STANYS/NYSESTA Fossil Collecting Trip

STANYS/NYSESTA Fossil Collecting Trip
August 22-23, 2014

Ridgemount Quarry, Ft Erie, Ontario & Penn Dixie Paleontological Outdoor Ed Ctr, Hamburg, NY

Suffolk & Westchester STANYS along with the New York State Earth Science Teachers Association (NYSESTA) invite you and your family to participate in a unique opportunity to collect fossils from western New York and eastern Ontario’s Paleozoic rocks. You will have an opportunity to hunt for Eurypterids from a Silurian site on Friday, and a variety of
invertebrates, including trilobites, brachiopods, horn corals, and crinoids, from a Devonian site on Saturday.

Gary Vorwald and Chris Marotta, from the Suffolk STANYS section, will lead the trip. Gary Vorwald is a veteran Earth Science teacher from the Three Village CSD and studied paleontology at the University of Kansas. Chris Marotta has led many fossil collecting trips for the New York Paleontological Society.

You can join the trip anytime as long as you inform the trip leaders and pre-register. For those interested, we will make a stop at the Museum of the Earth in Ithaca on Thursday, August 21.

Friday, August 22:
Our first stop will be on Friday, August 22nd Ridgemount Quarry, Stevensville, Ontario, Canada. We will meet at the entrance to the quarry at 9:00 a.m. We will collect Eurypterids. Eurypterids, sometimes known as “Sea Scorpions,” are some of the most sought after fossils. You may keep any fossil you find, at no charge, but you
must remove it by 4:00 p.m. This site is about ten miles from the U.S./Canadian border near Buffalo, NY. It is in Canada, so a passport or an “Enhanced Drivers License” is required. Children under 18 should bring a Birth Certificate. NOTE: Only children 14 years or older may enter the quarry. This quarry is not generally open to the public, so this will be a unique opportunity to try to find some of these elusive and rare fossils. The trip is well worth the effort. Participants on previous trips to the site have found numerous eurypterid parts, and some lucky people found several complete specimens.
This is a working quarry so regulations are very strict. Safety equipment is required (there will be an inspection prior to entering the quarry). The gear required includes: steel toed boots, goggles, orange safety vest, and a hard hat.

Saturday, August 23: Penn Dixie Paleontological Outdoor Education Center, Hamburg, NY
Our second stop will be to this very fossiliferous site, located about 15 miles south of Buffalo.
We will collect from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. There is an admission fee of $7.00 for adult/$6.00
for children and you can keep all fossils that you find. The shale is weathering to a clay, and it is very easy to find crinoid stems, brachiopods, horn coral, etc. Trilobites (Phacops & Greenops) can also be found by splitting the more limey layers. Fossils are abundant and everyone will go home with a nice collection. There is NO age restriction at this site and it is family friendly.
Tools to bring include rock hammers, sledge hammers, goggles, boxes or buckets for specimens, paper, etc.
You will need water and a picnic lunch for each site.
Complete travel directions for both sites will be provided to everyone who registers. We will also provide suggested accommodations and a detailed itinerary.
Registration deadline is Wednesday, August 13th.
Cost is $20/family.
Professional development hours/credit will be available to all teachers who register.
Niagara Falls is located nearby, and there are many attractions that can be visited in the region.

For more information, contact Gary Vorwald at:

Friday, August 22, 2014 - 9:00am to Saturday, August 23, 2014 - 4:00pm
Fee for participation: 
$20 per family

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