2009 Portland GSA Annual Meeting (18-21 October 2009)
Paper No. 192-17
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:00 PM

UNIVERSITY GEOLOGY COLLECTIONS: AN UNTAPPED RESOURCE

MOLINEUX, Ann, Non-vertebrate Paleontology Laboratory, Texas Natural Science Center, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78758, annm@austin.utexas.edu

Many university collections of geological specimens have been acquired during the last 150 years. These fossils, rocks and minerals are largely the result of research projects of both faculty and students with additional input from other collectors. Some universities created museums to display the more exotic or stunning specimens and to provide educational exhibits for students and the public. As such collections expand so do the requirements for their storage and conservation, many institutions cannot, or do not wish to, spend the necessary financial resources to store the specimens in adequate conditions or to make them accessible.

The Non-vertebrate Paleontology collections of the Texas Natural Science Center are an example of a very large collection attached to a university museum. They encompass several department collections, orphaned collections from other universities, donated specimens and ongoing research projects of museum researchers. Although the collections are funded at a minimal level, they are surfacing as a vital resource for research, education and public outreach, and demonstrate the relevance of, and need to preserve, such collections.

There are several key elements in the plan to develop these collections as a viable resource. They include maximum use of digital resources to produce searchable databases, georeferenced collection localities and high quality images of the most important specimens, tapping of student and volunteer expertise, creative presentation of the collections to the public and a persistent search for internal and external funding. In combination these have led to innovative ways to analyze and use digital images, a GIS management framework for the repository and growing use of the collection for both research and public outreach.

2009 Portland GSA Annual Meeting (18-21 October 2009)
General Information for this Meeting
Presentation Handout (.pdf format, 1223.0 kb)
Session No. 192--Booth# 375
From Virtual Globes to Geoblogs: Digital Innovations in Geoscience Research, Education, and Outreach (Posters)
Oregon Convention Center: Hall A
9:00 AM-6:00 PM, Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 41, No. 7, p. 501

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