In 2012 Ron Buta and David Kopaska-Merkel put together

a visitor’s guidebook for the Union Chapel Mine/Steven C. Minkin Paleozoic Footprint Site to help understand the geologic context and nature of the fossils that can be found there. This guidebook has original artwork depicting some of the ancient invertebrates and vertebrates whose tracks can be found in the shales there.


Link: Minkin Field Trip Guide

March 28, 2020

Hello APS,

    I hope that you are doing well.  After much deliberation and discussion, we are moving forward with plans for a field trip for this Saturday. Instead of putting this on the calendar, I decided to simply use the direct e-mail approach.  I will post the field trip information below followed by special protocol notes. Trip is open to Alabama Paleontological Society members and guests of members.  As always, if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me

(205) 237-9502.


Site:  Minkin Site (UCM)

Meeting Location:  Sumiton WalMart Parking Lot

Time:  8:00 am (depart meeting location - en route to site)

Day/Date:  Saturday/28th, March, 2020

Formation:  Pottsville Group

Age:  Westphalian-A, Pennsylvanian (310Ma)

What to Search For:  A diversity of world class vertebrate and invertebrate trace fossils,

excellent plant fossils, marine fossils

What to Bring:  hammer & chisel, cardboard flats, newspaper, water, multipurpose

paleo-paper (for those who want to flaunt their affluence), sunblock


Special Protocol:

1) Please keep in mind the need for social distancing - carpooling with those other than members of your own household is strongly discouraged Normal UCM/Minkin

2) Site protocol with appropriate spacing is encouraged - briefing to remind everyone of this prior to departure of meeting location





Field-Trip Guidebook to the Steven C. Minkin Footprint Site, Walker County, Alabama

Field Trip Statement and Contacts

APS conducts monthly field trips to fossil localities in Alabama and surrounding states strictly with permission of landowners (please refer to our Ethical Statement for further details).  In accordance with our Statement of Purpose, we frequently make educational presentations to schools and public gatherings on subjects related to paleontology.   Field trip participation is generally limited to members but individuals interested in coming on a field trip as a guest with an eye towards membership should contact APS


President Ashley Allen ( or 

Vice President Prescott Atkinson (


We have also hosted classes ranging from upper elementary school grades to college geology groups and other groups with an interest in geology and paleontology on select field trips.

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