Dissemination of Results
For the general public, access to the Invertebrate Paleontology collection is via specimens on exhibit and the Divisional website which allows visitors to read about our micropaleontology collection and search the database for information and images of specimens. We are enhancing the Invertebrate Paleontology section of the Divisional website, providing images and information on the rehousing and conservation aspects of this project. Student interns and volunteers started a blog about their experiences working in the collections. The blog allowed students to share their experiences and impressions of the collection with their peers and the public (http://ipmicrofossils.blogspot.com/).
These enhanced web pages and blog give an insight into the behind-the-scenes activities of the Division, and will help recruit future interns who are interested in foraminiferal research, climatic change or museum studies.
The web site exposes the public to the significance and importance of the collections. Specimens and images may also be featured in future museum exhibitions. The past exhibition Picturing Science highlighted SEM and CT scan images of invertebrate fossil specimens housed at the museum. This and future similar exhibits will afford new ways for the public to view invertebrate fossil specimens.
Producing CT scans of type specimens and making these images available online will be of major importance to the micropaleontological community, assisting in training the next generation of taxonomists, making a considerable contribution towards solving taxonomic problems thus enabling the community to estimate diversity over time, and assisting geochemists in the selection of correct specimens for analysis in paleoceanographical and paleoclimate research.
Presentations on the progress and outcomes of this project have and will be given at professional meetings (e.g. Geological Society of America, Cushman Foundation Meeting at GSA, Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections; FORAMS; International Conference on Paleoceanography; AGU; EGU).
Bushra Hussaini presented a poster titled “Establishing a digital database for Invertebrate Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History” at the GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado (27-30 October, 2013). Besides presenting an overview of the development of the invertebrate paleontology database at our museum, she talked about the rehabilitation and curation of the microfossil collection, and how the NSF award #1203394 has and will support the training of undergraduate students in modern curatorial practices.