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Tidbits & Web notes, February 2015

Web notes

Praise for UCMP's Understanding Evolution and Understanding Science websites continues to come in:

I am an Australian high school science teacher that thinks the world of your Understanding Evolution website. What a truly fantastic resource. Thank you so much for producing such a good quality learning experience ….

Hello to the University of California Museum of Paleontology. Thank you for creating and sharing such high quality biology resources! As a high school biology teacher I am so excited to find the amazing instructional content on the Understanding Evolution website. I am excited to know that you are just as enthusiastic about rigorous biology instruction as we are!

I just wanted to send you some positive feedback on your science page. As the webmaster for my local library, I've been using the information on crime scenes and forensic science for our 'Criminal Justice' LibGuides. Thanks for making it; it's been helpful!

I found the Understanding Science website the other day and I think that it is incredibly well done. Thank you for this wonderful resource. I will be referring students to it this fall who are enrolled in my Field Studies in Physical Geography course …. It is as an excellent reference site to support my lectures.

To Tony Barnosky for launching his new book Dodging Extinction: Power, Food, Money and the Future of Life on Earth (UC Press, 2014). The book release was accompanied by a series of lectures in Washington, DC, Boston, and of course here in Berkeley. NPR's Science Friday featured the book as one of 2014's best science reads. Tony was one of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's (HHMI) annual Holiday Lecturers, and with UCMP Research Associate Elizabeth Hadly and Curatorial Associate Walter Alvarez, also appeared in the film Mass Extinction: Life at the Brink (Tangled Bank Films) which premiered on the Smithsonian Channel in November 2014. Tony and UCMP alum Kaitlin Maguire (now a Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Merced) were featured in a short film documentary made by Spine Films with staff at John Day National Monument and HHMI.

A new genus and new species named for UCMP researchers
A new gastropod genus was named in honor of Carole Hickman: Carolesia. Named by Diego Zelaya and Marine Güller in a 2014 paper published in Malacologia 57(2):309-317, 2014. Carole says, "I have had seven species named in my honor, so I guess a genus patronym is an honorific step up."

A new dinosaur holotype based on a UCMP specimen (UCMP 152028) is named for Howard Hutchison: Adelolophus hutchisoni. While Howard was a Museum Scientist at the UCMP, he collected the specimen from the Wahweap Formation during his work in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Loaned to the Utah Museum of Natural History, the new holotype is described by Bucky Gates in a new volume: Gates, T.A., et al. 2014. New hadrosaurid specimens from the lower-middle Campanian Wahweap Formation of Utah. Pp. 156-173 in D.A. Eberth and D.C. Evans (eds). Hadrosaurs: Proceedings of the International Hadrosaur Symposium. Indiana University Press.

Other news
Dori Contreras spent six weeks in Argentina in fall 2014, at the Museo Paleontológico Egidio Feruglio in Trelew (Chubut province, Patagonia). Funded by the Evolving Earth Foundation, she worked on Jurassic conifers with collaborators Dr. Ignacio Escapa and Dr. Ruben Cuneo. Although most of her time was at the Museo, she spent a couple days in the field collecting at a Jurassic locality.

Kicking off the new year with a conference, Lindsey Dougherty attended the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) meeting in West Palm Beach, FL, January 3-7, 2015, along with her undergraduate researcher Alex Niebergall. Lindsey gave a talk and Alex presented a poster. Alex was supported by a UCMP travel grant and she is one of the members of Lindsey's "disco clam team."

Earlier in 2014 Diane Erwin attended the annual Botanical Society of America meeting held in Boise, ID. Along with her co-author Jeffrey Myers (Western Oregon University), they presented two papers as invited speakers in the symposium entitled "The Miocene vegetation and environment of western North America." Diane highlighted the mid-Miocene Stewart Valley flora and its importance in understanding the landscape and vegetation history of the Great Basin. Myers talked about the late Miocene Anaverde flora — an assemblage of plants that document the history of southern California coastal vegetation.

Jenny Hofmeister attended the Western Society of Naturalists Conference in Tacoma, WA, in November 2014 and gave an invited talk at the Long Beach Aquarium, also in November. Her octopus research was featured on a TV show: Ocean Mysteries with Jeff Corwin (Episode 7).

Tony Barnosky Kaitlin Maguire Carolesia Dori Contreras
Click on any photo to see an enlargement. Left: Tony Barnosky discusses his new book. Photo courtesy of Tony Barnosky. Second from left: Kaitlin Maguire with a film crew at John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. Photo courtesy of Tony Barnosky. Third from left: The shell of Carolesia, a new gastropod genus named for Carole Hickman. Photo courtesy of Carole Hickman. Right: Dori Contreras with a flightless friend in Patagonia. Photo by Nick.

Jenna Judge reports that 2014 marked the 24th year that UC Berkeley offered a class in Tropical Biology and Geomorphology of Islands on the island of Moorea, French Polynesia. Jenna was one of three Graduate Student Instructors involved in the fall course. Twenty students designed and carried out independent research projects over a nine-week period while living and working at the Gump Research Station, Cook's Bay. Jenna states "it was a rigorous research experience for the students and a rewarding mentoring experience for the graduate student instructors!"

Jere Lipps and his crew at the Cooper Center in Orange County (OC) continue to reach broad audiences with a variety of paleontology and archaeology-themed events throughout the year. These include outdoor festivals, lecture series, exhibits, and increasing more sets of activities for K-12 teachers. Jere says the news coverage on many of their activities is growing and the Cooper Center's large events (festivals and exhibits) reach nearly 7000 attendees (many of them kids).

Lindsey Dougherty and Alex Niebergall Jenny Hofmeister Jenna Judge and Moorea group Cooper Center event poster
Click on any photo to see an enlargement. Left: Lindsey Dougherty (right) and Alex Niebergall at the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology meeting in Florida. Photo courtesy of Lindsey Dougherty. Second from left: Jenny Hofmeister with Jeff Corwin during the filming of her Ocean Mysteries segment. Photo courtesy of Jenny Hofmeister. Third from left: Jenna Judge (back row, above the "L" in "Cal") with the Tropical Biology and Geomorphology of Islands class on Moorea. Photo courtesy of Jenna Judge. Right: An ad for one of the public events put on by the Cooper Center. Image courtesy of Jere Lipps.