Penn Dixie Seeks AmeriCorps ABLE Member

The Hamburg Natural History Society/Penn Dixie seeks a part time, seasonal candidate to serve as AmeriCorps ABLE Member at Penn Dixie Fossil Park & Nature Reserve during summer 2018.

The candidate will guide groups through the history and science of the site’s resources and assist groups and campers in collecting fossils and rocks and making observations/connections about plants and wildlife. The candidate will additionally work with the Director of Education to develop accessible and inclusive programming and lessons that meet NYS Science standards. The candidate will be outside all day, walking most of the day, and lifting about 20 pounds of equipment.

Enthusiasm for science and nature in interactions with students is required. Start/end dates: 6/25-8/19 Mon-Fri 8:30 am-5 pm. For information about Americorps ABLE and to apply, visit https://www.tscwny.org/

Teen Science Café is Coming to Buffalo

March 8th Interest Meeting at Central Library

Teen Science Café is a series of free, fun, out-of-school events where teens socialize over food with local scientists about current cutting-edge ideas in a relaxed and informal setting. The Buffalo Niagara Teen Science Café is beginning this fall at the Central Library.

High School Voices Needed

Teen Science Cafés are for teens, by teens with the aid of committed mentors. Science Educators from Penn Dixie Fossil Park and Nature Reserve invite Western New York high schoolers to a Teen Science Café interest meeting on March 8th at 6 pm in the West Room of the Central Library by the Fables Café.

What do you want to learn about at the Buffalo Niagara Teen Science Café?

Space? The Environment? Climate Change? Cancer Research? Robotics? Engineering?

Teen Science Cafés are not just for the science geeks; they are for all curious teens, diverse in ethnicity, culture, gender, and motivations for learning about science.

Contact elizabeth@penndixie.org or call the Penn Dixie office (716) 627-4560 with any questions.

Official Penn Dixie Field Guide

Thanks to the New York State Geological Association, we’re pleased to offer a digital version of our definitive guide — Penn Dixie Fossil Park & Nature Reserve: A Window Into The Devonian Period of Western New York. The guide appears in the 89th Annual NYSGA Meeting Guidebook — print copies available here. You may download the Official Penn Dixie Field Guide for educational use only.

The guide was written by Executive Director Dr. Phil Stokes — a geologist — and Director of Education Dr. Holly Schreiber — a paleontologist — and provides a broad introduction to the history and science of Penn Dixie. Topics in the 18-page paper include:

  • Geological setting of New York State in the Devonian Period
  • Plate tectonics affecting the Catskill Basin and WNY
  • Why many different types of fossils are found at Penn Dixie
  • An overview of the main types of fossils found, including brachiopods, bryozoans, trilobites, crinoids, bivalves, gastropods, cephalopods, plants, and fish
  • Images of our fossils with updated nomenclature
  • A discussion of the fossil-bearing layers at Penn Dixie
  • Our organization’s history, and how we ended up as Penn Dixie!

A Devonian Donation!

We’re thrilled to share that Mike Menasco, owner of Artistic Indulgence gallery in Minneapolis, MN, has allowed us the use of his amazing artwork (pictured above).

The piece, entitled Into the Depths of the Devonian, is based on fossils found in the vicinity of Eighteen Mile Creek and Penn Dixie. Mike generously agreed to allow us to use this piece for promotional and educational purposes. Since it’s both scientifically accurate and full of predatory action, we couldn’t be happier.

Printed copies of the artwork can be purchased via Mike’s website.

Summer Camps

Children ages 8 to 13 discover the natural sciences through five different camps that emphasize hands-on learning, outdoor fun, and teamwork. Register here.

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Blast off into a week of space fun with a new Penn Dixie camp! Launching this summer, campers will explore our solar system through science and engineering. Campers will learn about space flight through rocketry, examine microfossils that may resemble fossil life on other planets, view our sun safely through special telescopes and glasses, and participate in many other fun science and engineering activities.

During the week, each camper will build, study, and launch two different Estes Model Rockets that he or she can keep. One optional night of stargazing just for our campers will also take place — date and time TBA. All materials are included in the camp fee.

Location: Five days at Penn Dixie Fossil Park & Nature Reserve

Schedule: 9 am to 3 pm Monday to Friday; Extended care available

2018 Sessions:

  • Session 1 – July 23 to 27
  • Session 2 – August 20 to 24

Rate: $220 per camper/$210 for Penn Dixie members. Register here and choose Space Camp and either Session 1 or 2. Register by May 15 and save $5 per camper! Use code: EARLY18. Members: Please call 716-627-4560 for your $10 discount code.


