The Dry Dredgers is an association of amateur geologists dedicated to the knowledge and enjoyment of fossils. The Society was founded in 1942 and continues to bring together those interested in the life of prehistoric times. Its aim is to stimulate interest in geology, to encourage the collection and identification of fossils, and to participate in field trips and exhibitions. 

In 2001, the Dry Dredgers incorporated. The purpose of Dry Dredgers, Inc, is to stimulate interest and promote education at all levels and to encourage the collection, identification, preservation and classification of fossils of all types.

Members of the Dry Dredgers are individuals of all ages, backgrounds, and levels of expertise, sharing a common and sincere interest in fossils. Average membership is about 230 families.

Donations to the Dry Dredgers are welcome, invited, and tax deductable. We are a not-for-profit organization with a tax filing status 501c3 . Donate money or even just fossils! It will go toward educational purposes.

Click here to download our tri-fold brochure titled "About the Dry Dredgers". (235K PDF file)

Here are some of the activities, in which the Dry Dredgers, Inc, are involved.


Holds general meetings 8 or 9 times per year, during the UC school year, where a feature lecture on fossils or geology  is presented. This is a tradition we have held since 1942 when the Dry Dredgers were formed by Dr. Kenneth Caster, from an evening lecture series at the University of Cincinnati. These meetings often have refreshments, door prizes and plenty of time for fossil show-and-tell, help with fossil identification, opportunities to buy popular fossil books and papers, and a chance to rub elbows with the many professional Paleontologists that attend the meetings. It often includes a primer slide show of the fossil types you will see on the next morning's field trip. The meetings are intended for the beginner and intermediate fossil enthusiast and have something for people of all ages, origins and ways of thinking. Above all, these meetings are the place where we all share our enjoyment of fossils. BRING YOUR SPECIMENS!!!!



There is a class for beginners held before each general meeting, to acquaint everyone with the fossils we all enjoy. It is a visual experience including dual big screens, from a major UC classroom. But also includes hands-on, and first hand information on the fossils of our area. This is NOT a college class. It's an informal starters class for fossil lovers of all ages.



Coordinates 6 or 7 field trips a year. These trips are to great fossil collecting sites or to museums and other related attractions. On the field trips, more experienced Dry Dredgers help the less experienced with fossil hunting, fossil identification and extraction techniques. Included are trips to the famous trilobite farm in Mt. Orab to collect our own world famous trilobites. Field trip finds are pictured on our web site.


We publish a four-page bulletin (black-n-white plain paper) about a week before each meeting, announcing the meeting topics, field trip, beginner's class,  and events, among other announcements. We also republish articles of interest to the amateur paleontologist and fossil collector from the popular and local presses. We feature articles from our general membership. Members have the option of receiving an electronic form of the bulletin via email that usually arrives faster than conventional "snail mail". Back issue bulletins, as well as the current month's bulletin, are available to members on the password-protected "members-only" area of our web site, DryDredgers.org


Co-Sponsor GEOFAIR, the Annual Gem, Mineral, Fossil and Jewelry Show of Greater Cincinnati, now in its 48th year. The Dry Dredgers made this project a primary objective when we began co-sponsoring this show with the Cincinnati Mineral Society in 2001.


Manufactures and sells bags of fossils at the Cincinnati Museum Center Gift shops and at other non-profit and not-for-profit venues. For decades, this has been the primary source of funds for our contributions to the University of Cincinnati Department of Geology and to the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History. These fossil kits are named "Cincinnati Fossils." They showcase and illustrate Cincinnati's fossil heritage. 


We present a grant eachr year to applicants with our prized "Paleontological Research Award." This award goes to students needing funds for paleontological research. Special consideration is given to projects involving fossils of the late Ordovician, and in particular, the Cincinnati Series of Cincinnati, Ohio. This fund was established in 1999.


Donates one book per year to the University of Cincinnati Geology Library.


Contributes an annually elected amount to the University of Cincinnati's Caster Fund, established by the Geology Dept, in the name of our Dry Dredgers Founder, Dr. Kenneth Caster, to provide a perpetual source of grants for graduate study in Geology and Paleontology.


Maintains a display of fossils, found by our members, at the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History and Science. 



Shown above, Dr. Greg Schumacher with Ohio Geologic Survey collaborates with Bill Heimbrock of the Dry Dredgers on a study of trilobite epizoans.

 Provides a resource for Professional, Graduate and Amateur Study by providing fossil specimens and site information. This is a by-product of amateur fossil collecting near Cincinnati, Ohio. In return, the Dry Dredgers receive expert help with their amateur Paleo projects. See our information on our collaboration with professionals throughout history.

See our dedication to Bill White, one of the all-time best amateurs.


Connects with amateur fossil collectors from other areas via our web site, joint field trips with neighboring groups, and via our partnerships with the Cincinnati Mineral Society and the Kentucky Paleontological Society.


 Donate fossils to local schools as class material.


On request and based on the availability of our participating members, put on presentations on Cincinnati Fossils for local schools, parks and libraries. We have established an Education Chairperson to head these ongoing activities.


Prepare and circulate fossil displays for local public libraries. These displays give others basic information on fossils of our area and create exposure for the Dry Dredgers.


Participation in local events, such as the Science Olympiad, the North American Paleontological Convention and the Southwest Ohio District Science & Engineering Expo


In addition to the DryDredgers.org worldwide web site with more than 300 visitors each day, an area is available to members only, which allows electronic correspondence with other members and lots of fossil and fossil site info our members want and need.  


A Brief History of the Dry Dredgers
By-laws of Dry Dredgers, Inc.

Back to the Dry Dredgers Home Page

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 admin@drydredgers.org .