GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History will host a meeting of nearly 500 scientists from 28 countries for the 10th North American Paleontological Convention Feb. 15-18 at the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center.
Established 45 years ago and held every five years, the conference brings together scholars, students and others interested in paleontology. Attendees from every continent but Antarctica are expected for this year’s meeting.
“This event offers paleontologists from all over the world an opportunity to exchange research ideas and highlight recent scientific discoveries unearthed from the fossil record,” said Florida Museum Thompson Chair of Invertebrate Paleontology Michal Kowalewski, who heads the NAPC organizing committee. “We are thrilled to have been selected as a host for this major event. It is a sign of recognition for our museum as an internationally known center of paleontology. It is also an opportunity to showcase the university to prominent scientists and talented students from leading academic centers worldwide.”
The conference is intended for paleontology enthusiasts of any level. In celebration of the active participation of avocational paleontologists, the 2014 meeting agenda includes special activities and symposia for amateurs and representatives from more than 24 fossil clubs from across the U.S. Additional lectures will feature themes focused on a wide range of topics geared toward professionals. The overall objective is to showcase new research applications and increase communication among different disciplines.
“While we all have our specific areas of interest, it’s important to see how people outside your research area are addressing similar types of scientific questions,” said Troy Dexter, associate chair of the meeting organizing committee and a post-doctoral researcher in the Florida Museum’s invertebrate paleontology program.
Conference presentations are given as oral or poster sessions. Oral presentations are scheduled in 15-minute time slots with 305 talks slated. The poster presentations take place in an exposition-style layout with 74 presenters stationed at their display booths. The exposition format allows attendees and presenters to discuss individual research projects. Nearly 800 researchers contributed to projects that will be presented at the conference.
“This is the best paleontological gathering in the world,” said Jack Horner, curator of paleontology at the Museum of the Rockies and an oral presenter at this year’s meeting. “It provides the perfect platform for all paleontology disciplines to come together in one place and present new ideas or studies. I am looking forward to attending and presenting.”
Full- and single-day registrations will be accepted before and during the conference. Full-conference registration is $475 for professionals and $400 for students. Single-day registration is $200, or $125 for students. A special rate for avocational/amateurs and K-12 educators also is available.
Conference check-in begins Friday, Feb. 14 at 3 p.m. with the opening reception and ice breaker starting at 6 p.m. at the Florida Museum. Sessions will continue from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. daily until the closing banquet on Tuesday, Feb. 18 at the UF Touchdown Terrace at 5:30 p.m. Pre- and post-conference trips also are available. For late registration, visit http://reg.conferences.dce.ufl.edu/napc/Register. For questions or more information, visit http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/napc/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Florida is a great geological location for studying fossils and represents one of the most active regions for data gathering and scientific research, creating an ideal venue for the conference,” Kowalewski said.