2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)

Paper No. 4
Presentation Time: 9:05 AM


SCOTCHMOOR, Judith G., Museum of Paleontology, University of California, 1101 Valley Life Sciences Building #4780, Berkeley, CA 94720-4780, ROSS, Robert M., Paleontological Research Institution, 1259 Trumansburg Road, Ithaca, NY 14850, LINDBERG, David R., Dept. of Integrative Biology and Museum of Paleontology, Univ. of California, Berkeley, 1101 Valley Life Sciences Bldg, Berkeley, CA 94720 and SPRINGER, Dale A., Bloomsburg Univ, 400 E 2nd St, Bloomsburg, PA 17815-1301, jscotch@berkeley.edu

The Paleontology Portal website, http://www.paleoportal.org, provides a central, interactive entry point to high-quality North American paleontology resources on the Internet for multiple audiences: the research community, government and industry, K-16 students, and the general public. The Portal successfully blends research and education, pulling together information with reviewed and annotated website links for a wide variety of informal learners. Using web-based technology and relational databases, users can explore an interactive map and associated stratigraphic column to access information about particular geographic regions, geologic time periods, depositional environments, and representative taxa. Users are also able to search multiple museum collection databases using a single query form of their own design. Other features include famous fossil sites and a fossil image gallery. Throughout the site, users find images and links to information specific to each time period or geographic region, including current research projects, websites, on-line exhibits, educational materials, and information on collecting fossils.

The next phase of development targets the development of resource modules on collection management and fossil preparation, appropriate for users ranging from the general public to professional paleontologists. Another initiative includes the ability to personalize the Portal to support exhibits at museums and other venues on geological history and paleontology.

The Paleontology Portal, built by the UC Museum of Paleontology, is a joint project of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, the Paleontological Society, and the US Geological Survey, in collaboration with the Paleontological Research Institution, the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, which serve as hubs for the project. Paleoportal serves as an effective model in two aspects: (1) providing access to a spectrum of reviewed resources from a single starting interface that informs users from novice to professional, and (2) involvement of a wide range of stakeholders (professional societies, universities and museums, and individuals) in both concept development and management. The project is funded by the National Science Foundation under award no. 0234594.