NFD Partners - Avocational Groups

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Paleontological Society

The Anza-Borrego Desert State Park® Paleontology Society, under the direction of the Colorado Desert District of California State Parks, is an organization where volunteer researchers develop the knowledge and skills needed to build, support and maintain an internationally significant paleontology program. It ensures that members can participate actively and responsibly in discovering, protecting, preserving and interpreting the fossil resources from the ancient past in this unique environment.

Birmingham Paleontological Society

The Birmingham Paleontological Society consists of an active group of people who enjoy learning about or teaching the science of paleontology. We enjoy collecting fossils for our own private collection, collecting items for research, learning about the significance of finds, and being in the outdoors. Professionals benefit by having access to eager hands for help with their projects. BPS has a fossil dig once each month, normally in Alabama, and occasionally visits a nearby state.

Calvert Marine Museum Fossil Club

The Calvert Marine Museum Fossil Club (CMMFC) was founded in 1981 and now has over 100 members. The CMMFC is a club devoted to education, outreach, and furthering the science of paleontology. Each year the club participates in many community events in and around Maryland. The CMMFC produces a quarterly newsletter, The Ecphora, that is sent out to members and a number of museums and libraries.

Dallas Paleontological Society

The Dallas Paleontological Society was founded in 1984 for the purpose of promoting interest in and knowledge of the science of paleontology. It was intended by the founding members that the Society would be a network for the exchange of data between professionals and serious amateurs in this field.

Delaware Valley Paleontological Society

The Delaware Valley Paleontological Society is a nonprofit educational organization chartered in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. We are a diverse group of people, ranging from amateurs to avocational and professional paleontologists brought together by our uncommon common interest. The DVPS takes to the field on a regular basis, visiting sites throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, and Canada.

Dry Dredgers (Cincinnati)

The Dry Dredgers is an association of amateur geologists and fossil collectors dedicated to the knowledge and enjoyment of fossils. The association was founded in 1942 and continues to bring together those interested in ancient life. Its aim is to stimulate interest in geology, to encourage the collection, curation and identification of fossils, and to participate in field trips and exhibitions. The group is affiliated with the University of Cincinnati Geology Department and annually awards the Paleontological Research Award to support the study of paleontology. Working directly with professional paleontologists, members have been involved with the publication of numerous papers, theses and posters through the donation of specimens, discovery of sites, excavation assistance and even authorships.

Earth Science Club of Northern Illinois

The aim of the Earth Science Club of Northern Illinois (ESCONI) is to promote an interest in the earth sciences, among these are geology, paleontology, mineralogy, archaeology, micro-mounting and the lapidary arts. We offer a monthly meeting with a renowned speaker, monthly study-group meetings - including a paleontology study group, field trips throughout the year and a monthly newsletter. All meetings are open to the public and free.

East Texas Gem and Mineral Society

The East Texas Gem and Mineral Society was formed to promote the study of geology, mineralogy, and the lapidary arts while presenting lectures, demonstrations and exchanges of views as well as opportunities for classes, field geology study, and collection and study of specimens. Located in Tyler, Texas, the ETGMS is a member of the South Central Federation of Mineral Societies and the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies and meets every first Monday at the Discovery Science Place.

Florida Fossil Hunters

Florida Fossil Hunters is a Central Forida non-profit organization dedicated to sharing the knowledge and excitement of paleontology and geology, especially Florida's, with: presentations at schools and other venues, participating in educational events, a monthly newsletter, our annual Fossil Fair, and coordinated field trips to fossil sites, museums, and more. We meet monthly at the Orlando Science Center with guest speakers and kids' programs to learn more about Florida fossils and share our finds with like minds. The goals of the FFH include: Enhance the cooperative spirit between amateur and professional paleontologists; promote Florida paleontology through education, protect and preserve fossil materials and sites; identify, interpret, and exhibit fossil material; and to bring about a greater understanding of prehistoric Florida, and thus a greater appreciation of Florida's unique environment.

Florida Paleontological Society

The Florida Paleontological Society (FPS), founded in 1978, is a membership based avocational group affiliated with the Florida Museum of Natural History. Its purpose is to advance the science of Paleontology, especially in Florida, to disseminate knowledge of this subject, and to facilitate cooperation of all persons interested in the history, stratigraphy, evolution, ecology, anatomy, and taxonomy of Florida's past fauna and flora.

