Joggins Fossil Centre – Cliff Notes – Winter 2023

Summer Season Report

The 2022 season was a delightful trend towards pre-pandemic visitation levels. The Joggins Fossil Centre welcomed over 12,000 guests through our museum, half of which also shared in our guided beach tour experiences. Approximately 25% of our visitors were from outside of Canada. Of the visitors from Canada, Ontario was far and away the largest portion of domestic guests to visit at around 30% (followed by 23% Nova Scotia and 20% New Brunswick). A massive thanks to our interpretive team of Dana, Margaret, Sarah, and Weylin for providing exceptional guided beach tours throughout the season!

Joggins Fossil Cliffs Staff, Dana, Margaret, Sarah, and Weylin
Joggins Fossil Cliffs Staff, Dana, Margaret, Sarah, and Weylin
Joggins Fossil Cliffs - Summer Visitors
Joggins Fossil Cliffs – Summer Visitors

This past summer also proved to be one of our most successful seasons for our Roundhouse Café as well. We were able to re-open the café for July and August, a feat not seen since 2019. We saw a huge resurgence of bus tours and catered meals which factored heavily into the success of the season.

More importantly if you enjoyed a tasty made-from-scratch-cookie or treat during your visit with us, it was thanks to the dream team of Joyce and Kiana!

I hope the note shining through is that if a visit was positive and memorable, it likely involved a friendly staff member. Folks like Crystal providing great customer service and a positive welcome to the site. The JFI Board of Directors, and management team, is thankful for the people both from our own backyard, and down the road, that bring this site to life.

Want to discover or revisit the Joggins Fossil Cliffs? Our museum and tours return on May 1, 2023 with the tour schedule going live early March to book a guided beach experience. Public access to the Joggins Fossil Cliffs (from museum location) itself should be reinstalled by late April.

See you next summer!
Jordan LeBlanc
Director, Operations

 Visitor Experience Survey


Did you visit the Joggins Fossil Cliffs in 2022? CLICK HERE to tell us about your experience!

Joggins Fossil Cliffs Visitor Experience Survey
Joggins Fossil Cliffs Visitor Experience Survey

Curator’s Corner With Dr. Jade Atkins

I just started as Joggins Fossil Institute’s Director and Curator of Palaeontology this past August. My background is in fossil amphibians, especially how they grow and change throughout their lifetimes. I’m pleased to be able to work at Joggins Fossil Cliffs, which is home to so many amazing Carboniferous fossils, but especially to Dendrerpeton, the oldest member of a lineage that likely includes today’s frogs, salamanders, and caecilians.

One of my first acts as Curator was to start a virtual seminar series, highlighting the work of researchers who work with Joggins material, researchers who work on interesting topics, and researchers who live and work in the Maritimes. We advertise our talks, which occur on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month from 1 to 2 pm Atlantic time, on social media. Please tune in if a topic interests you. We’ve also made a selection of previous seminar talks available to the public on YouTube.

I’ve also been busy setting up my research lab. Many of our fossils are very small, including some of the smallest tetrapod footprints, which can measure under 2 mm long! One of my first tasks was to find a better way to photograph these little fossils for research. I’ve been using a microscope with a camera attachment, and with this set up I’ve been snapping away photos of our tiniest specimens. My favourite photo so far is a high four all the way from the Carboniferous, left behind by Batrachichnus, a little tetrapod that commonly left behind footprints at Joggins and at other Carboniferous sites across North America.

Joggins Fossil Cliffs - Fossil Footprints
Joggins Fossil Cliffs – Fossil Footprints

All of us here at Joggins Fossil Institute know that the Joggins Fossil Cliffs are a world renowned fossil locality. We’ve got some of the best preserved Carboniferous fossils, all preserved within an environmental context that allows researchers to look into things such as food webs, Carboniferous weather and environment, and the plants and animals living within these environments. That’s why it’s not surprising that Joggins Fossil Cliffs are highlighted at the Royal Ontario Museum’s Dawn of Life exhibit. I had the opportunity to visit this exhibit back in November while attending the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology’s annual conference. The exhibit features a gorgeous Sigillaria stump.

Joggins Fossil Cliffs - Sigillaria stump
Joggins Fossil Cliffs – Sigillaria stump

Fundraising & Development

Joggins Fossil Cliffs - UNESCO
Joggins Fossil Cliffs – UNESCO

In 2023 we will mark our 15th anniversary as a UNESCO World Heritage Site!

Help us celebrate by making a donation in support of a special year or activities and renewal: fresh programming, an enhanced visitor experience, and investments in the Joggins Fossil Centre and grounds.

Consider making a tax-deductible gift today and help the Joggins Fossil Institute shape the next 15 years. As a not-for-profit, charitable organization, JFI’s long-term success is reliant upon visitors and donors. THANK YOU!

Please visit or call 1-888-932-9766.

Copyright  2023 Joggins Fossil Institute All rights reserved.
Cliff Notes E-Newsletter

Mailing address:
100 Main Street
Joggins, Nova Scotia
B0L 1A0 Canada