The Paleontological Society

Photo courtesy of the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History


Welcome to the student section of the Paleontological Society website! The
Society provides essential services to members through publications, grants,
and an ever-increasing involvement in the annual Geological Society of
America meetings. This involvement provides a place where students, both new
and experienced, can feel welcomed and get to know their colleagues in
professional and social settings.

A few of the initiatives that students should be aware of include:

  • Paleontological Society Student Grants, awarded each year in the amount of $800. MAPS awardees receive $900.

  • The Paleontological Society GSA Student Poster Award. This competition, held each fall at GSA, is open to undergraduate and graduate student members of the Paleontological Society. The winner of the competition, which will be judged by a panel of professional paleontologists, will receive a $250 prize and prizes will be awarded for runners up as well. All current student members who submit posters to the conference will automatically be entered into the competition, as well as students who become members at GSA.

  • Building our $250,000 Centennial Fund, honoring the Paleontological Society's 100th anniversary. This fund will endow future student grants, as well as allow us to increase the amount of student grants in the future.

Paleontological Society Student Ambassador Program

  • Benefits of Being a Paleontology Student Ambassador (PSA)

    Opportunities for networking and resume development at PS events, eligibility for selection as student representatives to regional PS section councils and/or national council, participation in ambassador training and networking program(s), benefit from career education opportunities, develop communication skills, expand knowledge of research programs, receive PS graduation regalia to wear during commencement ceremonies, receive a modest stipend to help with travel and outreach expenses.

  • Responsibilities of PSAs

    Service to the society; could take the form of, but is not limited to: campus and public outreach activities in face-to-face and online formats (i.e. Facebook, website development, writing short news articles for Priscum, etc.), publicizing/sharing PS mission, developing programs and events to peers and the public in local region, volunteering at national and regional GSA-PS meetings. 

    Participate in meeting activities to expand networking opportunities: attend PS short course, participate in PSAP Student Field Conference(s), participate in NAPC, IPC, etc.

Apply to be a Paleontology Student Ambassador Now!
For questions contact: Dr. Sean Cornell <>

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About Your Student Representatives:

Lucy Chang, UC Berkeley

I am a Ph.D. candidate in Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of California Museum of Paleontology.  I am primarily interested in the spatial pattern of evolution and the ecological drivers of those patterns, particularly at the onset of novel environments.  To this extent, I am focusing on the origins of epeiric seaway biota for my dissertation, with a particular eye towards comparing the ecology of that biota with that of their potential source fauna in more open ocean environments.

Emma Locatelli, Yale University

Sarah Tweedt

I am a Ph.D. candidate at Yale University studying taphonomy and paleobiology under the guidance of Dr. Derek Briggs. Taphonomy is my primary interest, particularly the preservation of terrestrial cuticle. I am working on a number of projects related to this field, including evaluating rates and patterns of disarticulation in Gecarcinid (land) crabs; examining the preservation of structural and pigment-based colors in insects; and elucidating major controls on the exceptional preservation of plants. My thesis is focused on this last topic – leaf preservation – and I am using integrative experimental and fossil based approaches to answer various questions within this field.