SharkFinder is a STEM education program aimed at finding fossil elasmobranch (shark, skates and ray) remains in the Atlantic coastal plain of Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and South Carolina. To date, elasmobranches from this region have been poorly characterized despite the fact that shark fossils from this region have been a favorite of collectors and paleontologists for more than a century.
SharkFinder allows classrooms and citizen scientist to search through highly concentrated fossil-bearing media to find and report shark fossils. Participants order SharkFinder kits ($20) containing fossil-bearing matrix from the Atlantic Coastal plain. This matrix is ancient ocean sediments and contains the fossilized remains of sea life that was buried by these sediments. Each kit contains a mixture of marine fossils and waste material. Citizen scientists must find the fossils and return them for analysis by professional paleontologists.