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Tidbits & Web notes, February 2015
To Tony Barnosky for launching his new book Dodging Extinction: Power, Food, Money and the Future of Life on Earth (UC Press, 2014). The book release was accompanied by a series of lectures in Washington, DC, Boston, and of course here in Berkeley. NPR's Science Friday featured the book as one of 2014's best science reads. Tony was one of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's (HHMI) annual Holiday Lecturers, and with UCMP Research Associate Elizabeth Hadly and Curatorial Associate Walter Alvarez, also appeared in the film Mass Extinction: Life at the Brink (Tangled Bank Films) which premiered on the Smithsonian Channel in November 2014. Tony and UCMP alum Kaitlin Maguire (now a Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Merced) were featured in a short film documentary made by Spine Films with staff at John Day National Monument and HHMI.
A new genus and new species named for UCMP researchers
A new dinosaur holotype based on a UCMP specimen (UCMP 152028) is named for Howard Hutchison: Adelolophus hutchisoni. While Howard was a Museum Scientist at the UCMP, he collected the specimen from the Wahweap Formation during his work in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Loaned to the Utah Museum of Natural History, the new holotype is described by Bucky Gates in a new volume: Gates, T.A., et al. 2014. New hadrosaurid specimens from the lower-middle Campanian Wahweap Formation of Utah. Pp. 156-173 in D.A. Eberth and D.C. Evans (eds). Hadrosaurs: Proceedings of the International Hadrosaur Symposium. Indiana University Press.
Kicking off the new year with a conference, Lindsey Dougherty attended the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) meeting in West Palm Beach, FL, January 3-7, 2015, along with her undergraduate researcher Alex Niebergall. Lindsey gave a talk and Alex presented a poster. Alex was supported by a UCMP travel grant and she is one of the members of Lindsey's "disco clam team."
Earlier in 2014 Diane Erwin attended the annual Botanical Society of America meeting held in Boise, ID. Along with her co-author Jeffrey Myers (Western Oregon University), they presented two papers as invited speakers in the symposium entitled "The Miocene vegetation and environment of western North America." Diane highlighted the mid-Miocene Stewart Valley flora and its importance in understanding the landscape and vegetation history of the Great Basin. Myers talked about the late Miocene Anaverde flora an assemblage of plants that document the history of southern California coastal vegetation.
Jenny Hofmeister attended the Western Society of Naturalists Conference in Tacoma, WA, in November 2014 and gave an invited talk at the Long Beach Aquarium, also in November. Her octopus research was featured on a TV show: Ocean Mysteries with Jeff Corwin (Episode 7).
Jenna Judge reports that 2014 marked the 24th year that UC Berkeley offered a class in Tropical Biology and Geomorphology of Islands on the island of Moorea, French Polynesia. Jenna was one of three Graduate Student Instructors involved in the fall course. Twenty students designed and carried out independent research projects over a nine-week period while living and working at the Gump Research Station, Cook's Bay. Jenna states "it was a rigorous research experience for the students and a rewarding mentoring experience for the graduate student instructors!"
Jere Lipps and his crew at the Cooper Center in Orange County (OC) continue to reach broad audiences with a variety of paleontology and archaeology-themed events throughout the year. These include outdoor festivals, lecture series, exhibits, and increasing more sets of activities for K-12 teachers. Jere says the news coverage on many of their activities is growing and the Cooper Center's large events (festivals and exhibits) reach nearly 7000 attendees (many of them kids).
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