--The BETA Team
|UNI BETA Project||
The BETA team will be taking a break over the next few weeks, but will return in the new year to keep working hard to find and share more results with you all! Until then, enjoy a little light show Dr. Sedlacek, Jose, and Emma created by just adjusting the light source on the stereoscope while studying brachiopods!
Safe travels to everyone during the next month, and we'll be back to update you soon!
--The BETA Team
I have been working on the aerosol portion of the BETA project. It has been really interesting learning about how all the different chambers work and how everything has progressed from where we were last year. Recently, as in last week, we received new computers. This is fantastic for the project, because the ones we have been using are nearly 7 years old.
One of our new computers set up and cleared space ready for the other one
Hopefully the new computers let us store data more efficiently and help us move forward in the future!
A few weeks ago, Dr. Sedlacek and I headed back to Rockford. We were planning on collecting some more fossils to add to our outreach collection as well as sampling the Cerro Gordo Member.
When we made it down into the quarry, we were glad to discover that everything was a bit drier than last time, so we didn’t have to worry so much about sliding down muddy slopes (we thought). Once Dr. Sedlacek located the Cerro Gordo Member, we began sampling.
The view of the quarry from the bottom of the pit
Me as a landmark for where the Cerro Gordo Member starts
The first area that we sampled happened to be somewhat infested with spiders, which I wasn’t that excited about. However, Dr. Sedlacek took care of most of the work where they were running around, so I didn’t have to stick my face into their crevice! We quickly worked out a system: Dr. Sedlacek chose the place for sampling and collected the sample, and I recorded all of our movements in the field book and tagged and bagged the samples.
Me trying (and failing) to pose casually
The higher we got in the quarry, the steeper the slopes were. There were a few near-miss areas where one or the other of us nearly slid down the slope, but we managed to make it out muddier but relatively unscathed. The weather was perfect for a field day, which made sampling a breeze!
Dr. Sedlack’s muddy shoes post-sampling
Emma’s muddy shoes post-sampling
We did manage to pick up some new outreach fossils throughout the day, but overall we accomplished our main goal of sampling the Cerro Gordo Member. I learned more about what it was like to be a geologist (it involved mud, precarious standing positions, becoming extra friendly with 8-legged wildlife, how to properly throw a hammer, and getting an excellent calf workout). All in all it was a successful field day!
On this page we'll post updates of the BETA Project's progress- stay tuned!