Meetings and Lectures

Unless otherwise noted, Society meetings begin at 2:30 PM on the first Sunday of each month. Visitors are welcome. In August, there is no meeting.

The Society meets at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. Complimentary parking available to Society members in the NHMLA Car Park to the north-west of the museum building. Members must show the parking attendant their Society parking pass to access the lot.

Upcoming Events

FEBRUARY 10, 2019, “HUNTING DINOSAURS IN THE BADLANDS OF ALBERTA, CANADA”-World-renowned paleontologist, Dr. Philip Currie, professor at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, who helped describe some of the first feathered dinosaurs. Areas of expertise: theropods, the origins of birds, and dinosaurian migration patterns and herding behavior. *PLEASE NOTE: this meeting will begin earlier, at 12:30 P.M. Because of space limitations, attendance limited to members only and invited guests.  

MARCH 3, 2019, “WALRUSES: A STORY OF EVOLUTION AND GIGANTISM” Dr. Jorge Velez-Juarbe, Paleobiologist, Assistant Curator of Marine Mammals (living and extinct), NHM.

APRIL 7, 2019, “WHY NAMES MATTER: HOW PALEONTOLOGY IS INFORMED BY MODERN MOLECULAR TECHNIQUES.” Shawn G. Wiedrick, Assistant Collections Manager, Invertebrate Paleontology, NHM. If you have gastropods to be identified, bring them to the April meeting, and Shawn will help identify them!

May 5, 2019- “HOW TO MAKE A DINOSAUR” –Jack Horner-famed paleontologist known for discovering and naming Maiasaura, providing the first clear evidence that some dinosaurs cared for their young. He was the technical advisor for all of the Jurassic Park films, and was the partial inspiration for Dr. Alan Grant, the lead character in the franchise. Because of space limitations, attendance limited to members only!

June 2, 2019- “HESPERORNITHIFORMS: THE FIRST MARINE BIRDS,” –Dr. Alyssa Bell, Postdoctural Research Associate of the Dinosaur Institute of the Los Angeles NHM. Dr. Bell’s research focuses primarily on avian evolution and the use of phylogenetics to study Cretaceous bird diversity.

July 7- Science Fair Winners; Back-Room Tour of the Natural History Museum, Los Angeles- Limited to Members Only!

August- No Meeting

September 8, 2019- “UNDERSTANDING THE CURRENT CORAL REEF CRISIS USING THE FOSSIL RECORD”- Amanda Godbold, paleontologist, PhD candidate at USC.

October 6, 2019-THE BAJA MAMMOTH EXPEDITION: FINDING CAMARADERIE WHILE DIGGING FOSSILS-Dr. Russell DiFiori, Professor of Biology and Chemistry, Pasadena City College. In 2003 Bruce Carter and Russ DiFiori and friends discovered the skull of a Columbian mammoth weathering out of a beach cliff along a remote stretch of coastline about 100 miles south of Ensenada. This program will start out with a short documentary video telling the story of the excavation adventure that transformed the people, all volunteers, that came along. The video was featured at the first International Earth Science Film Festival at the International Geological Congress in Florence, Italy in August 2004.  There will be a panel discussion after with members of the expedition team.

November 3, 2019- MICROPALEONTOLOGY: INTERROGATING THE FOSSIL RECORD OF SMALL, SOFT, PROFOUNDLY EARTH-SHAPING ORGANISMS IN THE PRE-CAMBRIAN– Cecilia Sanders, PhD candidate in geobiology, Cal Tech. For most of earth’s 4.5 billion-year history, Earth was inhabited solely by microorganisms, single-cells with wildly resourceful metabolic strategies. Cecilia studies the limited geologic record of these creatures through field observation and a wide array of laboratory techniques in North and South America and Africa.

December 1, 2019-Pot-Luck Holiday Party, Silent Auction, Gift-Exchange

January 5, 2020-“DINOSAURS, PENGUINS, AND WHALES-THE WILDLIFE OF ANTARCTICA”– William Stout, author, paleo artist, famous for his work on Godzilla, comic books and novels, album covers for groups like the Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds and the Who, and the television and film industry on such works as The Raiders of the Lost Ark, the Conan films, and the Masters of the Universe.

February 9, 2020-“AN UPDATE OF NEW DISCOVERIES FROM THE BURGESS SHALE”- Dr. Robert Gaines, Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College; Edwin F. and Martha Hahn Professor of Geology of Pomona College. In what many believe to be the world’s most important fossil discovery in decades, Dr. Robert Gaines was a member of the team that discovered a stunning new Burgess Shale fossil site in Canada’s Kootenay National Park in 2014. His recent research at Burgess Shale sites has also offered a likely solution to the riddle of the preservation of soft-tissue fossils from the Cambrian Explosion, the flowering of complex life on Earth from some 570-500 million years ago.

March 1, 2020-“PROSPECTING FOR DINOSAURS IN THE MORRISON FORMATION OF UTAH”-Susan Russak, who prospected for dinosaurs in the Badlands of Utah with Dr. Louis Chiappe as part of his team from the NHM, which led to the discovery of the sauropod, Gnatalie, and several other sauropods and theropods. Ms. Russak also spent a decade excavating these dinosaurs that are still being found and brought back from Utah to the NHM. She is a skilled preparator of theropods from Ghost Ranch in New Mexico.

April 5, 2020-Dr. Francois Therrien, head of the Royal Tyrell Museum in Alberta, Canada. Dr. Therrien studies the paleoecology of extinct animals to determine what the animals did while they were alive, and what the world in which they lived looked like by studying the shape of the bones of animals in order to determine the behaviors of extinct animals. He also studies the features and chemical composition of ancient soils (called paleosols) in order to reconstruct the environments and climatic conditions in which the animals lived.