Thursday, June 26, 2014

It's Cephalopod Week!

Things are busy, so you won't hear too much from me, but it is Cephalopod Week!
Learn more about our nautiloid and coleoid friends from NPR's Science Friday.
Here's an extinct ammonoid for you from the Yale Peabody Museum:

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Geolex gets a facelift

Nancy Stamm and the USGS have performed those of us who work in natural history collections a huge service by developing and maintaining the Geolex site. For those of you who don't know, this is a huge compilation of stratigraphic names from around the United States. It includes reference histories for units, preferred names, and updated names. You might be asking yourself how could it possibly get any better, right?
Well, it did. The new and improved Geolex interface is sleek and useful. Added benefits to the new version of the site include additional "Stratigraphic Resources." Here you'll find the old card files scanned and uploaded, pdfs of lexicons and stratigraphic revision papers, links to state surveys, an interactive geologic mapview, and an interactive topographic mapview.
My thanks to Nancy Stamm and her helpers at the USGS!

Friday, May 9, 2014

iDigBio's Push for Digitization


Some of you may have heard of a little group called iDigBio. It started a few years back with a big grant from NSF. It is working to help natural history collections around the United States (both university collections and museum collections) digitize their materials. I have worked with iDigBio on various projects over the last few years, and I wanted to extol their virtues here briefly.

iDigBio (which stands for Integrated Digitized Biocollections) has been the first group I know of that has really had the funding, the national scope, and the cooperation of many different institutions and groups to be able to bring together researchers and staff from all types of biological collections. iDigBio has hosted workshops on a variety of topics. They have put together working groups that have created documents to help guide other institutions as they begin (or continue) their digitization journey. If you haven't encountered iDigBio yet, take a minute to check it out: http://www.idigbio.org.
Consider this the first of a series of posts about different aspects of iDigBio, and what it is doing to help our country's museums, university collections, researchers, students, and you.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The government is still shutdown.

National Fossil Day is still going to happen!!! Though you can't check things out on the National Parks Service website, you can still check with your local museum to see what's happening. Here are links to just a few of the fun activities going on around the country tomorrow:
Cincinnati Museum Center, Cincinnati, OH http://www.cincymuseum.org/events/fossil-week
American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY http://www.amnh.org/plan-your-visit/school-or-camp-group-visit/getting-started/programs-for-school-groups/drop-in-events-for-school-groups/national-fossil-day
Field Museum, Chicago, IL http://fieldmuseum.org/happening/national-fossil-day
Museum of the Rockies, Bozeman, MT http://www.museumoftherockies.org/Calendar/tabid/62/ItemId/1845/d/20131015/vw/3/Default.aspx

Check out your local museum's website to see if they have anything fun planned for tomorrow!

Friday, September 27, 2013

It's coming!

National Fossil Day 2013 is just around the corner!

See if your local museum is doing anything special to celebrate! If they've got nothing planned, then plan your own special activities. Learn about your state's official fossil or organize a fossil drawing contest!
http://nature.nps.gov/geology/nationalfossilday/overview.cfm


Friday, May 17, 2013

Moroccan Marrellomorphs part 2

It took me forever and a day, but here are the closeups of the marrellomorph I mentioned back in February:
Besides the sheer aesthetic beauty of the specimen, it has lovely preservation of gill-like appendages on its trunk.
Here's a closeup of the bottom left photo: 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Moroccan Marrellomorphs

It's a wintry morning here in Connecticut, so I decided to add a little bit of desert sunshine to the world. I have been unpacking a new shipment of Moroccan fossils that we just received, and I came across this little beauty:
I know the picture isn't great, but I don't have a full camera set up out there. Maybe soon I'll take some close up shots with the microscope so that you can see its gills!