MAPS (Mid America Paleontology Society), Sponsor of National Fossil Exposition

Photos from Expo 31 in 2009

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APRIL 5-7, 2013:

EXPO 35 Show Flier and News Release

Expo Poster

The topic will be life during the Devonian Geologic Time Period about 419.2 TO 358.9 million years ago.

Expo Location Maps

Workshops  Live Auctions Transportation  Lodging  Parking  Meals 

EXPO 35 Vendor Table Registration Form

Vendor Information Area 

F R E E   A D M I S S I O N

D o n a t i o n s   W e l c o m e

The theme for EXPO 35 will be "The Devonian"

     The keynote talk is titled:
"Devonian Rocks and Fossils of the Iowa Area"
and will be given by Brian Witzke of University of Iowa.

     Show hours will be the same as in the past - 8am to 5pm on Friday and Saturday, and 8am to Noon on Sunday.

     The Keynote talk will be given on Friday evening, start time at 5:15 PM.

     The Live Auction will be held Saturday evening, start time at 5:15 PM.

Please note that the start times for the evening events have moved up! The hope is that this will allow more people to attend the Keynote & Auction, and this will hopefully allow the activities to end before dinnertime.


Paleo Prospectors is donating a dinosaur dig trip for the live auction Saturday evening, April 6th 2013!

  • The dig is for 1 week in June or July of 2014 (choice of approximately three different weeks).

  • Possible digs may be in North Dakota, South Dakota or Wyoming.

  • You will be able to keep almost everything that you find (up to a maximum of $4,000.00).

  • Only individual bones valued at over $1,500.00 and articulated bones are excluded.

  • In all cases, however, if you cannot keep your find, you will receive a finder's fee of three percent after the final sale of the object.

  • In most cases each participant finds several hundred bone fragments, ten or so mostly complete bones and an occasional tooth and claw.

  • The minimum bid is $900.

  • If you are not able to attend Expo but would like to bid on the trip, proxy bids can be e-mailed to Expo chair Tom Williams - (815) 223-9638.

  • Payment may be made in 4 installments.

  • For more information on Paleo Prospectors digs, check out their website.

Above left - Ray Garton of Prehistoric Planet had this Allosaurus skull replica on display at Expo 31 in 2009.

Above right - Russ Jacobson had this slab of crinoid fossils at Expo 31.

Hopefully these pictures help to give you some idea of the kinds of items that will be on display and/or for sale at EXPO 35 this April!!

Above left - Paul Gritis Books always has a terrific array of items on sale at Expo!

Above right - You can stop in and see Paula Mikkelsen of the Paleontological Research Institution (PRI).

Hundreds of other vendor tables will be at EXPO 35!

Above - Zarko Ljubojas of Benthos Projects holds a crinoid slab which he had for sale at Expo 31 in 2009.



If you would like to get some idea of the scope of the show, click on the links below to see a short video of the 2009 MAPS EXPO XXXI show floor. You may need the QuickTime Player plug-in to view the movies. You can download it here - Free Apple Quicktime download

The videos are unfortuantely very grainy, and were a sort of trial run in 2009.

Also, hi-speed internet is highly recommended to view these.

Large size .mov clip

QuickTime and the QuickTime Logo are trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

EXPO 35 will have a series of Saturday

Workshops on April 6th, 2013!

at 9:30 AM John Moffitt will present

'Devonian Trilobites'

Let’s take a look at the time period in the Paleozoic when trilobites became extinct with a very few surviving a few hundred million years longer. Geologist, paleontologist and astrophysicist John Moffitt will examine paleogeography and several localities to illustrate what may have been going on and the defenses trilobites put up to survive. John plans to show us just how beautiful and how dangerous a time it was for our favorite class of arthropods.

John's bio:

John Moffitt is both an Astrophysicist and Earth Scientist, working in the oil business for over 45 years. He’s been a geologist, geophysicist, paleontologist and exploration manager … and currently manages engineers designing the next generation of drilling machines. John is a past president of the Houston Gem and Mineral Society, a past Federation vice-president and has led paleontological field trips around the world. A trilobite collector, he’s been a member of MAPS for over 35 years, has travelled to Macomb every year, and has articles in both all-trilobite special issues. He’s found in Tucson every year for over 30 years and is a veteran of all three Trilobite Jams. A past director for Toastmasters, he lectures, cartoons and writes frequently in the Earth Sciences, and was inducted into the National Rockhound & Lapidary Hall of Fame in 2002 for his work in paleontology and with children on Earth Science education. 281-253-6377;

at 10:45 AM John Catalani - retired High School Science teacher and Cephalopod Expert - will present:

'A Brief Introduction To The Devonian Period'

This program will describe the physical and biological changes that occurred during the Devonian Period. A mountain building pulse resulted in highlands on the east coast of North America which were subsequently eroded resulting in the bedrock of up-state New York exposed in numerous gorges. However, it was the evolution of both plant and animal life that sets the Devonian apart from most other geologic periods. Significant biological events include the appearance of the first forests and the evolution of air-breathing tetrapods from lobe-finned fish. Several pulses of extinctions mark the end of the Devonian and the beginning of the Carboniferous.

