Each spring, the Paleontological Research Institution is proud to recognize a nonprofessional for outstanding contributions to the field of paleontology. It is with great pleasure that PRI presents its 2013 Katherine Palmer Award to Ralph O. Johnson.

The Katherine Palmer Award is named for PRI’s second director, Katherine van Winkle Palmer, who held avocational paleontologists in high regard and collaborated with many during her long career. PRI has presented this award almost every year since 1993. We are especially grateful to the Mid-America Paleontology Society for providing us with a very special venue at which to present this award over much of that time.

Over more than 40 years of collecting, Ralph Johnson has amassed and curated the definitive collection of Cretaceous fossils of the Atlantic Coastal Plain. He was the founder in 1969 of the Monmouth Amateur Paleontologist’s Society, on behalf of which he maintains a huge collection in his “basement laboratory.” The collection is open to any and all interested researchers and is intended for donation to a relevant institution after his death. Significant areas of his collection include dinosaurs, amber, and ammonites. He has contributed to many scientific papers and the collection has been used for many others. Ralph Johnson is the one person whom everyone who works the ACP contacts sooner or later, even the professionals. He has been a co-author on 18 papers and conference presentations (so far) and his collection has been used in at least 30 other books, papers, and presentations. Ralph works as a park ranger at Thompson Park in the Lincroft Section of Middletown, New Jersey, and is still collecting.

Ralph Johnson was nominated for this award by Carl Mehling (American Museum of Natural History) and John Pojeta, Jr. (Smithsonian Institution).

PRI is pleased to present this year’s Katherine Palmer Award to Ralph Johnson.

Ralph Johnson’s publications

Becker, M. A., J. A. Chamberlain Jr., M. P. Garb, T. M. Holden, M. Carter, T.W. Michelle and R. O. Johnson. 2006. The First Record of Catfish from the Late Cretaceous/Early Tertiary of New Jersey. Abstract with program. NE Section Meeting, Geological Society of America. Paper 24-10.

Braudy, N., N. H. Landman, M. P. Garb and R. O. Johnson. 2009. A Late Cretaceous Faunal Assemblage at Rancocas, New Jersey: Biostratigraphic Implications. Abstract with Program. Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America. Paper 32-34.

Callahan, W., R. Johnson and C. Mehling. 2010. A New Vertebrate Assemblage from the Late Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) New Egypt Formation of New Jersey. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. SVP Annual Meeting Abstracts. 68A.

Carter, M. T. W., R. O. Johnson, J. A. Chamberlain Jr., and C. Mehling. 2008. A New Vertebrate Fauna from the Late Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) New Egypt Formation of New Jersey. Abstract with Program. Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America. Paper 38-4.

Gallagher, W. B., D. C. Parris, E. Gilmore and R. Johnson. 2001. New Jersey’s Cretaceous Amber Deposits. Northeastern Geology and Environmental Sciences. 23:4 340-345.

Gallagher, W. B., K. R. Johnson, E. Gilmore and R. Johnson 1999. The Parlin Pit: Paleontology, Stratigraphy and Depositional Environments at a Cretaceous Amber Site in New Jersey. The Mosasaur 6: 97-103

Garb, Matthew P., R. O. Johnson and J. A. Chamberlain Jr. 2007. Stratigraphic Implications of the Distribution of Late Cretaceous Ammonites on the North Atlantic Coastal Plain. Abstract with program. Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America. Paper 26-10.

Gelhaus, J. K. and R. Johnson. 1996. First Record of Crane Flies (Tipulidae: Limoniinae) in Upper Cretaceous Amber from New Jersey, U. S. A. The Academy of Natural Sciences Philadelphia. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 122 (1): 55-65.

Kennedy, W.J., W.A. Cobban, N.H. Landman, and R.O. Johnson. 1997. New Ammonoid records from the Merchantville Formation (Upper Cretaceous) of Maryland and New Jersey, American Museum Novitates 3193: 17p.

Kennedy, W.J., R.O. Johnson, and W.A. Cobban. 1995. Upper Cretaceous Ammonite Faunas of New Jersey. In Baker, J.E.B., (Ed), Contributions to the Paleontology of New Jersey, The Geological Association of New Jersey, William Patterson College, Patterson, NJ., 12: 24-55

Kennedy, W.J., N.H. Landman, W.A. Cobban, and R.O. Johnson. 2000. Additions to the Ammonite Fauna of the Upper Cretaceous Navesink Formation of New Jersey. American Museum Novitates 3306: 1–30.

Landman, N.H., R.O. Johnson, and L.E. Edwards. 2004a. Cephalopods from the Cretaceous/Tertiary Boundary Interval on the Atlantic Coastal Plain, with a Description of the Highest Ammonite Zones in North America. Part 1. Maryland. American Museum Novitates 3454: 1–64.

Landman, N.H., R.O. Johnson, and L.E. Edwards. 2004b. Cephalopods from the Cretaceous/Tertiary Boundary Interval on the Atlantic Coastal Plain, with a Description of the Highest Ammonite Zones in North America. Part 2. Northeastern Monmouth County, New Jersey. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 287: 1–107.

Landman, N., H., R. O. Johnson, M. P. Garb, L. E. Edwards and F. T. Kyte. 2006. Cephalopods from the Cretaceous/Tertiary Boundary Interval in the Manasquan River Basin, Monmouth County, New Jersey Abstract with program. Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America. Paper 165-5.

Landman. N.H., R.O. Johnson, M. P. Garb, L.E. Edwards, and Frank T. Kyte 2007, Cephalopods from the Cretaceous/Tertiary Boundary Interval on the Atlantic Coastal Plain, with a Description of the Highest Ammonite Zones in North America. Part 3. Manasquan River Basin, Monmouth County, New Jersey. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 303: 1–122.

Landman, N. H., R. O. Johnson, M. P. Garb, L. E. Edwards and F. T. Kyte. 2007. Cephalopods at the Cretaceous/Tertiary Boundary in New Jersey. Seventh International Symposium Cephalopods. Paper 48.

Mehling, C. and Johnson R. 2004. A New Collection of Upper Maastrichtian Vertebrate Fossils from the New Egypt Fm. of Monmouth Co., NJ. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Abstracts of Papers 24(3): 92A.

Pojeta, John Jr. and Ralph Johnson. 1995. Parastirpulina sohli: A New Cretaceous Clavagellid Pelecypod, The Geological Association of New Jersey. . In Baker, J.E.B., (Ed), Contributions to the Paleontology of New Jersey, The Geological Association of New Jersey, William Patterson College, Patterson, NJ., 12: 14-19