Fossil Club of Lee County

Friends of Big Bone Lick

Friends of Big Bone (FOBB) is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to promote, preserve, research, and memorialize the history and prehistory of the Big Bone Lick Valley, located in Boone County, Kentucky. The primary focus of the group is public and private education.

Big Bone Lick Valley is the undisputed home of American Vertebrate Paleontology, a science founded by Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States.

Houston Gem and Mineral Society

The Houston Gem and Mineral Society is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to study in the areas of earth science and related fields and arts. A major focus of the HGMS is education. Through classes offered at the clubhouse and through our scholarship fund, the HGMS encourages its individuals and groups to better their knowledge and understanding in these areas. The society is open to all persons with rockhound or fossil "fever." We offer something for every family member, from junior members to senior citizens, and our activities encourage family participation. The HGMS is a member of the Southeast Federation of Mineral Societies (SCFMS) and is affiliated with the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies (AFMS).

Kentucky Paleontological Society

The Kentucky Paleontological Society was founded in 1993 for the purpose of promoting interest in and knowledge of the science of paleontology. It is intended that the Society be a network for the exchange of data between professionals and serious amateurs in the field. A newsletter is published monthly, and several field trips are arranged annually.

Manasota Fossil Club

The Manasota Fossil Club was formed in 1997 to bring together those people in the Manatee and Sarasota County, Florida area who are interested in paleontology, local fossils, and artifacts. Meetings usually feature a guest or member speaker and slide shows and/or fossil displays. The club donates identifiable fossils to the Crowley Nature Preserve and other local groups with educational programs with sand box "fossil digs". Members also donate time to speak to local schools and clubs.

Michigan Mineralogical Society

The purpose of this Society shall be:

  1. To promote interest and to increase knowledge in the fields of geology, mineralogy, paleontology, and the lapidary arts.

  2. To publish articles and information pertaining to these fields.

  3. To encourage collecting and displaying of specimens in these fields.

  4. To arrange field trips of geological, mineralogical, paleontological or lapidary interest.

Mid-America Paleontological Society

MAPS is one of the few strictly fossil clubs in the country. It is for the novice/beginner who wants to know more about these treasures from the past; it is for the old-timers who have so much expertise and knowledge to share with the rest of us; and it is for all those who fall in-between who share our love of fossils.

Nevada Friends of Paleontology, Las Vegas, Nevada

The Nevada Friends of Paleontology, under the organization of the Las Vegas Natural History Museum, is an orgnanization that is dedicated to the education and awareness of paleontological resources in Nevada. Volunteers develop the knowledge and skills necessary to assist professional paleontologists in the field and build the knowledge base for educating members in the community about the protection, preservation, and conservation of paleontological resources in the area.

New Haven Mineral Club

The New Haven Mineral Club was founded in 1933 to provide a nonprofit organization for the study and promotion of the geological sciences and lapidary arts.

New Jersey Paleontological Society

The New Jersey Paleontological Society was formed in 1991 for the educational and scientific pursuit of Paleontology and related Earth Sciences.

New Mexico Friends of Paleontology

A volunteer support group of the Geosciences division of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. Volunteers work in the lab and the field for the museum as well as host field trips and guest speakers.

The North Carolina Fossil Club

The North Carolina Fossil Club was founded in 1977 and is based in Raleigh, NC. The NC Fossil Club was formed to advance the knowledge and interest in the study, enjoyment, and collection of fossils. It supports outreach by bringing fossil collecting enthusiasts together to share information on the identification and collection of fossils and to distribute educational information. The NC Fossil Club organizes, facilitates, and encourages educational outreach by members to schools, museums, and public events. The NC Fossil Club supports fossil related projects at North Carolina state museums and colleges, similar programs at other museums, and also student research.

North Coast Fossil Club

Located in Cleveland, Ohio and founded in March of 1997, the North Coast Fossil Club (NCFC) is an active group of about a hundred fossil collectors and enthusiasts of all ages and backgrounds. The objectives of North Coast Fossil Club are:

  1. To encourage the closer association of persons interested in fossils,

  2. To promote the responsible collection, preparation, and study of fossils, and

  3. To foster education in paleontology, geology, and related subjects.

We hold regular monthly meetings with various activities including professional or amateur speakers. During the summer months the club also organizes monthly collecting trips.

