A view from the field.

Since we’re half a year away from the traditional academic time period known as “field season” (at least in the Northern Hemisphere), I’ve been thinking a lot about being out and about.

For many Quaternary scientists field work involves coring in one form or another.  You name it, we’ll core it.  Corals, trees, lakes, swamps, bogs, forest floors, ocean floors, we’ll section pack rat middens (crystalized urine), we’ll drill through guano piles, stalagmites, stalactites, glaciers. . . and I’m pretty sure there’s others that I’m missing.  Pictures of pollen coring expeditions are iconic images in paleoecology.  Most of us who have spent time on the ice or in two lashed together dinghies (or fancier digs!) can immediately relate to the pictures, but, unlike the stratigraphic diagrams that get produced afterwards, these pictures can be easily lost, and yet they represent a critical part of our investigations.  They link our scientific discoveries to a specific place and time, they provide a snapshot of paleoecological geneology that publications can’t capture.  Not everyone on the coring platform gets authorship (although they should be acknowledged!).

With that in mind I posted a note on the PALEOLIM mailing list looking for coring pictures and got a great response and I thought I’d share some of them with you here.


Eric Grimm sent this one to me.  A winter coring expedition at Brush Lake, MT near the North Dakota border.  Given the location this could be late spring (!).  Pictured here are Jeremy Wolpert (formerly a grad student at WVU, now a Senior Geologist in Texas), Kendrick Brown (now with the Canadian Forest Service), Alex McLeod (kneeling, PhD student, Monash University Australia), Joe Donovan (Geology prof., West Virginia),and Eric Grimm (Illinois State Museum).

Baikal Archeological Project 2006 (University of Alberta).Ile d'Olkhon.

This picture was taken by Marc Roussel and it comes from Anson MacKay.  Taken on Shara Nu, Lake Baikal.  Anson’s posted previously about Lake Baikal on the OpenQuaternary blog. On the left is Dr Dustin White (University of Southampton) and in the middle standing up is Dr Alexander Shchetnikov (Institute of the Earth’s Crust), while bending down next to Dustin is Ewan Shilland (University College of London) and on the far right is Anson MacKay.

I have a bunch more, and will post them as we figure out what to do with them!  In the meantime if you have more coring photos, please send them to us along with the list of people in the photos, and, if possible, publications that came from that coring expedition.  We’d love to start compiling these in a more formal way.


About downwithtime

Assistant scientist in the Department of Geography at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Studying paleoecology and the challenges of large data synthesis.
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One Response to A view from the field.

  1. Pingback: More coring photos please! | downwithtime

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