Pre-conference field trip:

Fossils of the Middle Cambrian Stephen Formation at Stanley Glacier, Kootenay National Park, B.C.

Date: September 29th, 2017

Principal leaders: Chad Morgan, (PhD Candidate, Department of Geoscience, University of Calgary. and Dr. Jean-Bernard Caron (Senior Curator of Invertebrate Palaeontology, Royal Ontario Museum.

Description: This day trip will take participants through the Front and Main Ranges of the Canadian Rocky Mountains stopping first at Castle Mountain and Marble Canyon before arriving at Stanley Glacier. Participants will be taken up into the spectacular hanging valley to the Stephen Formation fossil site to explore the Middle Cambrian trilobite and Burgess Shale fossils found in this area including hyolithids, brachiopods, and Tuzoia. Along the hike participants will also get to see the Cambrian platformal carbonates of the Cathedral and Eldon formations which underlie and overlie the Stephen Formation respectively.


Figure 1. Stanley Glacier with exposure of the upper Stephen Formation in the talus field.

Itinerary: Depart from Aloft Hotel at 7:30 am on September 29th and travel west on highway 1 to Castle Junction (stop 1 at Castle Mountain). Then travel northwest on Highway 93 to Marble Canyon in Kootenay National Park, British Columbia. Take short hike up Marble Canyon for scenic overview and discussion of the regions Cambrian stratigraphy and depositional settings. Drive to Stanley Glacier trail head and hike to Stanley Glacier (a moderate hike requiring about 2 hours) to examine Middle Cambrian stratigraphy and search for fossils. Return to vans by 17:30 and return to Calgary arriving at about 20:30.

Logistics: Wear sturdy hiking boots. Bring the following: a warm jacket (snow and cold conditions may be encountered), hat/toque, work gloves, daypack, and sunglasses. Note: Do not bring collecting equipment. This locality is in Kootenay National Park and fossil/rock collecting is strictly prohibited.

Trip is limited to 24 participants.

Post-conference field trip:

Upper Cretaceous (Campanian to Maastrichtian) Ammonites and semi-precious Gemstones of the Bearpaw Formation, along Saint Mary’s River, Southern Alberta

Date: October 2nd, 2017

Principal leaders: John Issa manager of Canada Fossil Sales/Korite Limited of Calgary, Alberta ( and Rene Trudel of Korite (

Description: On this one-day trip, participants will visit a commercial ammonite and gemstone quarry on the Saint Mary’s River south of the city of Lethbridge. At the quarry spectacular multi-coloured (bright red, green, and blue) aragonite shells derived from the large discoidal ammonites Placenticeras meeki and Placenticeras intercalare are being mined to manufacture exquisite jewellery.

Participants will observe the mining of ammonites, search for fossils, and have an overview of the stratigraphy and depositional setting of the Bearpaw Formation, which is widely distributed from southwest Alberta into Manitoba and northern Montana. In southwest Alberta the Bearpaw, a coeval correlative of the Pierre Shale of southern Montana and adjacent areas in North and south Dakota, overlies the Cretaceous (Campanian) Oldman Formation of the Belly River Group and is overlain by the Maastrichtian Blood Reserve Formation. The transgressive-regressive Bearpaw and Pierre Shale are famous for their diverse assemblages of pelecypods and ammonites including several species of Placenticeras, Baculites, and Rhaeboceras and several genera of multinodose heteromorphic ammonites including Hoploscaphites, Jeletzkytes, Scaphites, Nostoceras, and Didymoceras. After the quarry tour, participants will visit Canada Fossil Sales’ preparation facilities and fossil museum in southeast Calgary.

Korite quarry St Marys River June 5 2017

Figure 2. Korite’s ammonite and aragonite quarry in Upper Cretaceous Bearpaw Formation on Saint Mary’s River south of Lethbridge, Alberta.

Itinerary: Depart from Aloft Hotel at 7:30 am on October 2nd and travel southeast on highways 2 and 3 to the city of Lethbridge, and then drive south on Highway 5 and Township Road 7.0 to Canada Fossil Sales/Korite’s ammonite quarry on the Saint Mary’s River. Anticipated travel time from Calgary to the quarry is about three hours. At the quarry, we will examine the fossil deposits and then visit nearby natural exposures of the Bearpaw Formation. A field lunch will be provided. Return to vans by 15:00 and drive to Calgary via Lethbridge arriving at Canada Fossil Sales’ facility in southeast Calgary at about 18:00. Take tour of their preparation facilities and fossil museum then return to GSC-Calgary at 19:30.

Logistics: Wear sturdy work boots. Bring a daypack, fossil collecting equipment, warm jacket (conditions may be cold), hat, safety glasses/sun glasses, and work gloves.

Trip is limited to 24 participants.

Field trip fees

The general fee per field trip is $125 (includes transportation, guidebook, and lunch). The student fee is $90.

Please visit the Registration & Abstracts page to buy field trip tickets.