UCMPs summer adventures (cont.)(page 4 of 5)
Greg Wilson in the field with Harley Garbani (left)
and Bill Clemens (right).
region of northeastern Montana, coordinating their projects with those of Jack Horner and his associates from the Museum of the Rockies (Montana State University). The emphasis in Gregs research on the evolution of the latest Cretaceous mammalian faunas of the Hell Creek Formation has shifted from the collecting to the analytical stage. Greg and a wonderful group of undergraduate volunteers have been picking through concentrates obtained in past summers, amassing samples of the mammalian and other small vertebrate fossils.
Bill and Harley returned to several localities in the Hell Creek and Tullock that are not particularly productive, but worth checking every couple of years, and harvesting fossils that have eroded out naturally. Harley made the big find when he discovered part of the ankle of a very large early Paleocene mammal. These mammals are known primarily from their teeth and skull fragments so the challenge is to associate the foot bones with the head bones.
Nan and her husband
David, who are now members of the faculty at Hobart and William Smith
Colleges in New York, spent their time digging a trench from the bottom
to the top of the Hell Creek Formation and collecting rock samples along
the way. These samples will be analyzed for their content of carbon
isotopes (Nan is one of the pioneers in development of this technique)
and pollen. The results of these analyses will document changes in the
climate and flora of northeastern Montana during the last one to two
million years of the Cretaceous.
Hunting for Early Cretaceous Dinosaurs
Dave Smith worked with UCMP Research Assistant Des Maxwells crew to find the extent of a bone-bearing layer in the Lakota Formation southwest of Hot Springs, South Dakota. (photo by Dave Smith)