UCMP’s summer adventures of 2003

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Close to home...
Ken Finger and Curtis Pehl collected samples from Oakland’s Lake Merritt. This effort is part of an ongoing study with Jere Lipps and Dawn Peterson (California Academy of Sciences) on the foraminifers and ostracodes in this polluted, urban lagoon before and after its proposed restoration. Their findings will shed light on the effectiveness of using microfauna to monitor pollution levels in coastal waters. The preliminary results of this study will be presented at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America in Seattle in November.

Around the states...
Undergraduates Sterling Nesbitt and Kacey Ballard spent two weeks in the southwest looking in the Moenkopi Formation for new vertebrate fossils. They discovered another Arizonasaurus braincase, along with other bones of the animal. Traveling to southern Utah, they met up with Howard Hutchison to excavate a complete skeleton of a baby alligatoroid from Late Cretaceous sediments and then on to the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument where they met up with a crew from Yale and looked for Triassic fossils. Sterling went on to help prospect for vertebrates at Petrified Forest National Park, returned to Moenkopi sites previously collected by UCMP, and checked the stratigraphy that had been previously recorded. He found a new microsite containing small reptiles and plans to return to the site next summer to screenwash. Following visits to museums in New Mexico, Arizona, Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts to look at Triassic vertebrates, Sterling continued preparation of Moenkopi fossils in the Prep Lab under the direction of Jane Mason.

  Curtis Pehl and Jere Lipps
Kacey Ballard and Howard Hutchison At top, Curtis Pehl applies his skills as a former member of the CalTech crew team to UCMP research! Below, Kacey Ballard and Howard Hutchison in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah excavating a complete skeleton of a small alligatoroid. (top photo courtesy of Jere Lipps; bottom photo by Sterling Nesbitt)

Karen Osborn continues her work with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), exploring the deep canyons off of Monterey Bay. This summer, Karen had the opportunity to join a group of Mexican and MBARI scientists aboard the

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