Well, a lot has certainly happened since I've been at field camp. A couple of big papers have come out, a seawall is being put up, and a whale skeleton in my field area was excavated.
Here is some footage of the excavation: http://www.ktvu.com/news/19696823/detail.html
Unfortunately, KTVU.com won't let me embed the video here, so just go to the above link.
What is pretty funny is that the guy who found it (Karl Heiman) says that he did so five months (I apologize, this used to say 'years' - typo) ago. This is OK, as a lot of people know about this thing, and have known so for a while. But *just* for the record, here's a photo I took of it in July 2005:
And, if that isn't enough, here's a photo of me beside the damn thing that my girlfriend took in March, 2006:
I'm just happy that this fossil is out of the ground. After watching the video I posted above over the weekend, I talked to my coauthor/colleague Frank Perry (Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History) and he gave me the contact info of David Haasl, who is in charge of the paleontological resources firm attached to the seawall construction project. Haasl has worked with Nick Pyenson on the whale fall assemblage from Ano Nuevo Island, further up the coast (in fact, I should make a post on that sometime in the future). Haasl was pretty happy to find out that the material collected from this project could be incorporated almost immediately (it has to be prepared first, after all) into my Master's Thesis; apparently, many fossils collected by CRM firms and the like often sit around unnoticed for a while. Additionally, I informed him of another whale skeleton, also articulated, that is now covered up with rip-rap; when I actually get to California I'll head down there next weekend and show them where it is (in fact, I have already posted a photo of this other articulated skeleton elsewhere on this blog: http://coastalpaleo.blogspot.com/2009/02/winter-break-field-photos-plus-another.html)
While it is unfortunate that this locality will be covered up indefinitely, I am delighted at the material being salvaged.