At least a third of the UCMP-USGS collection at our off-site museum collections facility is Miocene in age. For most of the Cenozoic epochs, fossils from the different formations were separated when UCMP received the collection. For the Miocene, we have retained the original age assignments of early, middle or late Miocene. Museum professionals never want to lose any information when re-curating a collection. The decision to keep these original age designations was made with the goal to organize the collection so it is more useful to researchers. Dividing the localities and curating the fossils within at this finer scale required additional time and attention, but will be worth it according to invertebrate paleontologists familiar with the collection.
During the 2014-15 school year, UC undergraduate research assistants, Ken Gourley, Kara James, Joan Li and Holly Seyler helped photograph and rehouse Mesozoic and Cenozoic fossils. A new zooming feature in CalPhotos allows the user to upload high resolution versions of all project photos. Check it out for yourself on the CalPhotos site! We also have a working draft of the Citizen Science module and soon you will be able to help us identify and count fossils from each USGS locality! Details to follow on future blog posts on the UCMP website.