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With funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the UCMP recently completed rehousing the largely vertebrate fossil collection from the McKittrick tar seeps of the Central Valley. Most of the collections were made during UCMP excavations between 1921 and 1927, with additional collections in the mid-1940s by John C. Merriam. The fossils were mostly stored in the Campanile bell tower and lay uncatalogued for more than 75 years.
Over the past two years, more than 13,000 specimens from the McKittrick collection have been identified, cataloged, and digitized by Pat Holroyd, with a team of student assistants working under her supervision. This collection, of special value to California - the McKittrick site near Bakersfield is a historical landmark - is now the subject of a series of education modules that will soon be available on the UCMP website. The materials will offer a variety of interactive experiences for young audiences including a McKittrick-area site reconstruction, an interactive Pleistocene food web, and the "Great McKittrick Fossil Find" - an anatomical puzzle challenge using authentic fossils from the site.
School of Rock
iDigBio Workshop at UC Berkeley
The generation, mobilization, and research use of digital data in the biodiversity sciences is continuing to increase at a rapid pace. This is especially true for paleontology. Within the last half decade of NSF ADBC (Advancing Digitization of Biodiversity Collections) funding, paleo-related Thematic Collections Network projects have been awarded during four of the six annual award cycles. These collaborations have spurred intense activity in the paleontological community, led to the establishment of the iDigBio Paleo Data and Digitization Working Group, fostered several TCN and iDigBio-sponsored paleo-focused digitization workshops, engendered high levels of community participation, and resulted in an important focus on the uses of digital data in paleontological research.
On March 26-27, 2017 about 60 vertebrate and invertebrate paleontologists, including faculty curators, collections managers, informatics professionals, and approximately 15 graduate students gathered at the UCMP in Berkeley for iDigBio's fourth paleo-related workshop. Dubbed "Digital Data in Paleontological Research" the workshop's primary goal was to carry participants beyond digitization and into methods and issues in using the digital data that the community is producing. Visit https://www.idigbio.org/wiki/index.php/Digital_Data_in_Paleontological_Research for more.
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