Field Work

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I have been working in the Cabbage Patch beds (part of the Renova Formation) of western Montana since 2011. I am collecting additional fossils and geological information building up on the work of Dr. Donald Rasmussen (and others) 40 years ago. This area is very interesting because it will allow me to compare faunas of the same age (about 30 to 20 million years old) across a longitudinal gradient from Oregon to Nebraska through Montana at the time of the spread of grasslands.

You can read a summary of the 2012 field season supported by Sigma-Xi and the Burke Museum‘s division of vertebrate paleontology here. You can also read a summary of the 2012 field season from collaborating paleobotanists here.

I did an additional month of fieldwork this past summer thanks to support from the Tobacco Root Geological Society and the American Philosophical Society. We were once more very successful. With the help of undergraduate assistants and collaborators, I collected sedimentological information to study the taphonomy of the beds and collected some exciting new fossils including a mostly complete carnivore jaw and several rodent jaws (beavers, mice, gophers, and aplodontids). Stay tuned!