Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Summer Field Work 2011 - Part 2

Week 4
Excavating aetosaur plates at Billing's Gap.
Always buckle up for safety.
Petrified Forest is currently in a phase of expansion. The federal government has authorized the addition of 125,000 acres to the park which is composed of private, state, and federal (primarily Bureau of Land Management) lands. We spent a good portion of the week in the eastern part of that boundary expansion, including an area known as Billing's Gap (the place you go if you want a phytosaur skull). Besides doing field work, we also got to teach the park law enforcement what petrified wood theft looks like.

 Somehow, we keep getting chased (law enforcement, horses, etc)

Week 5
Afternoon monsoons moving in.
The "purple layer", representing the Adamanian-Revueltian transition.
About halfway through my summer at PEFO, monsoon season arrived and the weather switched from sunny, super windy, and VERY hot (100 to 110+) to partly cloudy, breezy, and ~90 with a good chance of an afternoon thunderstorm most days. The week was mostly spent in the office with one day out on BLM land with Sierra College and another day spent with a documentary crew discussing the Adamanian-Revueltian transition.

Week 6
Partial mediolateral plate of a Typothorax.

Hiding from the noon sun in a shade cave at Karen's Point.

Bill left us for 4th of July weekend and the rest of the week to go to Disneyland with the family, but Chuck Beightol (a 2009 and 2010 intern) joined us. Left to our own devices, our first priority was to clean the office, something we were sure had never been done. We also had some of our own field projects in mind, the most productive of which was a day spent at Karen's Point where we collected specimens of several aetosaur species (Typothorax, Paratypothorax, and Heliocanthus) as well as lots of metoposaurs.

4 more weeks to go...

1 comment:

  1. Are you saying that Matt and Jeff never cleaned their office? ;) Might be true....