The Northwest Paleontological Society

The Northwest Paleontological Association's (NPA) mission statement is "to advance the science of paleontology. To explore, understand, and preserve the paleontological heritage of Washington State and the Pacific Northwest. To support the collaborative efforts of amateur and professional paleontologist. To provide education for the community." The NPA meets the second Saturday of every other month, at 1:00 PM in the Burke Room of the Thomas Burke Memorial Washington State Museum, on the University of Washington Campus. Current president is Paul Kester. Contact him via

Outside Las Vegas

Outside Las Vegas Foundation is working to connect our community to Southern Nevada's special outdoor places and to create a community that enjoys, values, and protects these places.

Oxnard Gem & Mineral Society

The Oxnard (California) Gem & Mineral Society is a non-profit organization founded in 1961. The goals of the club are to enrich the lives of the community and the surrounding areas by promoting popular interest and knowledge in geology, mineralogy, lapidary and similar sciences. We are affiliated with the California Federation of Mineralogical Societies, and the national American Federation of Mineralogical Societies.

Paleo Quest

Paleo Quest is a 501c3 organization whose mission is to advance the sciences of paleontology and geology through material contributions to museum collections, field exploration, publication and the advancement of science education.

The Paleontological Society of Austin

The Paleontological Society of Austin is a scientific, non-profit community-based organization devoted to the study of fossils. Our goals are: advancing the state of the science, educating the public, and collecting and identifying fossil specimens. Activities include:

  • monthly meetings, field trips, and newsletters
  • an annual fossil show with educational programs for kids
  • irregular technical publications
  • educational presentations
  • exchanges of specimens and information with amateur and professional paleontologists world-wide The focus is primarily on Texas fossils, fossil collecting in Texas, and involvement with Central Texas organizations. PSA is a member of the South Central Federation of Mineral Societies.

Protectors of Tule Springs

The mission of the Protectors of Tule Springs is to support and assist the National Park Service in the management and educational outreach for the 22,650 acres Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument located in the northern part of the Las Vegas Valley (Nevada).

Southern Illinois Earth Science Club

The Southwest Florida Fossil Club

The Southwest Florida Fossil Club is an organization of men, women, and youth who have special interest in Earth History as it is recorded in evidence found in fossils. Our Purpose is to promote Education in the Field of Science and to provide a family oriented atmosphere in which to share a common interest in the science.

Southwest Paleontological Society

Southwest Paleontological Society (SPS) is a volunteer organization affiliated with the Arizona Museum of Natural History. The purpose of SPS is to further the study of paleontology and geology of the southwestern United States, with emphasis on the state of Arizona. SPS strives to maintain the highest standards of conduct and proficiency in all its activities, whether in the field or in the laboratory.

Tampa Bay Fossil Club

The Tampa Bay Fossil Club is a family oriented organization focused on paleontology, archaeology, and the natural sciences in general. Meetings are held monthly at the University of South Florida and feature prominent speakers from many areas of science. The Tampa Bay Fossil Club awards two annual scholarships to University of South Florida students working in the field of paleontology and geology. The 20 year old club hosts numerous field trips and gatherings through the year.

Utah Friends of Paleontology

Utah Friends of Paleontology (UFOP) is a statewide non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to preserving Utah's fossil resources through public education and volunteer support of sponsoring institutions. Certification classes train UFOP members to assist paleontologists in a variety of ways. Trained volunteers may participate in museum-sponsored digs, specimen preparation projects, and public outreach programs. Individual chapters (listed at left) provide educational meetings, field trips and volunteer work for university paleontological research as well as the State Paleontologist's office at the Utah Geological Survey.

Western Interior Paleontological Society

Our mission shall be scientific, educational, and charitable and shall provide educational programs in paleontology and related disciplines. Field trips, lectures, seminars, and science-related activities are available. Responsible codes of conduct in the exploration for and collection of fossils are required for assisting museums, educational institutions and cooperating with government authorities on state and federal lands.


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Many additional partnerships are in the planning stage. Please check back soon.

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Last updated: May 6, 2020