Fossil Lovers Arise! Paleontology for the Younger Generation

Children and amateurs have taken paleontology seriously, conducting fieldwork that has led to discoveries of fossils and other significant geologic evidence. Gideon Algernon Mantell (1790-1852), a physician and an enthusiastic paleontologist in his spare time, teamed up with his wife, Mary to track down Iguanodon and other fossils in Sussex, many from a local quarry in Cuckfield that exposed Cretaceous sediments.

Paleontologists at museums and geological survey agencies have witnessed an influx of queries and specimens from young paleontologists, leading to the publication of guides for ambitious workers in the field, such as Charles Collinson's Guide for Beginning Fossil Hunters (1959).

In May, 1966, fifteen-year-old Elisabeth Brouwers was inspired to write a poem on the subject, "Fossil Lovers Arise," which she sent in a letter to Edward Valauskas. Brouwers became a paleontologist for the US Geological Survey, specializing in the study of living and fossil crustaceans known as ostracods. Her most important work, “Dinosaurs on the North Slope, Alaska,” appeared in the journal Science in 1987.

Guide for Beginning Fossil Hunters

Guide for Beginning Fossil Hunters

Charles William Collinson

Urbana: Illinois State Geological Survey, 1959

QE718.C655 1959 c. 2 Rare

Inscribed by the author to Edward Valauskas

From the Edward Valauskas collection of Dinosauriana

Zonia Baber


University of Chicago Library, Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center

Zonia Baber gathering fossils at Mazon Creek, Illinois, 1895. The summer class in Geology, taught by Thomas C. Chamberlin, was the first field class at the University of Chicago to which women were admitted.