UCMP summer field research (cont.)

Anna reports, “Applying glue at the outcrop proved to be quite a challenge—it is stickier than Superglue and it’s difficult to avoid gluing fingers to the specimens. Then, all fossils are carefully wrapped in toilet paper and newspaper, labeled, and are carried from the outcrop to the car, which can mean carrying 50 or more pounds on your back over two to three miles of rough terrain. The most popular locality was one where the outcrop was right next to the road—no carrying fossils . . . and radio all day!”
Anna’s Ph.D. research examines the biogeography of late Cretaceous and early Paleocene leaf taxa, to see which species went extinct and which ones migrated to other areas in North America in response to the terminal Cretaceous event.
Greg Wilson led a team (the “Mammal Crew”) of four students (Marisa Ames, Jane Lee, Rosalyn Sayaman, and Koon Ting) in collecting the remains of small mammals and other microvertebrates. Greg’s dissertation research examines changes in the diversity of mammalian fauna prior to the Cretaceous mass extinction. The team gathered bags of fossiliferous sediment from a historically-rich Hell Creek locality. Back in camp, they washed the sediment through screens, separating the fossils from dirt and other unwanted material. The processed material has been brought back to UCMP for sorting, examination, and identification.
In addition to working with Greg’s group, Bill Clemens prospected a number of Late Cretaceous and Early Paleocene sites in the Hell Creek Formation with UCMP field associate Harley Garbani and Harley’s wife Mary. According to Bill, Harley provided the real gem of the summer when he found the skullcap of a Stegoceras, a small pachycephalosaur or dome-headed dinosaur.
  Leaf and Mammal Crews at the Bug Creek Anthills
Jane Mason and Mike Thomson
At top, the “Mammal and Leaf Crews” enjoy lunch at the famous (in paleo circles) Bug Creek Anthills. Click image to see an enlargement. (photo by Anna Thompson)

In camp, Jane Mason tutors student Mike Thomson on proper fossil preparation techniques. (photo by Joseph Hartman)

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