Thursday, July 3, 2014

Week 2!

Hello Again!
We are entering our third week of the microfossils project and are gearing up for a foram and ostracod filled summer! Here is a recap of what we have been up to:

Our first week was all about getting acclimated to the process of cataloging and entering information into the AMNH fossils database. (See our previous blog for more details about our first week and to get to know the 6 interns.) We also had to adjust to being at the museum, which is a lot bigger than one would expect. We work on one of the longest hallways in the city which stretches from Columbus Avenue to Central Park West!
The Invertebrates hall way...
Needless to say, getting lost in the museum was a regular occurrence over our first few days. By the end of the week we were officially registered as interns of the AMNH.

Trial and Error!

While week one was about getting acclimated, week two was all about trial and error.  It’s a challenge to make sure that all six of us are following the same protocols, but as problems arise, we quickly develop effective solutions. We have been using our experiences to update the guidebook that will outline the most effective process of cataloging the microfossils collection in the future. 

We have had a few hiccups, but altogether we were able to rehouse and catalog over 400 unique specimens this week! We each worked on one or two projects and spent time entering information into the fossils database as well as taking photomicrographs.

Rebecca working hard on the database
As a part of this project, we have also been using the CT-scanner to make 3-dimensional reconstructions of some of our most pristine samples. With help from the lab manager, we generally scan the samples for 1.5hr intervals. Then, final reconstruction and creation of working images varies from sample to sample. We haven't yet figured out how to make the final 3D PDFs accessible to the public, but hopefully we will find a way to include these in an online database.

In other news...

Nicollette thinks this Ostracod is especially photogenic and has nominated it to be microfossil of the week. As there are no contenders and we are still  processing our first few photographs, this week's fossil of choice will be Healdia gillae.

A photogenic ostracod

All in all it's been a busy week

Until next time,
The microfossils team.

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