Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Getting material curated at UCMP

On my last visit to UCMP, I spent an hour with a student volunteer and my good friend Ash Poust placing some material I had donated last year into specimen trays. These are all specimens collected from a locality in the Purisima Formation I studied as an undergraduate student. Most of this material was collected in 2005 and 2006, and I slowly curated and prepared it during my undergraduate career (and during grad school). I've now gotten about 1/2 of this collection to UCMP, and already it fills a drawer and a half.
Which is bad (and good). It's bad because the entire collection from this locality will take up half a cabinet by itself, not including the large oversize material. What's worse is that this material is roughly 1/3 of my entire collection - I have material I've collected from other Purisima localities, as well as the Santa Margarita Sandstone. All in all, my collection will probably require two-three cabinets at UCMP. Keep in mind I've already donated about 1/10 of my collection to the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History.

Shark teeth and bird bones from the Purisima Formation.

That being said, it was a very satisfying experience to see all this material finally looking like it was part of a museum collection. I'm more motivated than ever to get the rest of it curated (and out of my house!). Now that I'm writing up the marine mammal assemblage from this locality, I can finally get rid of it all and get it into a proper museum setting.


Joe El Adli!!! said...

Have you donated your H. bramblei skull, yet? I'm just wondering because I reference it in my paper as "Boessenecker, correspondence", but I would be much happier if it had a specimen number associated with it.

Robert Boessenecker said...

Hey Joe,

I hope to interpret this as you being close to submitting your manuscript!

It does not yet have a number, BUT because I am nearly done with my new balaenopterid description, I can FINALLY move on to describing my mountain of Herpetocetus material (including the H. bramblei skull). That being said, I'll have UCMP numbers on all this stuff soon (and depending upon when you need it, I can make it very soon...)