Our tradition is to provide optional activities prior to and after the body of the Annual Meeting. These are opportunities for those who have some additional time to devote to maximizing their educational and recreational experiences at the meeting.
Pre- and post-meeting activities, including field trips, include additional fees to cover transportation and materials costs.
If you are going to make the trip to Kansas, why not get the most out of your time? We hope to see you on Tuesday, April 16th, and please stay to enjoy the wonderful field trip on Saturday, April 20th, 2019!
Field Trips are open to meeting registrants but spaces are limited. Register early to secure your choices.
Pre-Meeting Field Trips
(Tuesday, 16 April 2019)
Cosmosphere $40 USD
The Cosmosphere is a space museum that houses the largest combined collection of US andRussian spaceflight artifacts – over 13,000 artifacts! This includes the largest Russian spaceflight collection outside of Moscow and largest US spaceflight collection outside of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. The Cosmosphere includes the Hall of Space Museum, a planetarium, a 4K theater, and an interactive STEM education lab. This fieldtrip includes admission, a guided tour of the Hall of Space Museum, and a behind-the-scenes tour of the collection. Lunch is included with registration price and will be a sandwich bar provided at the Cosmosphere. Oh yeah – the Cosmosphere also has the flown Apollo 13 command module (Odyssey) on display!
The Cosmosphere is in Hutchinson, KS, which is roughly 2 hours and 15 minutes from Hays.
15 people minimum
Kansas Wetlands Education Center $25 USD
Kansas is on the main migratory bird corridor, with the Cheyenne Bottoms wetlands located in the heart of the state. Cheyenne Bottoms is a stopover for thousands of migratory shorebirds and waterfowl, as well as home to many other birds during nesting, staging, or wintering periods (including endangered and threatened species). The Kansas Wetlands Education Center (KWEC) at Cheyenne Bottoms is run by Fort Hays State University and is dedicated to educating the public about wetland communities. This fieldtrip starts with a welcome and introduction to KWEC, Cheyenne Bottoms, and the nearby inland salt marshes (Quivira National Wildlife Refuge) by the KWEC director, followed by a tour of the education center. KEWC includes interactive and interpretive exhibits and outdoor trails and viewing areas. After lunch (which is included with registration), we will go on a guided birdwatch trip at Cheyenne Bottoms.
Special Post-Meeting Field Trip
(Saturday, 20 April 2019)
Western Interior Seaway of Kansas $30 USD
Full Day field trip
Minimum of 25 people
Cost = $30/person, includes lunch
Join us for a trip to western Kansas to explore the Western Interior Seaway. The Smoky Hill Member of the Late Cretaceous Niobrara Formation outcrops in the spectacular badlands topography of Castle Rock. Castle Rock itself is a large chalk pillar, but the badlands to the south are quite fossiliferous with marine vertebrate and invertebrates. The Smoky Hill chalk is capped by the younger Ogallala Formation. Castle Rock was also a landmark of a freight and mail coach line in the 1860s. This trip includes great views, discussion of the geological, paleontological, and cultural history of the region, and an opportunity for prospecting. We will also be making a trip to the famous Fish-Within-A-Fish fossil locality. This is your chance to see proof that Kansas is completely flat!
Please note: Participants will need to be able to walk up to a mile over uneven ground.