospectors resulted in finding a thirty foot Tylosaur poriger in the Kansas chalk of Nebraska and a second trip two years ago yielded a Cretaceous fossil flowering plant that may be used for research.


Jim is a ‘96 BA Geology Univ of Iowa, member of the Mid America Paleontology Society, Black Hawk Gem & Mineral Society, Cedar Valley Rocks & Mineral Society, & LOESS Club. He got hooked on fossils in general and cephalopods in particular while a student at UI back in the 1990’s, and this obsession has continued to the present day. He has (co)-authored several articles for the EXPO Digest in the past as well as for some Iowa/GSI Guidebooks, focusing primarily on the Devonian Period.

FOSSIL EXPO 2022 INFO Newsletter available now

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This edition includes the table sign up sheet as well as maps, dates, and times for the upcoming Fossil EXPO 2022!
May 2022 EXPO INFO Newsletter

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Newsletters from 2015 - 2020 Available Below

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June-September 2021 Newsletter
EXPO 2021 Newsletter

January-April 2021 Newsletter

Winter 2020 Newsletter

Fall 2020 Newsletter

Summer 2020 Newsletter

January-March 2020 Newsletter

EXPO 2020 Newsletter

Sept-November 2019 Newsletter

May-August 2019 Newsletter

January-March 2019 Newsletter

EXPO 2019 INFO Newsletter

May-August 2018 Newsletter

January-March 2018 Newsletter

MAPS Expo 2018 Informational Newsletter

May-August 2017 MAPS Newsletter

Jan-March 2017 MAPS Newsletter

MAPS EXPO 2017 Informational Newsletter

May-Aug 2016 Newsletter

May-Aug 2016 Newsletter

Jan-Mar 2016 Newsletter

MAPS Expo 2016 information

Sept-Nov 2015 MAPS Digest Newsletter

May-Aug 2015 MAPS Digest Newsletter

Jan-Mar 2015 MAPS Digest Newsletter

MAPS EXPO 2015 Info Digest Newsletter

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