Graduate student Julie Taylor helping out with a Fall 2018 outreach event at the University of Kansas Student Union.


The Division of Invertebrate Paleontology frequently provides outreach on fossils.  Please contact blieber@ku.edu for more information. 

We also participate with or contribute to several online outreach products.  Chief among these is the Digital Atlas of Ancient Life which is designed, developed and managed by Jonathan Hendricks at the Paleontological Research Institution (PRI).  Please visit: https://www.digitalatlasofancientlife.org/  to learn more about fossils, including where to find them, how to identify them, and their ecology and evolution.  For those that would like to more easily access the Digital Atlas on their hand held devices we also have an app for iPhone and iPad available for free at the Apple App store, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/digital-atlas-of-ancient-life/id971829286 , and for Android available for free at the Google Play store https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=io.aleros.digitalatlasancientlife&hl=en_US .  Please visit: https://www.digitalatlasofancientlife.org/version-2-0-of-the-digital-atlas-of-ancient-life-app/for more information.

An important product associated with the Digital Atlas of Ancient Life is the Digital Encyclopedia of Ancient Life (DEAL), an entirely free and open access "textbook" about fossils and the history of life.  This too is managed and developed by Jonathan Hendricks at the PRI.  Please visit: https://www.digitalatlasofancientlife.org/learn/   to learn more.  As part of the DEAL, Jonathan Hendricks and Bruce S. Lieberman have produced an online open access chapter on "Evolution and the Fossil Record" available here: https://www.digitalatlasofancientlife.org/learn/evolution/ . It was developed for advanced high school and intro college students and teachers and is more than 200 pages long (including figures and videos) and covers everything from natural selection to evolutionary radiations.  


For K-5 Teachers and Families

Download our ammonite and trilobite coloring sheets, and try out our fossil wordsearch puzzle.

Ammonite Coloring SheetTrilobite Coloring Sheet


For Undergraduates and Junior High Students

Introduction to the Trilobites: Morphology, Macroevolution and More

There are two labs.  The first resource is a curriculum for an undergraduate laboratory on trilobites. The learning goals for this lab are the following: 1) to familiarize students with the anatomy and terminology relating to trilobites; 2) to give students experience identifying morphologic structures on real fossil specimens, not just diagrammatic representations; 3) to highlight major events or trends in the evolutionary history and ecology of the Trilobita; and 4) to expose students to the study of macroevolution in the fossil record using trilobites as a case study. This lab will be particularly helpful to those institutions that lack a large teaching collection by providing content along with color photographs of museum specimens.

Trilobite Lab

The secon lab is intended for junior high school biology students, and was developed by Michelle CaseyPerry Kennard from Southwest Junior High School, Lawrence, KS, and Bruce S. Lieberman, accessible is here:http://phylo.bio.ku.edu/fossil/%3Fpage_id=179.html  .



Some of our Outreach Activities

Kansas City Gem and Mineral Show

KU Invertebrate Paleontology staff and students have participated in the Kansas City Gem and Mineral Show and below are some photos from past shows.

Gem Show 2016gem show 2016












Graduate students Kayla Kolis (left) and Liam Heins (right) at the 2017 and 2016 shows, respectively.


“Kansas Fossils” with Blue Valley School District

Graduate students Liam Heins and Kayla Kolis both prepared and presented a two part class on “Kansas Fossils” to the fourth grade class of Sunrise Point Elementary. The first section of the class consisted of a short presentation on fossilization, a description of common fossils of Kansas, bedrock geology and a lab session focused on the identification of fossils and the maintaining of a field book. The second section of the class consisted of a field trip to the K.U. Museum of Natural History to explore the diversity of fossils through geologic time and to local limestone outcrops to find fossils. The event provided an excellent opportunity to teach children about paleontology and the basics of fossil hunting. 

Prairie Park Science Saturday

Graduate students Liam Heins and Kayla Kolis both prepared and staffed a science table, titled; “A Day at the Beach: Invertebrate Fossils of Kansas”, at Prairie Park Elementary School. This table featured representatives of multiple species of invertebrate fossils from Kansas and informational posters and handouts for the identification of common fossils. A small fossil dig site was created to allow children to become amateur paleontologists and learn the correct techniques to both find and identify invertebrate fossils. This event provided an excellent opportunity to interact with the general public and answer questions about paleontology.

Nature Walk with KU Naturalists

Kayla Kolis and other members of the EEB Graduate Student Outreach Committee both developed and led Brownie Troop 7693 on a nature walk at the Hidden Valley Girl Scout Camp. The nature walk featured a number of graduate students with expertise in various fields of biology, including; ornithology, stream ecology, entomology, and paleontology, whom each gave a brief presentation on the fundamentals of their field. During a guided nature walk, the graduate students taught the brownie troops the correct techniques to both collect and identify specimens in the field as well as maintain a field book. This event provided a great opportunity to interact with local children through science and to instill an appreciation of the diversity of life at the Hidden Valley Girl Scout Camp.