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2003 news archive

News archived from:
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Creative Ways to Combat Scientific Illiteracy Through Paleontology
What can scientists, educators, parents, and especially paleontologists do to combat rampant scientific illiteracy? In the latest version of Palaeontologia Electronica (volume 6, issue 2), UC Museum of Paleontology curator Jere Lipps assesses the problem and suggests practical ideas for action in an editorial titled 'Paleontology: A Candle In the Dark.' (December 19, 2003)

Hopkins Receives Sigma Xi Grant
Can oxygen isotopes in small mammal teeth signal adaptation to arid environments? Samantha Hopkins, UC Museum of Paleontology graduate student, has received a Sigma Xi grant to fund a study in modern mammals, in order to assess whether the method will be applicable to mammals in the fossil record. (December 19, 2003)

Molluscs, Microbes, and Life In Exteme Environments
Molluscs and microbes provide many examples of how mututalistic partnerships can extend the abilities of both partners to survive in extreme environmental conditions. UC Museum of Paleontology curator Carole Hickman has published a paper in Astrobiology discussing the long history of such mutualisms as recorded in the geologic record, and what this evidence suggests about possibilities for life elsewhere in the universe. (December 19, 2003)

Partnership Formed to Protect the Lund Petrified Forest
Diane Erwin and Howard Schorn of the UC Museum of Paleontology and Connie Millar, Robert Westfall, Wally Woolfenden, and John King of the United States Forest Service are developing a partnership with Bureau of Land Management(BLM) archaeologist Regina Smith to work out a long-term management plan to protect and conserve the Lund Petrified Forest in Nevada. The BLM recently recognized the paleontological significance of this unique fossil occurrence (follow the link to UCMP news for background information). (December 03, 2003)

New Volume on Drilling Predation in the Fossil Record
Lindsey Leighton and UC Museum of Paleontology alumnus Audrey Aronowsky have introduced an edited volume of the journal Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. The volume focuses on drilling predation in the fossil record, explaining the relevance of a deep-time perspective on predation as we confront the ongoing biodiversity crisis. (Volume 201, Issues 3-4, pages 183-358, available through Science Direct). (November 26, 2003)

Kevin Padian to Receive Carl Sagan Prize
On November 1, UC Museum of Paleontology curator Kevin Padian will receive the 2003 Carl Sagan Prize for Science Popularization, sponsored by Annual Reviews, Inc. and Wonderfest. This award recognizes Padian's work to increase the public understanding of science and lauds Padian as 'an exemplary scientist.' (October 24, 2003)

Carole Hickman Wins Gilbert Harris Award
UC Museum of Paleontology curator Carole Hickman has been selected as the 2003 recipient of the (PRI) Gilbert Harris Award in recognition of excellence in contributions to systematic paleontology. This award will be presented in early November, at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America. (October 24, 2003)

Colorado Cave Yields Insights into Evolution and Climate Change
Abundant, well-preserved mammal remains in a Colorado cave are providing paleobiologists with rich data on how a species changes and evolves, and how its evolution is affected by climate change. UC Museum of Paleontology Curator Tony Barnosky and Chris Bell (Univesity of Texas, Austin) detail their study of fossil sagebrush voles in a paper published online Oct. 21 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Read a UC Berkeley press release for more information. (October 24, 2003)

One Small Step For Paleontology?
The September 27 edition of Paleontologica Electronica includes an editorial by University of California Museum of Paleontology curator Jere H. Lipps, titled 'Finding ET'. In it, Lipps discusses the interesting possibilities presented by the collaboration of space science and paleontology in the search for life on other planets. (September 30, 2003)

UC Museum of Paleontology Creates an RSS News Feed
The UC Museum of Paleontology at the University of California at Berkeley has created an RSS news feed and will be posting news items and events on this news feed. Stay tuned for more information on the latest research, talks, and events. (September 26, 2003)

New Partial Skeleton of Arizonasaurus Described
Sterling Nesbitt has published a paper on a new partial skeleton of Arizonasaurus, which represents one of the best and earliest of its kind in existence. Features of Arizonasaurus help to constrain the time when the crocodile-bird lineages split from each other. Arizonasaurus and its implications for archosaur divergences, Procedures of the. Royal. Society of London, Biology Letters Supplement 2, published online August 8. (DOI 10.1098/rsbl.2003.0066) (September 18, 2003)

Grant Received for MIOMAP Project
The National Science Foundation has awarded a grant to UC Museum of Paleontology curator Tony Barnosky, for completion of the MIOMAP project. This project utilizes a Geographic Information System (GIS) for spatial and temporal analysis of Miocene mammal taxa, localities, and associated data for the western United States. (September 08, 2003)

UCMP to House Madera Landfill Fossils
UCMP will house fossils from the Madera Landfill, one of the richest mid-Pleistocene site on the Pacific Coast. Read more about it in a September 8 Sacramento Bee article. (September 08, 2003)

New Volume on Molluscan Evolution
How did mollusks evolve, and what does this reveal about how evolution works? A new volume edited by UCMP curator David Lindberg and Charles Lydeard, titled Molecular Systematics and Phylogeography of Mollusks, explores these topics in depth. This book will appeal to anyone intereted in living or fossil mollusks or in evolution. (September 08, 2003)

UCMP Web Site Featured in D-Lib Magazine
The UCMP Web site is the Featured Collection in the July/August issue of D-Lib Magazine, an electronic publication with a primary focus on digital library research and development. (July 22, 2003)

Publication Describes New Genus and Species of Amphicyonid
A group of authors including museum scientist Pat Holroyd and the late Don Savage has described a new genus and species of an amphicyonid from the Bose Basin of Guangxi, south China.This taxon is the oldest record of an amphicyonid from south Asia and possibly for all of Asia. Read the article in Acta Paleontolgica Polonica (PDF). (July 22, 2003)

UC Riverside Fossil Collection Comes to UC Museum of Paleontology
The University of California, Riverside fossil collection, consisting of more than 11,000 cataloged vertebrate specimens from nearly 900 localities, is now being accessioned into the UC Museum of Paleontology. Highlights include important mammal collections from the Neogene of southern California and Australia and fossil vertebrates from the late Eocene of Seymour Island, Antarctica. (July 22, 2003)