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VicPS Meeting May 15

For Wednesday’s meeting, May 15, 2019,  Dr. Ken Marr, Royal BC Museum Curator of Botany, will speak on the topic: New plant discoveries from Northern BC’s Alpine.  

Ken’s presentation will cover images of the landscapes in which he and his Royal BC Museum colleagues have collected rare plants, common plants and a pseudoflower. He’ll also talk about a puzzling gap in the distribution of several species and what we are learning from DNA markers about the migration of several species.

He will provide many images of flowers and some fossils!

See you at 7:30 pm in the Cornett Building, Room A120, UVic.

VicPS Meeting April 17

Our speaker is Dr. Henry Choong, RBCM Curator of Invertebrates, who will speak on the topic: Hydroid Biodiversity – an overview of hydrozoan diversity at the Royal BC Museum.  He will present an overview of hydroid biodiversity and discuss the challenges of hydrozoan taxonomy.  He will highlight some of his recent work on the biogeography and long-distance dispersal of hydroids.

See you at 7:30 pm in the Cornett Building, Room A120, UVic.

April 14 Field Trip

A field trip is being planned for April 14th. VicPS members should watch their email for details.

Meet at the Helmcken Road Park and Ride at 9 am. Carpool to our destination. Return to Helmcken Road Park and Ride is expected to be by 3 pm.

Please confirm in advance if you plan to join the field trip. Message Jerri Wilkins via the VicPS Facebook page or via email at

Thanks to Jerri Wilkins for arranging access to this site, which will be new to most members!

Fossil Fair March 23-24

Key things to know about the 23rd Fossil Fair:

For all you school age palaeontologists out there, the Fossil Fair will occur during your Spring Break.

The Fossil Fair will display a rich and diverse variety of ancient fossil animals and plants from the Cambrian (550 million years ago) to the end of the last Ice Age (10,000 years ago). Fossils will be displayed from Vancouver Island, other parts of British Columbia and other areas. The fossils include dinosaur bones, ammonites, trilobites, corals, mollusks, insects, giant palm leaves and microscopic fossils.

Of interest will be a display of 42 million year old fossil snails from the Crescent Terraine which are partially crystalized. Information will also be available on the results of voting for a provincial fossil recently released by the provincial government.

The display cases and story boards from the VicPS Educational Kit which is used by the society in presentations to school groups, youth camps and other organizations will also be displayed. This will be of interest to school teachers and other educators.

The Fossil Fair is an educational experience for all age groups. The public is invited to bring in fossils for identification. Specific activities for children include a fossil scavenger hunt with prizes, fossil colouring, rubbings stampings, and looking through microscopes.

The Victoria Palaeontology Society cooperates with professional palaeontologists undertaking research on fossils collected by Society members. Information will be provided on some of the scientific contributions made by members, including the discovery and naming of new species. All scientifically important fossils are donated to the Royal British Columbia Museum.

The Society is a member of the British Columbia Paleontological Alliance, an umbrella organization representing the interests of a number of paleontological organizations in the province.

Admission is by donation.

VicPS Meeting March 20

The agenda for the Wednesday, March 20 meeting includes our AGM and election of officers and directors.  We plan to move through this quickly, so we may enjoy the presentation from our speaker.

Our speaker is Dr. Gavin Hanke, Curator of Vertebrates, Royal BC Museum and the topic is Thelodonts – the Forgotten Fish.  Thelodonts are a class of extinct Paleozoic jawless fish with distinctive scales instead of large plates of armor.

See you at 7:30 pm in the Cornett Building, Room A120, UVic.

BC Provincial Fossil Voting Results

The provincial government has recently announced the results of the Fall 2018 voting for a provincial fossil.  Of the seven candidates, the Elasmosaur received the most votes at 48%. Legislation must first be passed before the Elasmosaur can officially be designated as the provincial fossil and a provincial symbol of British Columbia.  

The folks at the Courtenay and District Museum and Palaoentology Centre and Vancouver Island Paleontological Society are ecstatic.

VicPS Meeting Feb 20

The weather has improved, so we’ll meet Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019. 

Our speaker will be Dr. Joel Gibson, Curator of Entomology, Royal B Museum and the topic:  

Back to the Beach – Anthropocene Insects on the Shores of British Columbia British Columbia has over 25,000 km of coastline from Vancouver Island to Haida Gwaii. This is more than the United Kingdom or India. The coastline includes thousands of islands, rocky shores, sandy beaches, coastal dunes, and tide pools. While BC’s coastline has always been a part of the culture of the people in this region, its unique biodiversity is only starting to be fully documented. Many of you probably know that “Anthropocene” is a proposed geological epoch name and hasn’t yet been approved by the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS) nor the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS).  The Anthropocene Working Group of the ICS has recommended the name, but we will have to wait and see what happens.

See you at 7:30 pm in the Cornett Building, Room A120, UVic.

VicPS Meeting Jan 16

Dr. Victoria Arbour, the new Curator of Paleontology at the Royal BC Museum, will be our speaker on “Zuul:  An Exceptional Armoured Dinosaur from Montana“.

See you Jan. 16, 2019, 7:30 pm, Room A120, Cornett Building, UVic.

November 25th 2018 field trip

When: Sunday, November 25th, 2018, 9:00 am

Directions: Meet at the Helmcken Road Park and Ride at 9:00 am to arrange carpooling.

This field trip is suitable for collectors of all ages and activity levels. Fossils are found in the rock and concretions at the site, so a good hammer or sledge, chisel, and protective eyewear are required.

Clothing: Footwear should be appropriate for rocky and sometimes muddy conditions.  Be aware that this site has undergone significant terraforming, so you should expect to be walking on rocks and boulders that can be slippery and treacherous. Dress in layers to adapt to sun, clouds or wind. Rain gear packed and ready is always smart. As we post this notice, the long range forecast for the site is 20% POP and light winds. Bring water and snacks.

Contact: RSVP Jerri Wilkins via the VicPS Facebook page or via email at for more specific details about our planned fossil hunting location.