Series: Park Paleontology News - Spring 2017

The History and Future for Park Paleontology Newsletter

illustration fossil icons with text nps paleontology

Article by Vincent L. Santucci, NPS Paleontology Program Coordinator
for Park Paleontology Newsletter, Spring 2017
park paleo newsletter historic cover winter 1991
Cover page for the premier issue of Park Paleontology Newsletter in January 1991.

NPS image

We are pleased to share with you the first reissue of Park Paleontology Newsletter. The newsletter was originally published as a source for communicating news and information pertaining to the management, protection, interpretation, curation, and research of National Park Service and other federal fossils. The newsletter premiered in 1991 and was published intermittently between January 1991 and October 2004. This Spring 2017 issue of Park Paleontology Newsletter represents the return of the newsletter after a 13 year hiatus and will be published twice a year.

I began to develop Park Paleontology Newsletter when I was a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh. My experiences as a seasonal ranger at Badlands National Park in 1985 and 1986 demonstrated to me there was need for increased communication between NPS staff in parks, regions and in Washington, DC, as well as with academic researchers and museums involved with the study and collection of fossils from national parks. The first issues included a feature called “Fossil Forum” which helped promote discussions relative to the need for protective legislation for fossils on federal lands and other topics.

The early newsletter was produced without all the modern tools for desktop publishing, distribution through electronic media, and other technologies which enhance similar newsletters today. I take pride in using the old school methods of cut-and-paste, photocopying and distributing to over 150 bureaucrats and scientists using envelopes and postage stamps (please check Google if you do not know what these are).

Overtime, the staff at the NPS Geologic Resources Division have helped to modernize Park Paleontology Newsletter and produced a digital version of the newsletter for several years. We have periodically received requests to revitalize Park Paleontology Newsletter, and inquiries as to whether there were plans to reissue this “federal-fossil-focused” newsletter. At long last, we are back with a new and improved, technology compliant newsletter, and thank you all for your patience! In fact, we want to invite you to consider submitting ideas for articles to include in future issues of Park Paleontology Newsletter.

Please email any questions, comments or requests to publish an article in Park Paleontology Newsletter to Vincent L. Santucci, NPS Paleontology Program Coordinator at e-mail us.

Last updated: May 19, 2017