The 6th annual FPCS in Drumheller Canada was a wonderful trip to the Royal Tyrrell Museum and Dinosaur Provincial Park. Had a chance to meet and socialize with colleagues from many institutions. This conference has doubled in size in the six years since the first meeting in 2008 at Petrified Forest National Park.
The mornings were filled with talks on how collections storage and preparation techniques have changed over the history of paleontology. As collections grow and age proper care is required to maintain what has already been collected, as well as how to care for newly acquired specimens. In the afternoons we were able to tour the museum, collections, laboratories and offices as well as participate in hands on workshops relating to methods on preparation and collections. This is the best part for me. I love to see how other institutions operate, talk to others about problems and often get great tips on how to improve methods in the care of specimens in my own institution.
The Collections at the Tyrrell are filled with many specimens that still require preparation, and many that have been beautifully prepared in their enormous lab space. The space is equipped with rolling tables and mobile dust collection units. So much of what they work on in here is large blocks filled with dinosaur bones or marine reptiles that open, modular space is essential. A 3 ton hoist is located at one end of the lab for moving the large jacket from pallets onto the worktables. There is another, smaller lab space equipped with microscope workstations for more detailed, finer preparation.