John's Bio:

John Catalani taught high school Earth Science for 32 years before retiring in 2004. Since 1995, he has written the 'An Amateur's Perspective' column for the newsletter magazine of the Paleontological Research Institution, American Paleontologist. John has several publications including one on Upper Mississippi Valley nautiloids for the Minnesota Geological Survey's Report of Investigation 35 on the Ordovician conference held in conjunction with the 1987 North-Central GSA meeting and several with Robert Frey on Platteville Group Nautiloids. He has also presented many programs to clubs and at PaleoFest at the Burpee Museum in 2010.

at 12:45 AM Don Johnson, AKA 'The Fossil Guy' will present

'The Reign of the Tyrannosaurs"'

A number of different kinds of tyrannosaurs including Tarbosaurus, Albertosaurus, Daspletosaurus, and Tyrannosaurus Rex roamed Asia & North America during the Late Cretaceous Period. Were the tyrannosaurs scavengers, predators, or both? Were they smart or stupid? What do the fossils tell us about the tyrannosaurs, and what is merely speculation? What was their correct posture, and how did they balance on two legs? For what did they use their tiny arms? What made their teeth special? What did the ancestors of the large-bodied Tyrannosaurs look like? Get straight answers to these questions and more during this educational program. Those in attendance will see a replica of the “Peck’s Rex” T. rex jaw, touch real T. rex fossils including a T. rex tooth and claw, and learn about the tremendous teenage growth spurt of T. rex. Don will share his experiences hunting for tyrannosaur fossils in the badlands of South Dakota and Montana.

Don's Contact Information: EIPP President, 319-213-1390, Email:  Don Johnson

Don's bio:

Don is an amateur paleontologist from Fairfax, IA with a special interest in fossil vertebrates. His collection of fossils and fossil replicas is one of the largest in Iowa, and he has experience collecting fossils in Iowa and other states out West. Using his self-given nickname 'The Fossil Guy', he has taught numerous programs since 2002, mostly at the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History and the Cedar Rapids Science Station. In 2005, Don organized (and is currently President of) the Eastern Iowa Paleontology Project (EIPP) in order to establish exhibits and promote science education through the wonder of paleontology using the motto 'Bringing Dinosaurs to Iowa!'

at 2:00 PM Charles Newsom will present:

'Stump the Experts - Bring your Fossils to ID.'

If I can’t identify it, I will find someone who can. I will also give general tips in IDing your material.

Charles shares a love of all things fossilized with his friends and spends much of his spare time working on his extensive fossil collections from all over the nation.

at 3:15 PM Sarah Horgen will present:

'The Mahaska County Mammoth Site: Excavation, Research, and Outreach'

Researchers at the University of Iowa are currently overseeing the excavation and associated research of multiple mammoths in rural Mahaska County, Iowa. Bones were first uncovered at the site in 2010 by the landowner, who approached the University of Iowa for assistance in further excavation when it became clear that there were many bones located at the site. Since April of 2012, the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History has been coordinating the excavation and research efforts at the site, with many UI departments collaborating on the project and many participants from schools and groups across Iowa. Sarah Horgen will present on the importance of this discovery and what the associated research may tell us about Iowa during the Ice Age, as well as the educational and outreach impact of this project for Iowans.

Sarah's bio:

Sarah Horgen is the Education & Outreach Coordinator for the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History. In addition to developing educational programs and outreach presentations for the Museum, she has been assisting with the coordination of research at the Mahaska County mammoth site and the ongoing Tarkio Valley Sloth Project.

Transportation - Lodging - Parking - Meals


There are 2 highways leading into Iowa City—I 80, an E-W route, and I 380, a N-S route.

The Sharpless Auction facility is just north of I-80 at Exit 249 on Herbert Hoover Hwy.

Plane service to Iowa City is through the Eastern Iowa Airport (CID) in Cedar Rapids, IA. Car rental is available at the airport for the 27 mile drive to Sharpless Auctions.


HOTELS-MOTELS We have been informed that most Iowa City motels have different prices for weekends than for weekdays, so check prices if you are concerned about costs.
It has been reported that some of the hotels raise the price for EXPO weekend, so you might want to check prices.

If you plan to stay in a motel, we urge you to make your reservations early. Local motels are generally filled during the weekends.


