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The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP) was founded in the US in 1940 for people with an interest in vertebrate paleontology; by 2014 it had about 2,000 members internationally, and holds annual meetings, mostly but not all in North America. It states exclusively educational and scientific purposes, with the objective to "advance the science of vertebrate paleontology and to serve the common interests and facilitate the cooperation of all persons concerned with the history, evolution, comparative anatomy, and taxonomy of vertebrate animals, as well as field occurrence, collection, and study of fossil vertebrates and the stratigraphy of the beds in which they are found." SVP is also concerned with the conservation and preservation of fossil sites. SVP publications include The Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, The SVP Memoir Series, The News Bulletin, The Bibliography of Fossil Vertebrates and most recently Palaeontologia Electronica.
SVP considers that "vertebrate Fossils are significant nonrenewable paleontological resources that are afforded protection by federal, state and local environmental laws and guidelines", and that scientifically important fossils, especially those found on public land, should be held in the public trust, preferably in a museum or research institution, where they can benefit the scientific community as a whole. Paleontological Resources Preservation Act. S. 546 and H. R. 2416 were introduced in the US Congress with the support of SVP. 
The position of the SVP is that "The fossil record of vertebrates unequivocally supports the hypothesis that vertebrates have evolved through time" and that evolution is "the central organizing principle of biology, understood as descent with modification" and is important to geology as well. The Society believes only scientifically supported evolutionary theory should be taught in school and that creationism and intelligent design have no place in the scientific curriculum. To this end, SVP has set up programs to train educators in teaching evolution and to support teachers who oppose those who desire to bring intelligent design into the classroom.
The SVP issues the following awards, grants and prizes: