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President's Message

What a great season opener. We had almost a hundred club members in attendance to meet the cast of Fossil Hunters and we watched one of the new episodes. I want to thank Donald & April Brunning, Zach Zacharias, and Trish Dudiak for making a long drive from the Daytona Beach area to spend the evening with TBFC. We look forward to seeing more epsisodes of Fossil Hunters on television.

October 3rd Meeting
Dr. Jay O’Sullivan
Grit vs. Grass, the Suwannee River Miller Horse Site

Dr. Jay O’Sullivan is a professional paleontologist, a TBFC Professional Advisor, and a member of TBFC. He comes to meetings, drags his family out to the Peace River on several occasions each year, and seems to have as much fun as the next guy sitting in the river with a shovel and fossil screen.

I’ve seen Dr. Jay speak on several occasions, always about the small, three-toed horses that once roamed this continent. One such occasion was at the North American Paleontological Convention. Unlike many of the other presentations, Dr. Jay drew a crowd of both professionals and amateurs alike. And he knew just how to speak to the mixed group. Many of the speakers seemed as if they were being graded on their lecture, afraid to make any mistakes, or take chances on their theories and thoughts on the subject. Not Dr. Jay. He presented his research, using terms that the amateurs in attendance could understand, while clearly (in another scientific language sometimes) exchanging information with the professionals. He also asked questions of his audience, something none of the other presenters did. Dr. Jay is special in his field, perfectly bridging a gap between amateur and professional paleontologists. Not too many professionals embrace the amateur community like Dr. Jay O’Sullivan. I know TBFC will enjoy his presentation and I look forward to introducing Dr. Jay to our new members.

Fossil Day
Celebrate with TBFC at the Florida Aquarium
October 10th

Did you know there’s a Fossil Day? The National Park Service and the American Geosciences Institute are partnering again to host the 6th Annual National Fossil Day (officially) on October 15th during Earth Science Week. Fossil Day is a celebration organized to promote public awareness and stewardship of fossils, as well as to foster a greater appreciation of their scientific and educational value. TBFC has partnered with the FL Aquarium to celebrate Fossil Day on Saturday, October 10th.

For the past five years the Florida Aquarium has been gracious enough to host TBFC for Fossil Day. It’s been a great location and we literally get a thousand people to walk by our displays. In past years we set up a large display of skulls and fossils and had activities for kids. Last year the Aquarium asked if we could step it up a notch, and we did!

In addition to TBFC’s large display of Florida fossils, we will be manning stations throughout the Aquarium where we display the fossil relatives of the live animals in the exhibits. It should prove to be interesting for the Aquarium visitors and hopefully attract some new members to TBFC! If you haven’t visited the Florida Aquarium in the past, October 10th is a great day to start!

November 7th Meeting
TBFC Ben Waller Memorial Auction with Dr. Bob Sinibaldi

For many years TBFC has held its Christmas Auction at the December meeting. In the past few years though, scheduling guidelines at the University of South Florida where we meet has prevented us from meeting on the first Saturday in December. As a result, we’ve seen a terrible drop in attendance at the December meeting. I understand why with our December meeting held just a couple of weeks before the holidays. For that reason, we’ve moved the auction to November when more members can attend.

This will be your best opportunity to pick up some fossils, artifacts, and all sorts of “paleo” related goodies for your favorite fossil hunter. Or, what the heck, to keep for yourself! And it’s all for a good cause. Proceeds will benefit the numerous scholarships TBFC awards throughout the year.

There will be lots of “paleo” items available in the auction from all of the generous folks who donate to this worthy cause. So, if you have a bunch of those pesky meg teeth laying around, or too many mammoth molars to fit under your bed, consider donating them to this excellent cause! If you don’t have any fossils you’re ready to part with yet, a big heart and a deep wallet is all you need. What makes the Ben Waller Memorial Auction a success… is YOU!

TBFC’s auctioneer extraordinaire will once again be our very own Dr. Bob Sinibaldi. His booming voice and silly anecdotes keeps the auction interesting and a not to be missed show. I hope to see a good crowd on hand to help us raise some money for TBFC. We’ll have lots of great paleo-items to auction off including a good supply of legally collected artifacts.

And… to make it easier for you to purchase items from TBFC’s auction and paleo store, we take credit and debit cards!

Hope to see everyone on October 3rd!
Good Hunting,
Mike Searle