February 11, 2020
I am honored and humbled to have been elected President of the Association of Applied Paleontological Sciences (AAPS) and am excited to think about the prospects our important organization has ahead of us in the coming years. I first want to thank the many members who have done so much over the years to make AAPS what it is today, namely past Presidents Neal Larson and John Issa, whose support, friendship and input will be invaluable to me as I move forward in this new capacity. As John so eloquently noted in his message in our Tucson Show Guide, AAPS is a proud organization dedicated to keeping fossil enthusiasts informed about rules and regulations. We must be a proactive group to ensure a future with legal, ethical and productive collecting. As Neal has championed for some time, we must combat regulatory ignorance, change attitudes towards the appropriate collecting of fossils to protect and preserve these critical resources by fostering an environment of cooperation among all various communities within the world of fossil collecting. I echo those sentiments and want to encourage involvement by all AAPS members and focus on growing our membership numbers. Our organization needs to position itself to influence legislation and combat misconceptions about the work of both amateur and professional people in the paleontological business. The contribution of non-academic persons in the field of paleontology, with special emphasis on field collecting, cannot be overstated. In my opinion, our group represents science with a purpose, and I believe we can ensure a bright future for our collective endeavors by working in a spirit of "protecting by collecting" which will be necessary to keep things positive for all.
Craig Kissick, President