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Our Meetings

Guests are always welcome to the meetings if you would like see what we're all about. Meetings start at 7:00 pm and usually take place the first Saturday of the month, unless there is a holiday, then it's on the second Saturday of the month. Located at the USF Behavioral Science Room #103.

After the speaker finishes we have a short break. Then we draw for door prizes and some raffle items as well. We finish with any final announcements.

Upcoming Meetings and Guest Speakers (2022-2023 season):
NOTE: All meetings are the first Saturday of the month at 7:00 pm unless otherwise clearly noted.

Sept. 10 - Dr. Richard Hulbert, Collection Manager, Vertebrate Paleontology Florida Museum of Natural History
Looking Back & Ahead: 40+ Years as a Florida Paleontologist

Dr. Richard Hulbert will retire from his position as vertebrate paleontology collections manager at the Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH) on September 30, 2022. In this, his last talk to TBFC as an employee of the FLMNH, Dr. Hulbert will reflect on his 41-year association with the museum and the major paleo discoveries and technological advances occurring over that period. He will also look ahead to greatly increased time in his “retirement” to conduct research on Florida fossils and discuss his plans for a comprehensive program on the Pleistocene Mammals of Florida that will include extensive collaboration with amateur and hobbyist fossil collectors across the state.

Dr. Richard has been a good friend and liaison for the amateur community in Florida. His trusted relationship with the amateur fossil hunter has probably done more to advance paleontology in Florida than any other initiative. We’ll miss Dr. Richard when he’s retired, but I can only imagine we’ll see him around. There’s lots of research Dr. Richard has had to put off because of other projects at the museum. I’m sure it won’t be long before we start hearing about his future studies on tapir, horses and other Florida mammals.


Nov. 5 - Annual Auction

Dec. 10 - Paleo Talks

Many of you already know about Tech-Talks. If you don’t, they’re very popular technical talks covering a wide range of technical conepts and ideas: From how a technology or processes work, to how to perform a specific task, to lessons learned in a project. Most are short, 10-20 minutes. For us, our December meeting will feature Paleo Tech Talks. Three short presentation and Q&A sessions on 3 different topics.

Jan. 7 - David Letasi, There's a Mastodon in my Sink!

Explore the prehistoric world of elephants and their relatives the mastodon. What is their origin? Discover why so many of these beasts’ fossil bones are found in our sinkholes, ponds and river bottoms. How did they live, what were the predators that hunted them and what was their relationship to other prehistoric mammals? Did early humans lead to many of their species extinction? Dave will examine these strange varieties of elephant families, their prehistoric habits and range. Can science bring back the mastodon and their relatives the mammoth?

David Letasi has been interested in fossils and pre-historic times since he was eight years old and thus has had many years’ experience searching for fossils all over North America and Asia. By age twelve, he had discovered three archeological sites that are recorded in the Michigan State Archeological Site Survey. In addition to dinosaurs, Letasi has studied prehistoric man, ancient world history, and archeology.

After serving in the Navy, he decided to travel around the United States to collect specimens from well-known fossil sites in Wyoming, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Florida, as well as Canada and several countries in Asia. After he married his wife, Suzanne, in 1972 she began to travel with him. In 1976 they moved to Florida where it was possible to collect saber-tooth cat fossils, his main field of interest. Dave worked for Great Explorations Museum in St Petersburg and assumed a number of duties, including designing and curating exhibits and later worked at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in Tampa. While at MOSI, he led cave explorations for children and adults to the Dames Cave in the Withlacoochee State Forest, as well as fossil-collecting trips to mining sites in Polk County. Since retiring from MOSI in 2007, he has been active in projects with the Historic Hernando Preservation Society.

His lengthy résumé includes being the lead archaeological project coordinator with the Historic Hernando County Preservation Society, the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and the Gulf Archaeology Research Institute of Gainesville. Some interesting projects he’s worked on include searching for the eighteenth-century capital of the Seminole Nation and the exploration of the Bayport Civil War shipwreck site.

If you have any mammoth or mastodon fossil material, bring it along to the January meeting. Dave would sure like to see it and so would the rest of us!

