Trish Kohler: Our ‘Fossil Master’ for 2017

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AURORA — The Aurora Fossil Festival Committee takes great pleasure in announcing that Trish Kohler is this year’s ‘Fossil Master’ – our chief dignitary for the 2017 Aurora Fossil Festival.

For those who know Trish, her pleasant, curious demeanor is only one component of a person who has spent nearly a lifetime searching for and discovering relics of the past.

Trish began collecting fossils while growing up in Florida and eventually amassed a collection from her walks along the Florida shoreline. Over the years, she would search for fossils while scuba diving — with one dive trip resulting in a mastodon tibia and a mild case of the bends.


After graduating from Florida State University, Trish eventually made her home in Durham, where in 1981, she joined the North Carolina Fossil Club and volunteered her time for 29 years as the organization’s Treasurer. She also has volunteered at the Duke Lemur Center (21 years) and the Museum of Life and Science (19 years). She is also a member of the Special Friends of the Aurora Fossil Museum, the Tampa Bay Fossil Club, the Southeast Florida Fossil Society, and the Florida Paleontological Society.

Trish’s connection to the Aurora Fossil Museum is through contributing countless hours of volunteerism, donations of unique fossils to the museum’s collection, and her dedication to chronicle fossil hunting through photographs. Most people notice Trish at fossil related meetings, festivals, fairs, or in quarries — fossil hunting with her camera, shooting photo after photo of experiences with friends.

Trish was an avid fossil collector in the PotashCorp-Aurora mine and has made significant contributions to paleontology through her donations to the Aurora Fossil Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Museum of Life & Science. Trish finds her love of fossils very rewarding, especially when she can give back, either through assisting with various programs and events or being able to exhibit and discuss fossils with school children.

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