The Green River Formation topic of October

By: Lisa S. Icenogle
Wildlife Study Series image for September and October 2022.

The October edition of the Werner Wildlife Study Series features paleontologist JP Cavigelli. Join Cavigelli for a discussion on the paleontology of the Green River Formation of Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah. The formation is one of the best-known fossil deposits in the United States.

According to Cavigelli, fossils were deposited 50 million years ago during the tropical middle Eocene Epoch. Railroad cuts made in the late 1860s exposed the first significant deposits of fossil fish. “Scientific and amateur collections started before the turn of the century and continue today. Thousands of fossil fishes are collected every summer from the commercial quarries in southwestern Wyoming, along with many species of Eocene birds,” he said.

Cavigelli is the museum collections specialist at the Tate Geological Museum at Casper College, a position he has held since 2004. He has been in charge of preparing many fossil vertebrates, from a mammoth and a T rex to micro-mammal teeth and their contemporaries. Before this, he spent two years as collections manager at the University of Wyoming, where he designed the database he still uses. Cavigelli also does freelance fossil preparation in his private lab for private collectors and academic paleontologists. He has been on paleontological expeditions to Mongolia, Niger, Tanzania, Alaska, and North Dakota.

October’s study will be held on Thursday, Oct. 20, beginning at 7 p.m. The family-friendly event is free and open to the public. Programs take place in the Africa-Arctic Room in the museum. For more information, call 307-235-2108 or email

The Werner Wildlife Study Series will take a three-month break, November through January and return on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023

The Werner Wildlife Museum, located off the Casper College campus at 405 E. 15th Street, is free and open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Media contact: Lisa S. Icenogle

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