Letter from the Interim Director
by Bill Clemens
Bill Clemens; photo by Colleen Whitney
May is a time of transition for the UCMP community. Commencement ceremonies recognize the many academic accomplishments of undergraduate and graduate students associated with the museum. This year they have done exceptionally well and merit our enthusiastic congratulations.
May also marks a significant change in pace and direction for members of UCMP’s community. Preparations are being made for summer months devoted to field and laboratory research, as well as to projects in education and public outreach sponsored by UCMP. The diversity of these projects and their accomplishments are remarkable. The articles in this issue give you only a picture of the “tip of the iceberg.” We will fill out this picture in future issues of the newsletter.
As the article by Museum Scientists Diane Erwin and Pat Holroyd illustrates, modern paleontological research increasingly involves the integration of various lines of research, in this case, studies of ancient floras and faunas
coupled with data derived from geochemical investigations. The results of their research provide a valuable historical background with which to judge the impacts of modern global warming.
Our research projects benefit greatly from the efforts of volunteers. Their contributions range from skillful preparation of fossils from distant field sites to careful collection of microorganisms at Lake Merritt in downtown Oakland. Thanks to income from our endowment and several grants, we are also able to employ a number of undergraduates in our research and outreach projects.
Again, I want to acknowledge those of you who are Friends of UCMP. Your gifts help provide the resources needed to support our diverse activities. In return, your many visits to our web site and attendance at outreach activities let us know that we are making contributions that you find valuable.

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May, 2004