Outreach - KU Invertebrate Paleontology

Student smiling holding an ammonite behind an outreach table with multiple specimens

KU Invertebrate Paleontology frequently provides a variety of in-person outreach programs on fossils. For information, email Curator Dr. Bruce Lieberman at blieber@ku.edu.


Digital Atlas of Ancient Life and Related Resources

We also participate with, or contribute to, several online outreach products.  Chief among these is the Digital Atlas of Ancient Life, a resource to learn more about fossils. including where to find them, how to identify them, and their ecology and evolution. The Atlas is designed, developed and managed by Jonathan Hendricks at the Paleontological Research Institution (PRI). A Digital Atlas of Ancient Life free smartphone app is also available:

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.  As part of the DEAL, Jonathan Hendricks and Bruce S. Lieberman have produced an online, open access chapter on Evolution and the Fossil Record. It was developed for advanced high school and introductory college students and teachers. It is more than 200 pages long (including figures and videos) and covers everything from natural selection to evolutionary radiations.

K-5 Teacher and Family Resources

Coloring sheets for ammonites and trilobites are available, as is a fossil word search game. Please email us at blieber@ku.edu to request files of these free PDFs.

Undergraduate and Junior High Student Resources

We offer resources for two labs. 

Introduction to the Trilobites: Morphology, Macroevolution and More is a curriculum for an undergraduate laboratory on trilobites. 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.The learning goals for this lab are:

  • Familiarize students with the anatomy and terminology relating to trilobites
  • Give students experience identifying morphologic structures on real fossil specimens, not just diagrammatic representations
  • Highlight major events or trends in the evolutionary history and ecology of the Trilobita
  • Expose students to the study of macroevolution in the fossil record using trilobites as a case study

Junior high school biology students will benefit from Introduction to the Trilobites, a lab which was developed by Michelle CaseyPerry Kennard from Southwest Junior High School, Lawrence, KS, and Bruce S. Lieberman.