2014 GSA Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia (19–22 October 2014)

Paper No. 288-9
Presentation Time: 10:00 AM


STAMM, Nancy R. and SOLLER, David R., U.S. Geological Survey, 908 National Center, Reston, VA 20192

For over one hundred years, USGS paleontologic research has been instrumental in addressing societal issues and improving our understanding of geologic processes. Historically, USGS paleontologists have supplied essential biostratigraphic information to geologic mapping projects that range in focus from environmental to economic geology. The biostratigraphy, along with the mappers’ field notes and sketches, provided a basis for interpreting the geologic history and for defining the geologic map units. This biostratigraphic information generally was not included with the final map product, but remains in >15,000 unpublished “Examination of Referred Fossils” (“E&R”) reports.

These E&Rs are stored in filing cabinets, and on microfiche. In order to make them more accessible to researchers, they recently have been scanned and are becoming available through a password-protected Web site managed by the National Geologic Map Database (NGMDB) project. Paleontologists and mappers have begun using the site to quickly access and review the original data, for new mapping and science investigations and to revise the paleontologic and stratigraphic interpretations based on current knowledge.

However, reinterpretations of paleontology and stratigraphy necessitate access to the physical collections, which are reposited in many museums across the country. The NGMDB project intends to link the information in the E&Rs to the location of the appropriate repository – in other words, we would like to serve as an information resource to this important network of repositories. This presentation will focus on details of the E&R database and Web site, and on methods for providing links to the repositories.