Ottawa Palaeontological Society
   
Ottawa Palaeontological Society
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With regard to the
Eastern Ontario Natural History Society

Throughout its history, the Ottawa Paleontology club has always had a broader focus that recognised the diversity of interests among our members. With other changes taking place, we felt it would be a good idea to change our name to one that was more representative. The choice of a new name wasn't taken lightly. As a matter of fact, we consulted several experts...

Along with this change of name, we have come to embrace a larger vision, one recognising three focuses common to us and to the specific skills of our members:

The importance of fieldwork
Science involves not just knowledge but also the effort required to gain it. Our "field" is shaped by "the field". With research underfunded, having more people who know how to observe, search for and recover fossils, as well as build their own understanding through fieldwork and share their passion with others is important for the science

The connection between past and present
Our club seeks to comprehend "deep time": to see everything in its turn having a near infinite depth of history behind it. We recognise that surrounding us exists a living fossil - for everything alive around us, in some way comes from those ancient times that are our study, that we live in a present which is in reality also the "past" of the "future". Around us lies living examples of natural history in the making. So, our club also belongs to the Naturalists (whose self-taught ancestors lie at the origin of the natural sciences as a whole).

The unending wilderness of scientific knowledge
The "holy curiosity" (of Einstein), the sense of awe connected to understanding the natural world, its immensity and complexity, which quickly makes equals of the most experienced scientist and the youngest child. Since, use of scientific knowledge is one means to encourage this understanding, learning how to understand and make use of scientific literature, its history of observations and questions, is one of the goals of our club.

Our club with its smaller meetings allows us to be accessible without sacrificing detail. Our goals remain to facilitate learning about science, to provide a place for discussion and to strengthen our appreciation of the natural world.

Jonas Weselake-George
President during the transition

EONS is the anagenetic descendant of the Ottawa Paleontological Society and stays true to its heritage:

Ottawa Paleontological Society Mandate

We, as the Paleontology Society of Ottawa, must follow certain ethics as collectors and as educators. Our club has reached hundreds of local people, promoting the science that is our namesake. We can not underestimate the ignorance of basic science understanding in our society. Recent concern over whether the Americans really visited the moon in the 1960s is an excellent example of that lack of education that exists. How do we want to be seen in the eyes of the local scientific community and the general public? Our mandate is simple: to forward understanding in this discipline through educational presentations, collecting trips and workshops. The private collector has a lot to offer to paleontology. We live in a fairly rich area for Palaeozoic invertebrate fossils and for more recent Pleistocene deposits. Members like Bob Boisvert are truly representative of what our club aims to do. He has worked with palaeontologist Dick Harington to further his research of our local paleontology. Members like Frank Habets have gone to great efforts to help educate the public, through talks and information booths at local museums, schools and malls. There are many other members that continue to give us an excellent reputation in our community. Here are a few simple questions that you can ask yourself, as members of our club:

Do I ask permission before entering a property to collect?

Do I buy fossils that support illegal activities?

Do I offer accurate locality information with my specimens?

Do I share my discoveries with the local scientific community?

Do I show off my collection to further this science?

We can do more to continue our work in this community. Our paleontological heritage is important. There is little Government funding to promote general paleontology (unless it is dinosaurs). We, as private collectors, educators and professionals are lucky to be in an area with incredible resources (GSC, CMN, smaller museums, universities). How can we make our next ten years as rewarding as the first?

Mike LÚveillÚ
First president of the Ottawa Paleontology Club

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