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National Fossil Day at the Alabama Museum of Natural History

The APS was thrilled to be back out interacting with the public at this years National Fossil Day event at the Alabama Museum of Natural History on the University of Alabama Campus in Tuscaloosa. The event was held on the afternoon and evening, Wednesday, October 13. The APS was represented by Ashley, Prescott, Carl, and Jim B. There was a good crowd that came through the main hall visiting the various tables. The National theme this year was the late Cretaceous of which we certainly have represented in Alabama.

We had three tables of fossils covering the Mississippian, Pennsylvanian, and Cretaceous of Alabama as well as some late Cretaceous dinosaur and other fossils from the western United States.

It was a great event put on by the museum and we really enjoyed interacting with the public and discussing all the great fossils here in Alabama and the APS. It was a great program with a talk by Takehito Ikejiri on the "Diversity and mass extinction of marine vertebrates in Cretaceous Alabama tides: a new insight toward the end of the dinosaur era". The night was punctuated with an exclamation point with the presentation of the Avocational Paleontology Award by Adiel Klompmaker. This was the second annual award and for the second straight year a member of the APS was presented this award, in 2020 it was given to Prescott Atkinson and this year it was Ron Buta. Congratulations Ron! A few of the many contributions cited include Ron's work on the Union Chapel Mine Monograph (the "Blue Book"), the later book "Footprints in Stone", the research and collection of the Crescent Valley Mine, the incredible UCM photographs and electronic database, and the many specimen donations Ron has made. Ron gave a very inspiring speech upon receiving the award, sharing his passion with a predominately young audience that was in attendance.

We look forward to next year, as it was a wonderful evening. Maybe next year it will be without the masks!

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