2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA (1-4 November 2015)

Paper No. 30-15
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-5:30 PM


WYNN, Tiffany, Department of Biology, George Mason University, 4400 University Dr., Fairfax, VA 22030, PETRUNY, Loren, Department of Paleobiology, Smithsonian Institution, 10th & Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20013, JETT, Jennifer, Cushman Foundation, MRC-121 Paleobiology, Smithsonian, 10th & Constitution NW, Washington, DC 20013-7012 and WHITTAKER, Scott, Imaging, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, 10th & Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20013-7012, wynnta@si.edu

Digitization and three-dimensional (3D) modeling of microorganisms such as foraminifera is enhanced with the use of a scanning electron microscope (SEM) photogrammetry method. Utilizing readily available laboratory tools and photogrammetry software, we are able to streamline an existing photogrammetry method and provide a standardized image-capture workflow. This project will produce 3D digital models of thirteen foraminifera specimen selected from the Smithsonian Institution’s (NMNH) Department of Paleobiology’s collection of foraminifera. While processing these specimens, we hope to improve SEM mounting techniques as well as reduce the time needed to examine, digitize and print each specimen.

Making models with this method enables us to highlight the microorganism collections, aids in the preservation of foraminiferal specimens by eliminating the need for hands on contact, and provides valuable tools for educators. The resulting 3D images from this project will enhance the Smithsonian's Foraminiferal website for educators and the general public. With an increased demand for new educational models through the website, we may seek investment in further streamlining the process by automating the entire image capture process on the microscope. The results of this refined 3D photogrammetry process benefits the scientific community as researchers of all microorganisms may utilize the methods made available here.