The Bulletin
Editor - Jack Kallmeyer

January, 2015

The Tiniest Fossils

Our featured speaker for January will be Professor Ben Dattilo from Indiana University Purdue University Ft. Wayne. Entitling his program, “What, if anything, is Cyclora?” Dattilo will enlighten us on new research into a long time perplexing problem in the Cincinnatian: “What is the significance of the diminutive mollusc fauna found in certain beds?” Current wisdom, although not universally accepted, is that these tiny fossils represent a dwarfed fauna living in oxygen poor environments. Ben has been studying this fauna for some time and may finally be able to definitively put this issue to rest.

Ben is well known to long time Dry Dredgers members and is very supportive of our group. He grew up in Madison Indiana and collected fossils from the age of 4. He started puzzling over the Cyclora fauna at the age of 12 or so, although he admits that he did not know what they were called.

Ben received his BS and MS at Brigham Young University where he studied the Lower Ordovician Fillmore Formation (1988). His PhD was completed at the University of Cincinnati (1988-1994) where he studied the Miamitown Shale and the Kope Formation. From his PhD work, Ben is known as the graduate student who collected the highest tonnage of fossil material pursuant to his degree than anyone preceding or following him.

Since 2007, Ben has been teaching Geology at IPFW (Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne). His most recent research of interest to the Dry Dredgers is the work on life habits of Sowerbyella and Rafinesquina.

TIME: 8:00 PM 
DATE: Friday, January 23, 2015
PLACE: Room 201 Braunstein Hall (Old Physics Building) 
University of Cincinnati Campus
Click here for directions to the meeting room
Click here to see photos of previous meetings.and more info on our meetings.

Beginner's Class
by Greg Courtney

The Beginner’s Class meets at 7:15 PM Friday, January 23. This month, Professor Dave Meyer will lead a tour of the U.C. Geology Museum. Rendezvous in room 201 Braunstein (our regular meeting room) promptly at 7:15 PM so that Dave can lead the group to the Museum in the adjacent Geology/Physics building.

2015 Field Trip Calendar
by Bob Bross

Did you receive a nice wall calendar for Christmas? Maybe it has photos of cute kittens or puppies on it; or perhaps, scenes from across the United States. Well now is the time to put that calendar to use by marking in some key dates for upcoming Dry Dredgers field trips!

We will have five local trips within an hour or so of the Cincinnati area; each will be the Saturday after our regular Friday evening that same month:

Saturday, March 28th
Saturday, April 25th
Saturday, May 23rd (yes, that does fall on Memorial Day weekend)
Saturday, September 26th (we will host our joint picnic with Kentucky Paleontological Society)
Saturday, October 24th

The purpose for these trips is to allow members the opportunity to collect fossils in a group outing, which includes very knowledgeable experts within our organization. Some – but not all – are at locations where family members of all ages can go. While we try to accommodate everyone, some fossilrich locations along roadways can pose a risk to younger members.

Trip locations will be announced in upcoming bulletins as each date approaches, as conditions at some places may have changed significantly since a previous outing. As always, we welcome your input on your favorite locations as well as new or less-frequently visited places.

There have been a number of suggestions for other non-local trips (such as Crawfordsville) which could either be a long day trip or a single overnight. We’re going to try and work in one or two of these as well.

Before anyone asks: no new information on Lee Creek/PCS – but we can always hope!

Penn Dixie Weekend 2015
By Bob Bross

For those of you already planning your 2015 paleontological excursions please save room on June 12th through the 14th; those are the dates for the 2015 Penn Dixie Weekend. This started out as a Dry Dredgers trip, but thanks to the New York Paleontological Society (who introduced us to Ridgemount Quarry in Canada) and the Kentucky Paleontological Society (and the beauty of the pale dolomite trilobites); it is open to members, non-members, family, friends, and anyone interested in fossils, astronomy, and radio. Please note: you must be 18 years or older for access to Ridgemount Quarry. For access into Canada, anyone 16 or older must have a valid U.S. passport; under 16, either a passport or birth certificate.

Details will follow, but the tentative schedule will be as follows: Friday, June 12th – Ridgemount Quarry and/or Penn Dixie; Saturday, June 13th – Penn Dixie in the day, amateur radio station in the afternoon, astronomy in the evening; Sunday, June 14th – Penn Dixie and a possible Lake Erie excursion. We’ll try and work a couple of group activities to nearby attractions for early arrivals, which can include Niagara Falls, the Buffalo Naval Museum, Toronto, local fossil shop/museum, and maybe another nearby site.

If you want to be put on the early mailing list now (which does not commit you to the trip),
please contact Bob Bross, Dry Dredgers Field Trip Chair, at


More interesting articles are found each month in the Bulletin Emailed to members of the Dry Dredgers. Click here to join.

The password to the members-only area of can be found in the full-version of the bulletin emailed and snail-mailed to paid-up members. Another great reason to join!

Return to main menu

Department of Geology University of Cincinnati
Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0013

The Dry Dredgers and individual contributors reserve the rights to all information, images, and content presented here. Permission to reproduce in any fashion, must be requested in writing to . is designed and maintained by Bill Heimbrock.