Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Week 4

Locating Publications in the Research Library

Many of the projects we have worked on are associated with at least one published paper (or in some cases Columbia University masters thesis papers). It is our to job to locate additional publications that use our specimens and make note of them in the database.
Most times we can find  publications online using the electronic resources that are available to us, but sometimes the publications are only available in print at the research library. Luckily for us the library is just downstairs from our lab.

Large collaborative effort ahead

This week we wrapped up some of our smaller projects and are moving on to one larger task.

Courtney worked on the project on her own last summer and cataloged over 500 specimens. At the end of the summer it was assumed that the project was completed, but we have located 8(!) more original storage boxes that are directly related to a publication by A.S. Warthin (1930). Each of the original boxes can hold up to 100 vertical slides.
original condition of the Warthin collection
In addition to the sheer number of slides, each slide holds an unknown number of specimens. Many of the slides are missing their specimens because they were housed without cover-slips. We need to properly store the slides to prevent further deterioration of the specimens and to assign catalog numbers so that they can be added to the fossil invertebrates database. Some of the specimens are types and will need to be photographed. We have our work cut out for us next week but we are up to the challenge.

Ostracods of the Week

We proudly present to you the ostracods of the week.
Cavellina fittsi paratypes from a 1929 Columbia Masters' Thesis
Rebecca takes full credit for the superior aesthetics of this image, which required extensive rearranging in Photoshop. You can see a wide variety in the size of specimens here. Ostracods are arthropods (like lobsters and ants), so they grow in a fixed number of growth stages, or instars. This can make it difficult to classify ostracods, because different instars of the same species can be mistaken for separate species. 

Collections tour

 This week we had a tour of the ornithology department's collection.

 Nicollette even got to hold a bald eagle.

We have reached the halfway point of this project. It seems as though we started just a few days ago and we still have much to learn about updating collections.

Until next time,
The IP-microfossils team.

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