Feb. 4 - Dr. Joshua Slattery, Paleontology and Geology of Alum Bluff: Florida’s Largest Natural Exposure

During February’s lecture, Dr. Joshua Slattery will discuss new paleontological and geological research being undertaken at Alum Bluff and nearby localities in the Florida Panhandle. Alum Bluff is largest natural exposure of Neogene and Quaternary aged strata in Florida. It is also one of the best natural laboratories to document and understand the fauna and flora of the Neogene in the Gulf Coastal Plain due to its highly fossiliferous exposures. Alum Bluff is located along the eastern bank of the Apalachicola River in Liberty County and exposes an extended stratigraphic record ranging from the Miocene to Holocene (i.e., the last 18 million years). Although studied for over a century, new research at Alum Bluff and other nearby localities by Dr. Slattery and colleagues is revealing new insights on the formation of shell beds, extinction of nautilid cephalopods in the Western Atlantic, and the physical and biological effects of the mid-Miocene Climatic Optimum and Pliocene Warm Interval in Florida.

Dr. Joshua is a longtime member of TBFC, a Ben Waller memorial scholarship winner and currently serves as a TBFC professional advisor.

Mar. 4 - Dr. Bob Sinibaldi

Whether you make a “big” find or just pick up another common fossil, there’s a process that starts with finding the specimen, all the way to putting it on your shelf for display. Or, if you’re lucky, donating it to a museum collection. Many of have perfected the art of finding fossils. There’s also a bunch of us, myself included, who have neglected to properly clean, repair, preserve and log every find we bring home. Dr. Bob will discuss proper discipline with the processing of the fossils. His discussion will explain everything from getting your specimen out of the ground to the shelf in a safe and ethical manner.

Everybody knows Dr. Bob, at least those of you that have been to a meeting or two. A longtime member of TBFC, past president, and current Board member, Dr. Bob is certainly active in the paleo community and a big part of what makes TBFC tick. Did I mention he is also an author with four paleo books to his credit? I’ll throw a plug in here for the Paleo-Store where you can purchase any, or all, of Dr. Bob’s books: Ice Age Florida in Story and Art, What Your Fossils Can Tell You: Vertebrate Morphology, Pathology, and Cultural Modification, Fossil Diving: In Florida’s Waters or Any Other Waters Containing Prehistoric Treasures, and The Handbook of Paleontological Terms.

Apr. 1 - Dr. Jonathan Bloch

Dr. Jonathan Bloch joined the Florida Museum in 2004 as an assistant curator of vertebrate paleontology. He continues his duties and research as a curator of vertebrate paleontology, a position he has held since 2014. Bloch, who has co-authored more than 90 professional publications, is also a University of Florida Term Professor and serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Mammalian Evolution. “While I will have less time for my own fieldwork and research than I am used to, I know the vertebrate paleontology division will be as productive as ever thanks to our enormously talented and hardworking team of staff, volunteers and students,” Bloch said.

Dr. Bloch has been featured in many television documentaries including his legendary Amazon python bite scene while filming to support the titanoboa discovery.

Join TBFC for another great presentation from Dr. Jonathan Bloch.

May 6 - Dr. Douglas Jones

Dr. Douglas Jones is Director of the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville. Located on the campus of the University of Florida, the Florida Museum of Natural History is one of the most comprehensive university-based natural history museums in the U.S. with over 40 million specimens and artifacts in its permanent collections.

Dr. Jones received his Ph.D. in 1980 from Princeton University. He has been a curator of paleontology at the Museum since 1985 and is also a professor in the Departments of Geological Sciences and Biology at UF. Dr. Jones has authored over 150 scientific and technical papers and edited several books, including most recently, The Geology of Florida. He is past president of the Board of Directors of the Florida Association of Museums (FAM), the Association of Science Museum Directors (ASMD) and was Chairman of the Board of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) which represents the 30,000+ museums in the USA. He also serves on the boards of several scientific societies, foundations and cultural organizations.

June 3 - End of Season Dinner, check the May issue of the Chronicles (TBFC Newsletter) for details.

View Our Past Virtual and In-Person Meetings

COVID-19 has forced us to adapt!
Since in-person meetings were not possible during this time, the club hosted Virtual Live Meetings on our YouTube channel.
Since COVID, we've tried to record in-person meetings and upload them to the site too. Unfortunately not all meetings are able to be recorded but please check the channel for any new content.

Subscribe to the channel to get notifications when we go live or a new video is uploaded!

All our club live streamed or recorded meetings will be saved and can be re-watched anytime! Not all meetings can be recorded for various reasons.
You can view past virtual or recorded meetings in the playlist below:

TBFC Events Calendar TBFC Meeting Location and Info FossilFest Flyer Download Peace River Adventure Flyer Download