Iowa City area code is 319, ZIP code is 52240
with link to hotel web site
Phone Number Address E-Mail
Travelodge (Hotel Show)
Mention the “MAPS FOSSIL SHOW" for a special rate
(319) 351-1010 2216 North Dodge St, I-80, Exit 246, (1)Block South, Iowa City, IA 52245 US
Super 7 Motel
Mention the “MAPS FOSSIL SHOW" for a special rate
319-333-1277 810 1 st ave, Coralville IA 52241
South of I-80 at Exit 242, 810 1st Ave, Coralville)

Much more restaurant & hotel info can be found at: Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau


Parking is FREE around the Sharpless Auction building.


There will be a food stand in a room adjoining the Expo. There are many restaurants in town.

For a restaurant list see: Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau Page


Position Name
(with clickable e-mail link)
Address Phone Number
Show Chairman
Tom Williams 2122 14th St.,
Peru, IL 61354
(815) 223-9638
Co-Chairman &
Vendor Table Reservations
Steve Holley 30795 N. Norris Blacktop Rd,
Farmington, IL 61531
(309) 231-8861
Live Auction &
Show Publicity Chair
Marv Houg  
Silent Auctions
Wanda Aldred 9522 Mill Road,
Shoals, IN 47581
(812) 247-3780
Expo Digest Editors
John Catalani
Chris Cozart

Vendor Information Area




Steve Holley
30795 N. Norris Blacktop Rd.
Farmington, IL 61531

• Everyone is requested to make advance table registration by February 15, 2013. Mark your calendars now so you don’t forget!

• The floor plan will be first laid out on February 15, with all received requests being assigned tables. Thereafter, tables will be assigned on a first come/first served basis. This is necessary to insure fairness to all registrants, and to determine remaining number of tables.

• Registrations with special requests (e.g. same as last year, next to John Doe, etc.) must be received by February 15 to be honored. Special requests received after Feb. 15 will be honored if possible, but cannot be promised.

• If a request is made to be next to a friend or family member, all the involved people must have their payments and registrations in by February 15 to be honored. For example, if 4 members wish to be clumped in a group, 3 turn in registrations and the 4th does not, the 4th person may not be set up with the grouping, if the tables are used up. (Of course, every effort WILL be made to keep the 4 members together.)

• If Western Hall fills to capacity, a waiting list shall be created. As cancellations occur, the tables will be assigned in the order received.

• A maximum of 8 tables can be reserved per person, organization, or membership. Tables are 8’ long.


Admission to the show is free. Please send dues to Treasurer before EXPO. If you do pay at Expo, please be sure your dues payment is recorded before you leave the desk.

  • Everyone Is Expected To Stay Through 5:00 Saturday, And All Are Encouraged To Stay Through Sunday.
  • Please Note Your Plans For Leaving On The Reservation Form.
  • The Committee Insists That All Materials Be Fossil Or Fossil-Related. Mountings, Gemstones, Minerals, Human Remains, Artifacts, or Relics, etc., are NOT PERMITTED!!!
  • Please Be Sure All Your Material Is Legal.
  • Aisles Must Be Kept Clear At All Times.


The MAPS Board has voted to allow dealers to set up table coverings, lights, and cases on Thursday night April 4th starting at 6:00 p.m.
  • Dealers may bring boxes of fossils or other items in but they cannot set them out.
  • There will be absolutely no displaying, selling, or trading of fossils or other fossil related items on Thursday night in the hall.
  • Failure to comply with this will result in not being allowed back next year.
  • Also please note that there will be NO SECURITY on Thursday night.
  • Anything brought in by dealers on Thursday night is at their own risk.


A live auction will be held on Saturday evening of EXPO, following a brief business meeting and award presentations. Also, during show hours, a silent auction will be held to shorten the live auction. As part of your table fees, you are required to donate a correctly labeled, quality fossil(s) or fossil-related item(s) to the Auction. Information to include with the specimen is as follows:

  • Brief description and common name, species information, location, and time period.
  • A minimum guide to the value of your donation would be something equal to your table fee. In other words, if you have one table, the donation should have a minimum value of $30; two tables, $60; and so on.

Preference on future table assignments will be given to those who make a donation to the auction.

Most proceeds from the auction go to the Paleontological Society Scholarship Fund. As an interesting note, a number of Auction donations are made by individuals who do not have tables, or who are unable to attend EXPO or the Auction.

The many generous donations in preceding years have allowed us to contribute approximately $3500 for each of the past several years. 2007’s auction brought about $5100 with the addition of a dinosaur-hunting trip. Our primary support goes to the Paleontological Society for scholarships and the Strimple Fund, with additional support to the Paleontological Research Institute (PRI), and the Repository at the University of Iowa, which hosts MAPS board meetings. With continued membership support, we hope to continue this trend.


Displays are welcome at the show. Please note any displays you are bringing on the registration form.

SCHOOL CHILDREN A large number of school children usually visit Expo on Friday morning.