About

The Victoria Palaeontology Society (the VicPS) is a group of amateur fossil enthusiasts and professional palaeontologists in Victoria, British Columbia. We are a registered not-for-profit society with charity status whose purpose is to:

  • promote an interest in palaeontology
  • contribute to education and scientific knowledge in palaeontology and other earth sciences
  • collect, preserve, study, and catalogue fossils
  • hold lectures, seminars, and exhibits of fossils

Some of the activities that the Society coordinates are

  • field trips to fossil sites
  • an annual Fossil Fair

Our activities have a particular emphasis on British Columbia and Vancouver Island fossils. We are one of five palaeontology societies around the province that together comprise the British Columbia Palaeontological Alliance (the BCPA). The Victoria Palaeontology Society adheres to the BCPA Standards and Ethics for Scientific Collecting.

VicPS Act

The VicPS Act is a document of policies that provide guidance for the Society executive and members to help them realize the goals of the Society.

The Act comprises three parts:

  1. the Constitution
  2. the General Policy
  3. the Field Trip Policy

The Victoria Palaeontology Society Constitution

  1. The name of the Society is Victoria Palaeontology Society.
  1. The purposes of the Society are:
  • to promote interest in palaeontology; and
  • to contribute to the advancement of education and scientific knowledge in palaeontology and other sciences, including earth sciences, biology, climatology, and oceanography as they pertain to palaeontology, with particular emphasis on the relationship of these subjects to Vancouver Island and British Columbia;
  1. It is an unalterable provision of this constitution that members of this society shall have no interest in the property and assets of the Society; and that, upon dissolution of the Society, funds and assets of the Society remaining after the satisfaction of its debts and libailities, shall be distributed to non-profit organizations in the Greater Victoria and Vancouver Island region, as determined by its members at the time of dissolution.
  1. It is an unalterable provision of this constitution that the purposes of the society shall be carried out without purpose of gain for its members and any profits or accretions to the society shall be used for promoting its purposes.
  1. It is an unalterable provision of this constitution that the Society may undertake from time to time as considered important, all such acts, matters, and things as may be incidental or conducive to the attainment of the Society’s purposes.

General policy

  1. Purpose: This policy is to provide guidance to the Society in order to fulfill the purposes outlined in the Society’s Constitution.
  2. The Society may undertake any of the following actions as from time to time are considered important to fulfill its purposes:
      1. establish or operate a facility, including a museum, workshop, laboratory, or other facility;
      2. pursue, assist, and recommend legislative and regulatory protection for the conservation and preservation of significant palaeontology sites threatened with damage or destruction by collecting, commercial, industrial, or development activities or other deliberate actions;
      3. develop an educational program that is forward looking and innovative in order to inform the public on the importance of palaeontology;
      4. collect, conserve, research, and exhibit palaeontological nd related specimens, documents, and photographs that relate to the Society’s purposes, and to interpret these materials and the natural history they represent;
      5. promote community involvement in palaeontology and act as a popular forum on contemporary community issues as they relate to the Society’s purposes;
      6. enter into affiliation or reciprocal arrangements with any other society or organization that may in any way assist in achieving the purposes of the Society;
      7. enter into arrangements with persons, federal, provincial, or local governments, authorities, corporations or First Nations that are conducive to the Society’s purposes, and obtain from them any rights, privileges or concessions which the society may deem necessary to carry out its purposes and exercise or complete any arrangements, rights, privileges or concessions;
      8. seek and obtain financial support including grants, contributions and donations from federal, provincial and local governments, public and private organizations and institutions, corporations or private individuals to carry out the Society’s purposes;
      9. purchase, take on, lease or exchange, hire or otherwise acquire any real or personal property, and any rights or priveleges which the Society may think necessary or convenient for carrying out of its purposes;
      10. construct, maintain and alter, lease, or otherwise acquire the use of any buildings or works necessary for carrying out the purposes of the Society;
      11. sell, improve, manage, develop, exchange, lease, mortgage, enfranchise, dispose of, turn to account or otherwise deal with all or any part of the properties, rights or assets of the Society;
      12. do all such acts, matters and things as may be incidental or conducive to the attainment of the Society’s purpose

Field trip policy

  1. Purpose: This policy is to provide guidance to the Society for the organization of field trips for the enjoyment and safety of the field trip participants.
  1. Field trip participation:
  • All members of the Society and members of other BCPA regional societies or supporting organizations are welcome to participate in field trips.
  • Guests of Society members may attend 1-2 field trips to determine if they wish to join the Society.
  • All members of the Society, guests and members of other BCPA regional societies or supporting organizations must sign waivers of liability in order to participate in field trips. The waivers of liability are required by the BCPA group liability insurance policy for regional societies.  The waiver of liability must be signed every year.
  • For insurance reasons, pets are not allowed on field trips.
  1. Field trip coordinator:
  • The Field Trip Coordinator is responsible for the organization, scheduling, staging and timing of field trips.
  • All members of the Society and guests are expected to cooperate with the Field Trip Coordinator.
  1. Field trip timing and staging:
  • The staging location for field trips will be the Helmcken Road Park & Ride (click here for a map of the location) unless otherwise announced by the Field Trip Coordinator.
  • All field trip participants must sign the field trip sign-in sheet.
  • All field trip participants should try to arrive at the staging location at the indicated time for the field trip.
  • If members and their guests are unable to arrive at the staging location at the indicated rime for the field trip, they may travel to the field location independently and meet up with the other field trip participants at the location. Members should try to notify the Field Trip Coordinator in advance if they will be arriving late on the field trip. Members and guests arriving late on a field trip must sign the sign-in sheet and waiver of liability forms upon arrival at the location. Members and their guests arriving late should not expect the other field trip participants to wait for them at the location or, in the event of an on-site change to another location.
  • Field trips between Victoria and Nanaimo will normally leave from the staging location at 9:00 a.m. unless at the determination of the Field Trip Coordinator there are reasons (e.g., tide schedules, ferry schedules) for leaving earlier or later.
  • Field trips past Nanaimo will normally leave from the staging location at 7:00 a.m. unless at the determination of the Field Trip Coordinator there are reasons (e.g., tide schedules, ferry schedules) for leaving earlier or later.
  • If field trip participants leave the field trip location early before the other participants, they should notify the Field Trip Coordinator that they are leaving.
  1. Field trip participants are expected to follow the BCPA Standards and Ethics for Scientific Collecting. Field trip participants are expected to practice sound environmental etiquette and leave fossil sites as undisturbed as possible. Collecting should be undertaken conservatively. Private property rights should be respected.
  1. Field trip participants travelling to a field trip location in a car-pool vehicle are expected to contribute towards the cost of vehicle fuel.