©2018 by Alabama Paleontological Society, Inc.. Proudly created with



Alabama Paleontological Society, Inc is a nonprofit organization  of amateur fossil enthusiasts and professional paleontologists who are interested in the collection, interpretation, and dissemination of knowledge of fossils and the rich natural history of the State of Alabama.   


Membership is open to anyone who shares the interests of the Society.  We expect our members to conduct their activities in accordance with our code of ethics, which is stated below:



Alabama Paleontological Society Code of Ethics As of August 11, 2003


Fossils usually are unique or rare,

nonrenewable scientific and educational resources that, along with their accompanying contextual data, constitute part of our natural heritage. They provide data by which the history of life on earth may be reconstructed, and they are one of the primary means of studying changing patterns and processes as well as environmental context.


The Alabama Paleontological Society, Inc. exists for the following purposes and benefits of its members: 

a. Collecting fossils for personal enjoyment. 


b.Promoting cooperation between amateur and professional paleontologists and geologists to their mutual benefit, specifically relating to scientific research and education.  


c.Educating its members and the general public in areas of natural history relating to paleontology and geology. 


d.Assisting in endeavors relating to the preservation and conservation of paleontological sites and specimens.


Membership in the Alabama Paleontological Society, Inc. (hereinafter referred to as the “Society”) is a privilege that comes with responsibility. To that end, all Society members must agree to, and must abide by, the following Code of Ethics: 

  1. Society meetings and field trips may not be used as a venue for commercial purposes, except for educational materials offered to members (for example, books, charts, maps, technical papers). 

  2. Members may not use their affiliation with the Society for personal profit or gain. 

  3. Members agree to conduct themselves at all Society functions in an orderly, respectful, responsible, and safe manner. 

  4. The only person who may speak for the Society (that is, represent its decisions and positions) is the President or his or her designee. 

  5. Members agree to make fossils of scientific significance, collected on Society field trips, available to recognized scientific researchers or institutions for study and/or photography if the researcher or institution (1) has proper facilities to safely store the fossils and (2) has proper means to make the fossils readily accessible to qualified researchers without charge. Donation of scientifically significant fossils to such institutions is encouraged but is not required. 

  6. Members agree to use accepted practices for preparing, excavating, and transporting scientifically significant fossils. 

  7. Members agree to protect scientifically important sites. It is the responsibility of the Society officers to make the members aware of which sites are considered scientifically important.

  8. Members agree not to collect fossils where prohibited by federal, state, or local laws. 

  9. Members agree not to collect fossils from private land without prior permission of the landowner. 

  10. Society field trips are only for Alabama Paleontological Society, Inc. members and their guests. Any member bringing a guest is responsible for conveying the Code of Ethics, Field Trip Rules, etc., to each guest and for ensuring that the guest abides by those ethics and rules. 

  11. Members agree not to collect in advance of a Society field trip at a site that has been announced for an Alabama Paleontological Society, Inc. field trip.

  12. Members agree not to disclose collecting locations beyond the internal processes of scheduling, conducting, or attending a Society field trip. Information about scientifically significant fossils and their accompanying data should be disseminated expeditiously both to the scientific community and to the interested general public. However, the specific location of collection sites may not need to be made public knowledge in order to guard against sites being stripped bare by ruthless collectors. 

  13. Members agree not to over-collect a site and agree to comply with specific collecting guidelines or rules established for, or announced on, a field trip. Any interpretation of the extent to which collecting constitutes “over-collecting” for a specific site will be the responsibility of the field trip director for that field trip. 

  14. Members agree to abide by, and to obey, any other rules and regulations approved by the voting membership including, but not limited to, field trip rules, membership rules, etc.


All classes (categories) of Alabama Paleontological Society, Inc. members must adhere to this Code of Ethics and to any subsequent revisions. Rules and regulations governing specific types of Society events (for example, collecting field trips) may not be inconsistent with this Code of Ethics. All classes of members also must comply with any other Society rules and regulations.


Approved and adopted by the voting membership of the Alabama Paleontological Society, Inc. on August 11, 2003.