The WAVP 2018 Meeting will bring together paleontologists from across the US to socialize, and present and discuss their research from the past year. Previous meetings have included paleontologists from California, Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, South Dakota, North Dakota, Colorado, and Texas. Anyone interested in paleontology is welcome to attend.


This year’s meeting in St. George, Utah will offer mild February temperatures and a striking geologic setting.

The 52nd Annual
Western Association of Vertebrate Paleontologists

Annual Meeting

February 16-18 2018, St. George, Utah

Registration and Reception

St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm



Registration and Poster Setup

Browning Building 101, Dixie State University (DSU)

Morning Talks

Dunford Auditorium, Browning Building 101, DSU

Break for Lunch

Afternoon Talks

Dunford Auditorium, Browning Building 101, DSU

Poster Takedown

Browning Building 101, DSU

Buffet Dinner and Keynote Address

Gardner Student Center Ballroom, DSU

Andrew Farke and Robert Gay, Impacts of Potential Boundary Changes on Vertebrate Paleontology Research in Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments

Meet at St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm


Return to St. George

Friday, February 16


6:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Saturday, February 17


8:00 am - 9:00 am

9:00 am - 12:10 pm

12:10 am - 1:30 pm

1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

4:30 pm - 5:45 pm

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

9:00 am

11:00 am

~6:30 pm

Presenter Instructions


Email ( or bring Tracy Thomson the PowerPoint presentation you will be using by Friday night, February 16th, so that we can get them onto the computer for the Saturday meeting.  Talks will be limited to 15 minutes with up to 5 minutes of questions (20 minutes total).


Posters will be put up on Saturday morning (February 17) from 8-9 am. Authors will need to be present for the viewing session that day from 4:30-5:45 pm. Poster size should be between 3' to 4' (height) by 4' to 5' (width).


Sunday, February 18

Field Trip: Late Triassic-Early Jurassic Paleontology of Southwestern Utah

Led by Andrew Milner and James Kirkland

Photos by Sarah Gibson (top) and Eddie Maloney (below)

Very little was known about the paleontological resources of southwestern Utah prior to the discovery of spectacular dinosaur tracks within the Moenave Formation in St. George by Dr. Sheldon Johnson in late February 2000. Construction of the museum at the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm (SGDS) resulted in greater attention to the resources within southwestern Utah and the discovery of many new localities, mostly within the Upper Triassic-Lower Jurassic Glen Canyon Group.

The field trip begins with an overview of discoveries at the SGDS along with a discussion of the controversy over the age of the Moenave Formation preserved there. This tour will put in place a background for the remainder of the field trip. We will visit extensive outcrops in the Warner Valley area to view the upper part of the Lower Triassic Moenkopi Formation, portions of the Upper Triassic Chinle Formation, the Triassic-Lower Jurassic Moenave Formation, and the lower part of the Kayenta Formation (the uppermost Kayenta and overlying Navajo Sandstone will be discussed from a distance).

Within Warner Valley (high clearance/4x4 vehicles recommended) we will visit several important localities: (1) Warner Valley Dinosaur Tracksite preserving ~4000 dinosaur tracks in the lower part of the Kayenta Formation; (2) Olsen Canyon section within the Dinosaur Canyon Member of the Moenave Formation. This site preserves an Early Jurassic ichnofauna situated below the Triassic-Jurassic boundary within the end-Triassic extinction (ETE) interval; (3) approximately one-mile hike from the Chinle-Moenave contact, through the Dinosaur Canyon and Whitmore Point members of the Moenave Formation, and the Springdale Sandstone, and lower part of the “silty facies” of the Kayenta Formation.

Monday, February 19

Field Trip: Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument, Nevada

Led by Kathleen Springer, Jeff Pigati, and Josh Bonde

10:45 am

11:00 am

~4:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Meet at Aliante Hotel and Casino parking lot


Return to Las Vegas

Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument (TUSK) contains the largest and most diverse, open-site Rancholabrean, vertebrate faunal assemblage in the Mojave and southern Great Basin deserts. The field trip will begin at the site of the iconic 1960s Tule Springs expedition, where the history of the site and current work will be revealed.  We will then travel to key sites in this large (nearly 23,000 acres), uniquely urban-interface national monument abutting the city of Las Vegas, NV and examine the stratigraphy, paleohydrology and chronology of TUSK’s extensive groundwater discharge deposits (formerly desert wetlands), and the Tule Springs local fauna entombed therein.

We will reconstruct the detailed history of the deposits, revealed by geologic mapping, stratigraphic analysis and targeted radiocarbon and luminescence dating, ascending through nearly 500 ka of the Las Vegas Formation. We will examine key “bins of time” in the sedimentary sequence that contain vertebrate fossils and will discuss how cycles of wetland expansion and contraction in the middle-late Pleistocene were driven by climatic oscillations recorded in the Greenland ice cores, including Dansgaard–Oeschger cycles and other millennial and sub-millennial events.