2004 Denver Annual Meeting (November 7–10, 2004)

Paper No. 10
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM


BRALOWER, Timothy J., Geosciences, Pennsylvania State Univ, University Park, PA 16802, FIRTH, John, Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, Texas A&M Univ, College Station, TX 77845, BARRON, John, U.S. Geological Survey, MS 910, Menlo Park, CA 94025, LECKIE, R. Mark, Department of Geosciences, Univ of Massachusetts, Morrill Science Center, Amherst, MA 01003, SANFILIPPO, Annika, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Univ of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093 and THOMAS, Ellen, Earth & Environmental Sciences, Wesleyan Univ, 265 Church Street, Middletown, CT 06459-0139, bralower@geosc.psu.edu

CHRONOS provides an opportunity for chronostratigraphers to collaborate in building improved time scales that are accessible to the geologic community. Yet the future of this dynamic program may be threatened if we do not actively recruit and train the next generation of stratigraphers, including biostratigraphers. We address this situation by development of hands-on, experiential laboratory activities in micropaleontology using sediments recovered by the Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) and Ocean Drilling Program (ODP). These samples offer choice examples of key paleontological and paleobiological concepts such as punctuated equilibrium, adaptive radiation, iterative evolution and biostratigraphy, and opportunities for education on topics such as changes in sea level and ocean circulation, and paleoclimatology, and possible linkages between evolution and climate change.

The extensive collection of DSDP and ODP cores provides a unique opportunity for students to explore micropaleontology and become familiar with broad applications of microfossil groups. We are selecting choice materials to develop hands-on laboratory exercises using routine research techniques. For example, students are required to count specimens from different groups, identify key taxa, apply biostratigraphic zonation, and make important determinations of paleoclimate, paleodepth, sea level, and ecology based on microfossil assemblages.

We plan to publish a laboratory manual with materials (slides, washed residues) and instructions on how to acquire deep-sea samples for educational purposes. Because of their ease of use, these packaged labs will be attractive to a range of educators and scientists, including some who may not be experts in micropaleontology. The materials will help to teach basic skills in micropaleontology, provide exposure to the far-ranging utility and implications of micropaleontological data, and ensure that a new generation of micropaleontologists will become involved in ocean drilling and CHRONOS.