Paper No. 1
Presentation Time: 1:00 PM


BLODGETT, Robert B., Geological Consultant, 2821 Kingfisher Drive, Anchorage, AK 99502 and SANTUCCI, Vincent L., National Park Service, Geologic Resources Division, The Pennsylvania State University, 801 Ford Building (Room 813), University Park, PA 16802,

The National Park Service areas within the State of Alaska contain a rich and scientifically important fossil record. Fossils documented from fourteen national parks in Alaska span the Precambrian through the Recent. At least 175 fossil holotypes have been collected and described from Alaska’s national parks. On-going research includes compiling paleontological databases for these park units with the intent of capturing all existing published and unpublished information on fossil occurrences, location of described specimens, and published literature. Museums with significant collections from Alaskan national parks include the Smithsonian Institution, University of Alaska in Fairbanks Museum, University of California Berkeley, the USGS fossil repository in Denver and individual national park repositories. Considerable work has been accomplished at these repositories with visits to photograph and document extant collections. The primary gathering of fossil material historically was done by the U.S. Geological Survey, but with the demise of their Branch of Paleontology & Stratigraphy in 1995, much of this material was donated to the Smithsonian Institution and the University of California Berkeley Museum.

The Alaska Paleontological Database ( has been especially useful in compiling fossil locality data for the Alaska parks, which included the voluminous unpublished internal USGS fossil reports (known as E&R reports). Comprehensive paleontological resource inventories have been undertaken for Denali National Park & Preserve and Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve. Other parks awaiting the development of detailed paleontological databases include Katmai National Park & Preserve, Lake Clark National Park & Preserve, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve, and Yukon-Charley River National Preserve. During the summer of 2014 a paleontological field project is planned for Tuxedni Bay on the west side of upper Cook Inlet (Lake Clark NP). This area contains a diverse marine fauna of Jurassic age and was among the first to be documented on the western coast of North America by Eichwald (1871). We have examined fossil collections present in both the Smithsonian Institution and at the University of California Berkeley Museum in preparation of field work at Lake Clark NP.