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Our wildest camp experience returns! Penn Dixie and The Buffalo Zoo have teamed up to teach about our planet’s prehistoric and modern life.

Campers will visit Penn Dixie on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday to learn about the scientific method, making observations, collecting field data, and the ancient ocean inhabitants that lived here 380 million years ago. It’s off to The Buffalo Zoo on Thursday and Friday where campers will have the opportunity to apply the scientific method to study — up close and in person — the living inhabitants of modern ecosystems. Campers must be dropped off at partner locations.

Locations: Three days at Penn Dixie and two days at The Buffalo Zoo

Schedule: 9 am to 3 pm Monday to Friday; Extended care not available

2018 Session:

  • Session 1 – July 9 to 13

Rate: $210 per camper/$190 for Penn Dixie and Buffalo Zoo members. Register here and choose PaleoZoo Camp. Register by May 15 and save $10 per camper! Use code: EARLYBIRD. Penn Dixie and Buffalo Zoo members please call 716-627-4560 for your $20 discount code.


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Our most popular camp is back! Science comes alive at two exciting sites right in your own neighborhood. On Monday and Tuesday, campers will explore geology and paleontology at Penn Dixie while collecting fossils that are older than dinosaurs. On Wednesday, campers will venture off to Past & Present in Blasdell to tour the museum and discover the mysteries of the dinosaurs from a real dinosaur hunter — Glen LaPlaca!

Campers return to Penn Dixie on Thursday and Friday to investigate our nature trails, learn about local ecology, identify, animal tracks, and more! Campers must be dropped off at partner locations.

Locations: Penn Dixie and Past & Present Science & Nature Store

Schedule: 9 am to 3 pm Monday to Friday; Extended care not available

2018 Sessions:

  • Session 1 – July 16 to 20
  • Session 2 – August 13 to 17

Rate: $200 per camper. Register here and choose the Dinosaurs, Fossils, and Nature Camp and either Session 1 or 2. Register by May 15 and save $5 per camper! Use code: EARLY18. Penn Dixie members please call 627-4560 for code to receive $10 off registration. Don’t delay — this camp fills quickly!


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Explore the natural world at three great nature centers! Campers will begin the expedition at Reinstein Woods on Monday where they will investigate insects and plants and learn important wilderness survival skills. The next stop is Evangola State Park on Tuesday and Wednesday where campers will visit wetlands, examine skulls, go fishing and more. Campers will head to Penn Dixie on Thursday and Friday to explore paleontology, geology and collecting 380 million year old fossils. Campers must be dropped off at partner locations.

Locations: Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve, Evangola State Park, and Penn Dixie

Schedule: 9 am to 3 pm Monday to Friday; Extended care not available

2018 Sessions:

  • Session 1 – July 30 to August 3
  • Session 2 – August 27 to 31

Rate: $200 per camper/$190 for Penn Dixie and Reinstein Woods members. Register here and choose the Nature Expedition Camp and either Session 1 or 2. Register by May 15 and save $5 per camper! Use code: EARLY18. Penn Dixie and Reinstein Woods members: Call 716-627-4560 for your code to receive $10 off registration.


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Aspiring paleontologists dig this camp! Set entirely at Penn Dixie, campers will delve into paleontology through realistic field activities such as specimen collecting, cleaning, and labeling. Campers will study the rocks and minerals that makeup the crust beneath Western New York using all of the tools of a scientist. There will also be opportunities for nature hikes, ecology projects, arts and crafts, and more.

Location: Five days at Penn Dixie Fossil Park & Nature Reserve

Schedule: 9 am to 3 pm Monday to Friday; Extended care available

2018 Sessions:

  • Session 1 – June 25 to 29
  • Session 2 – August 6 to 10

Rate: $200 per camper/$190 for Penn Dixie members. Register here and choose Science Adventure Camp and either Session 1 or 2. Register by May 15 and save $5 per camper! Use code: EARLY18. Members please call 716-627-4560 for $10 discount code.


Campers must register and complete all health and emergency contact forms at least one week prior to the first day of camp. All campers are bound to our Code of Conduct. For additional help contact Director of Education Dr. Holly Schreiber at: (716) 627-4560 or using our online form.