Gaffney Turtle Symposium

On October 17 & 18, 2009, the Museum will recognize the contributions of Gene Gaffney to the study of fossil turtles by bringing together paleontologists, geologists, and science enthusiasts from around the world to share the results of recent research on fossil turtles. Keynote speakers are Richard Moody and Robert Carroll, as well as Gene Gaffney, who will not only speak about his own research, but also on the history of fossil turtle studies. A published abstract volume of the symposium will be available, along with a separate Festschrift volume in honour of Gene Gaffney, after the symposium.

After the sessions and presentations, a special field trip to Dinosaur Provincial Park is being offered. Please see below for more information.


Contact Us

Toll free in North America (outside Alberta)

Toll free in Alberta
310-0000 then (403) 823-7707

Outside North America


Please ask for the Bookings Office.

Symposium Events

  • Friday evening (October 16) Icebreaker at the Royal Tyrrell Museum with cash bar
  • Saturday & Sunday (October 17 & 18) talks, scientific posters, and viewing of new turtle specimens
  • Saturday evening (October 17) BBQ supper
  • One-day field trip to Dinosaur Provincial Park on Monday, October 19 (there is a separate fee for the field trip)

Speaker Schedule

To download a copy of the speaker schedule please click here (PDF). 


The Royal Tyrrell Museum is located 6 km north of Drumheller , 140 km (90 minutes) northeast of the Calgary International Airport (the closest airport). The most convenient way to get to Drumheller from Calgary is by car. For a list of car rental agencies please visit: and follow the links. Greyhound Bus Lines offers a service to Drumheller, please check http:/// for schedules.

If you are driving and require directions or GPS coordinates to Drumheller and the Museum please refer to our Directions page.   


Registration fees are $125 per person. This fee grants you access to the symposium’s presentations, social events, and BBQ supper (Saturday), and one copy of the abstract volume. Symposium attendance is limited, so register today!

The cost for the field trip is an additional $75 (CDN), and requires a separate registration.

Currency exchange rates can be found here

For more information about the Symposium, contact Dr. Donald Brinkman;

For on-line registration please click button in Contact Us box on this page.


Recommended Hotels:

  • Best Western Jurassic Inn - rate $119 plus tax, single occupancy, (403) 823-7700
  • Super 8 - rate $119 plus tax, single occupancy, (403) 823-8887
  • Ramada - rate $126 plus tax, single occupancy, (403) 823-2028

To receive the listed room rates, please state you are participating in the "Museum's Fall Symposium" when booking. Discounted rates are only available until September 15, 2009.

All rooms feature free high speed internet and complimentary continental breakfast.

For a complete list of hotels and B&B's in Drumheller visit:

Presentation Guidelines

The Museum can only accommodate a PC platform for all oral presentations (Mac-based presentations will not work with our equipment).  We request that all of our speakers have their presentations ready for loading on the evening of Friday, October 16 to ensure everything works properly.

Poster Presentations

All posters will be wall mounted and must be a maximum size of 1.8 metres (6 feet) wide and 1.2 metres (4 feet) high. The Museum will provide materials to hang the posters.

Field Trip

Southern Alberta is uniquely famous for its richness of Campanian–Maastrichtian turtle, dinosaur, and other vertebrate fossils that have been collected and studied since the 1880s. This one-day field trip focuses on fossil resources in the Oldman and Dinosaur Park formations at Dinosaur Provincial Park. We will visit classic and new localities, and review current research activities, palaeoenvironments and palaeoecology. Fall is one of the best times of the year to visit the Park!

  • On  Monday, October 19, after the sessions and presentations, a special field trip to Dinosaur Provincial Park is being offered.
  • How much? $75 (includes guidebook, travel, and lunch). Does not include supper.
  • Transportation? 47-passenger bus.
  • Departs: 8:00 a.m. (in front of the Ramada Inn)
  • Returns: 8:30 p.m. (in front of the Ramada Inn)

You must be in good physical condition. Because we are taking a large bus to the Park, and unable to drive into the badlands preserve area, we are hiking to all localities — it is a round trip distance of about 8 km (~ 5 miles).

Dinner will be at the end of the day (5:00 pm) at the Patricia Hotel where you will "cook your own" BBQ. The cost for dinner is NOT INCLUDED in your Field Trip registration.

NOTE: Because the weather is always variable in Alberta in mid October, you should be prepared for brisk fall weather. This is badlands terrain, so good hiking boots/shoes are necessary. The cactuses at Dinosaur Park are small, but painful if ignored.

Access to Museum Collections

Our research collections are available to researchers affiliated with recognized institutions. Collections are open weekdays (except statutory holidays) from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Due to staffing limitations, access is not available on the weekend of the conference (October 17-18). Those interested in viewing collections before, or after, the symposium should contact Brandon Strilisky at before September 30, 2009, to arrange a visit. Requests from students require a letter, or email, of support from their thesis supervisor. Researchers who want to bring fossils with them for comparative study must have official loan documents or similar paperwork.

What to Pack

The weather in mid-October is typically cool to warm during the day, and cool to cold at night. Daytime temperatures range from 10-15°C (40-50°F). Although frost is normal at this time of year, snow is unlikely. Because of the variations in temperatures we suggest you dress in layers. Before packing please visit the Environment Canada website for a long range forecast.

  • Directions
    Royal Tyrell Museum

    Located 6 km from Drumheller, the Museum is nestled in the heart of the Canadian Badlands where fossil hunters have prospected for over a century.

    Find out more

  • Preparation Lab
    Preparation Lab

    Watch as fossils found right here in Alberta are prepared by our technicians for research and display.

    Find out more

  • Our Scientists
    Dennis Braman

    It’s the insatiable curiosity of our scientists that drives the Museum.

    Find out more

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