Paleofest hero

PaleoFest 2022

March 4-6


Burpee Museum is once again hosting one of the coolest paleontology festivals in the world.  Don't miss PaleoFest 2022, as we join forces with scientists from around the world and going live on:

Join the Fun

Dino-lovers, rock collectors, and fossil diggers unite for an internationally attended festival. Our audience includes scientists and researchers, aspiring scientists, students, paleo-lovers, and even dino-loving kiddos! Many of the talks focus on our speakers' cutting edge research and amazing new finds.

Not Just for Professional Scientists

Students, interested community members, and aspiring scientists are encouraged to join the experts as they share stories, research, and experiences. It is a great opportunity to make connections and become inspired! Not ready for the lectures? Families can still enjoy hands-on workshops, lectures for children, and activities for families throughout our museum...paleo science is presented in a fun, big way.

Family Fun

Bring your best dino roar, paleo costume, and jump into so many fun ways to win contests, learn about prehistoric animals and explore the halls of Burpee!

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PaleoFest Family Track
Special PaleoActivities

Family Fun!

Museum Activities, Special learning, exhibit tours, and activities throughout the museum, Add-on workshops, classes, and more!

Research Talks

New Research

Talks about cutting edge Paleo Research. Students, interested community members, and aspiring scientists are encouraged to join the experts!

Student Symposium

Student Event

Join us for live chats with scientists, view their photos, and learn about researching and adventures.

Dr. Joe Sertich (7:30pm)
PaleoFest Keynote Dinner

Dr. Joe Sertich (7:30pm)

Curator of Dinosaurs, Denver Museum of Nature & Science “The Claws that Catch; The Jaws that Bite”: Theropod Dinosaur Ecomorphology Through the Jurassic and Cretaceous

virtual jane
Sponsor PaleoFest 2022

Help Make 2022 A Success

Reach a large group of local families, scientists, and many from abroad!

Members Night (March 4)

Dan Large (5:30pm)

Lab Manager & Collections Assistant, Burpee Museum "Jurassic Knights: The secrets hidden within ankylosaur armor"

Major Sponsor

ESCONI supports PaleoFest & Burpee Outreach

The Earth Science Club of Northern Illinois promotes interest in the earth sciences, among these are geology, paleontology, mineralogy, micromounting, and the lapidary arts.

Burpee Museum's PaleoFest offers multiple ticket packages.  Use the graphic below to help navigate what is the best fit for you, or your group!  Questions? Do not hesitate to contact the museum.  We would be happy to help you pick the best package for your best PaleoFest adventure!

What to do?

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general public science
General Public Lecture

science lecture options
Member/Student Lecture

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Science Talks & Lectures

Check out our lecture passes.  There will be different speakers on Saturday & Sunday with a full slate of awesome research.  You can purchase a one day pass, or the full weekend day pass.  All lecture passes include general admission to the full museum.

A special paleo celebration dinner and research talk features our keynote presenter.  The keynote is not included in the day lecture pass. Best Deal = PaleoPackage.  This gets you all the daytime speakers plus the keynote and dinner.

Just Stopping By

With a general admission only ticket, you will enjoy a museum full of awesome exhibits plus several special PaleoFest only stations and temporary interactive exhibits.

Enhance your Family Visit

Walking through the museum on PaleoFest is very special...but upgrade your fun with a hands-on workshop!  Geared at paleo loving youth, these workshops feature science experimentation, activities, small group learning, art training, and even a family friendly research lecture from one of our visiting scientists.  Don't miss the variety of these special add-on.

Best Deal = Family Do It All Pass!!

Be a VIP

Do all the classes and get the VIP treatment.  This includes a special time to chat with a visiting scientist.  This is a great option for families with little scientists ready to share their questions, or adults looking to grow their paleo network.

2022 Speaker Lecture Schedule at PaleoFest

Schedule of Talks

Saturday, March 5, 2022

9:15 Opening Remarks

9:30 Brenda Hunda, Cincinnati Museum Center

“Why does Paleontology matter? Relevance of the past to the present & future”

10:00 Kelsey Jenkins

“A Tale of Two Senses: How the Fossil Record Reveals the History of Sensory Evolution”

10:30 BREAK

11:00 Luke Weaver, University of Michigan

“The multituberculates as living animals: new insights into the paleobiology of the most successful mammals from the Age of Dinosaurs”

11:30 Bobby Boessenecker, College of Charleston, Mace Brown Museum of Natural History

“Requiem for a giant: when and how Carcharocles megalodon became extinct”

12:00 - 1:30 LUNCH

1:30 Chris Flis, Whiteside Museum of Natural History

“The Red Beds Revolution – Rediscovering the Fossil Beds of the Texas Permian”

2:00 ReBecca Hunt-Foster, Dinosaur National Monument

Talk Title TBD

2:30 BREAK

3:00 Casey Holliday, School of Medicine, University of Missouri

“Dinosaurs used their temporal fenestrae as thermal windows in temperature regulation”

3:30 Amelia Zietlow, PhD Student, American Museum of Natural History

“Tylosaurus through Time: Taxonomy & Ontogeny of North American Tylosaurine Mosasaurs”

Saturday evening, March 5, 2022 Keynote Dinner 

4:30-6:30 Mixer

6:30: Dinner

7:30 Dr. Joe Sertich will be speaking about his work in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

“Extreme dinosaur diversity on Laramidia's southern frontier: new discoveries from Utah's Grand Staircase”

*Note: Keynote Dinner not included in Saturday General Lecture Pass

Sunday, March 6, 2022

9:45 Opening Remarks

10:00 Arjan Mann, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

“New early amniote discoveries from the Carboniferous-aged Mazon Creek Lagerstätte”

10:30 Thomas Tobin, University of Alabama

“The Importance of Seasonal Environmental Change to the End Cretaceous Mass Extinction in Antarctica”

11:00 BREAK

11:30 Kiersten Formoso, University of Southern California

“Exploring the locomotion controls of the land to sea evolutionary transition across marine reptiles and mammals”

12:00 Sarah Boessenecker, Mace Brown Museum of Natural History

“Skeletons in the Closet Revisited: A Curatorial Case Study of the Mace Brown Museum of Natural History and other University Natural History Museums.”

12:30 - 2:00 LUNCH

2:00 David DeMar, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Burke Museum

“How fossils of small vertebrates reshaped our understanding of the dinosaur extinction event.”

2:30 Claire Terhune, University of Arkansas

“Lions and tigers and bears (and pangolins?): Fossil faunas from the early Pleistocene of Eastern Europe”

3:00 BREAK

3:30 Jingmai O’Connor, Field Museum of Natural History

“The early evolution of avian reproduction: clues from Cretaceous Lagerstätten in China”

4:00 Thomas Holtz, University of Maryland

“The Claws that Catch; The Jaws that Bite”: Theropod Dinosaur Ecomorphology Through the Jurassic and Cretaceous”


A History of PaleoFest
About Burpee Museum's Paleofest

Started in 1999, PaleoFest has become an internationally recognized & respected program that celebrates the science of Paleontology. PaleoFest is an exemplar program to excite, educate & inspire all people in science. This 3-day event includes many educational programs & activities for ALL levels of interest in paleontology. Each year, PaleoFest attracts nearly 2,000 visitors and some of the biggest names in the field.