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USGS CMG Menlo Park Micropaleontology Lab--M3011

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Main Campus  (  Bldg. 2 - 1st floor Bldg. 2 - 2nd floor Bldg. 15 - 1st floor Bldg. 15 - 3rd floor  )
O'Brien St.  (  1020 O'Brien 1030 O'Brien 1040 O'Brien 1050 O'Brien  )

Room Micropaleontology Lab
Location Rm. M3011, 3rd floor, Bldg. 15 (McKelvey Bldg.)
Size 310 sq. ft.
Contact Mary McGann -- Foraminifers
Description This lab utilizes microorganisms, primarily single-celled plants and animals known as foraminifers, to answer questions of interest to the geologist.
Two fume hoods (4' and 8'), a floor model centrifuge, an ultrasonic cleaner, 2 refrigerators, 2 ovens, and a mini-grab sampler (Ponar Grab).
In the lab, we oversee the subsampling, processing and data archiving of sediment cores and grabs obtained by the Coastal and Marine Geology program in order to gain information on the paleoecology and biogeography of sedimentary deposits for mapping historic and paleoenvironments, reconstructing past climates, determining sedimentation rates, and for dating sediments using detailed biostratigraphy and AMS C-14 chronostratigraphy. Laboratory processing techniques include vital staining for live studies, wet sieving, settling, and non-toxic floatation (sodium polytungstate). In addition, the lab has the capability to study ostracods, nannofossils, radiolarians, pollen and diatoms.

Recent projects of the lab include foraminifers in San Francisco Bay to provide a biostratigraphic and climatic interpretation of Pleistocene to Recent sediments in the bay for the California Department of Transportation's San Francisco Bay Bridge Retrofit Project, and to provide a history of the San Francisco Bay ecological community over the last 3500 years as a baseline for ecosystem restoration. The lab is also involved in the subdivision of recent and paleoenvironments on the shelf of the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary, as well as the documentation of the timing, geographic distribution, and impact of an introduced foraminifer in the San Francisco Bay Estuary ecosystem.

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