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Staff Updates

Group at Regatta Team EPICC Pat Holroyd discusses leatherback fossil National fossil day with students

Director Charles Marshall welcomes the group to the Regatta facility. Senior Museum Scientist Pat Holroyd describes a fossil sea turtle to visiting scholar Julia Sigwart and Doug Clarke. From left to right Museum Scientist Erica Clites, UCMP collections assistant Lillian Pearson, former undergraduate employees Anne Zavala and Gina Hwang and UCMP volunteers Don Pecko and (far right) Kathy Zoehfeld. These are just a few of the 6 graduate students, 15 undergraduate students, 2 part-time employees and 5 volunteers who worked on the USGS rehousing project! Photo credit: Jessica Bean; Erica Clites gives a tour to students on National Fossil Day. All photos by Helina Chin unless otherwise noted.

Erica Clites organized two events to highlighting collections projects in celebration of National Fossil Day. On October 11th 2016, UCMP hosted 40 people at our secure off-campus Regatta facility to exhibit the results of an NSF grant to rehouse the former USGS Menlo Park collection, as well as an IMLS grant to curate the McKittrick tar seep fossils. Representatives from Point Reyes National Seashore, current and former USGS employees mingled with museum staff, curators, graduate students and friends of UCMP over light refreshments. Students who worked on the project returned to see the completion of their hard work! Next we hosted on National Fossil Day, October 12, an open house for Cal undergraduates interested in learning more about the museum and potential future employment opportunities.

Greg Wilson, Bill Clemens and Mark Goodwin in Montana

Greg Wilson, Bill Clemens and Mark Goodwin in the filed in Jordan, Montana.

Mark Goodwin spent about three weeks in Montana doing fieldwork with colleagues David Evans (Royal Ontario Museum) and Greg Wilson (Univ. of Washington) in the late Cretaceous Hell Creek Formation in eastern Montana. Mark joined Greg and crew in Jordon, Montana, and relocated and confirmed the stratigraphic occurrence of numerous UCMP pachycephalosaur localities. The localities were georeferenced and prospected for new fossils. One of the highlights was the discovery of a baby Triceratops squamosal bone from the frill that covers the neck. Mark also joined Bill Clemens and his daughter and geologist Diane Clemens-Knott for five days in the Hell Creek Formation at Greg's camp. Mark and the Evan's crew also stayed at Dan and Lila Redding's farm along the Canadian border to prospect and map UCMP dinosaur localities in the Judith River Formation. Mark also penned a Memorandum of Agreement between the UCMP and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) to support the transfer, preparation and curation of fossils collected from the site of the SFPUC's new Calaveras Dam construction project. Numerous fossil whale skeletons, marine mammal bones and teeth, fish remains, shark teeth and mollusks from the Miocene Temblor Formation will be accessioned into the UCMP. This two-year project provides funding for two graduate students per semester and the summer, undergraduate assistants, a head fossil preparator/lab manager, and education & outreach activities.

Lisa White is PI on new one-year NSF Collections in Support of Biological Research (CSBR) grant to transfer the orphaned Kettleman Hills collection from San Francisco State Univ. to UCMP. Collected continuously by SF State students and faculty for more than 40 years, more than 9000 specimens are in the collection.

Ken Finger will oversee the rehousing of part of the USGS micropaleontology collection thanks to support from a Federal data preservation grant titled: Preparing the way for the transfer of the USGS Pacific Region's microfossil collections to the UCMP.