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Charles Marshall  A letter from the Director, September 2013

A vibrant summer in UCMP

Summer is usually pretty quiet in UCMP, with people doing field-work, attending conferences, and writing (for highlights see the rest of this newsletter). Not so this summer! A record number of undergraduate students joined graduate students and volunteers in collections-based projects. Supported by grants from the NSF, the Mellon Foundation, the W.M. Keck Foundation, and Caltrans (described in earlier newsletters), students helped to document our “hidden archives”, rehouse and digitally image the USGS invertebrate collection, prepare fossils from the Caldecott Tunnel fourth bore, and more. It was very rewarding, even if a bit tricky, to be nearly tripping over the students in the collections all summer! Continuing to foster undergraduate energy and enthusiasm is something we look forward to growing. And in this vein, this Fall also sees a new undergraduate course entitled “Natural History Museums and Biodiversity Science” based in all the Berkeley museums, so our collections are being well used in undergraduate education.

This summer also saw UCMP host its fifth annual Evolution Institute attended by more than 30 science educators, and work on the Understanding Global Change project, funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, is now kicking into full gear.

The summer also brought more than 20 researchers to the UCMP for a Cretaceous-Paleogene Food Web workshop organized by UCMP’s Bill Clemens, Pat Holroyd and Mark Goodwin, as well as Ken Angielczyk (Field Museum of Natural History), Peter Roopnarine (California Academy of Sciences), and Greg Wilson (University of Washington).

All this collections activity was made possible by our good fortune (and effort) in raising grant money for UCMP projects, and by the energy and abilities of everyone associated with UCMP, including our UCMP friends and contributors, although we are sad to have had to say goodbye to two of them, Claire Englander and Robert Mendez, who are honored in this issue.

From the collections, best wishes and thanks to all of you.
Sincerely,
Charles Marshall