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Our lab conducts paleoecological research through the study of plant remains preserved in the sediments of lacustrine, fluvial, and wetland environments.  Cores extracted from these settings contain sediments deposited over thousands of years during the late Quaternary. Plant remains found within the cores provide records of past vegetation and environmental change.

Activities performed in the lab include plant macrofossil separation through sediment sample wet sieving, plant macrofossil identification, and wood identification.  The lab houses many modern plant reference collections and a library of botanical floras to aid in the identification of macrofossil remains.

 

Collections at the USGS Quaternary Paleobotany Laboratory

Quaternary Paleobotany Laboratory Research Collections

Modern Botanical Collections

Alaska/Yukon Region:

  • Thomas Ager Juneau, Alaska Seed Collection
  • Bigelow/Strickland Alaska-Yukon Seed Collection
  • Thomas Ager Alaska Herbarium Specimen Collection: 
  • Thomas Ager SEM Photographic Seed Collection

Southwestern U.S. Region:

  • Robert Thompson Modern Seed and Plant Specimen Collection for the western United States
  • George Yaskovich Herbarium Collection of plants of the southwestern U.S. and Arizona

North America:

  • North American Modern Wood Thin Section Reference Collection
  • Richard Scott Seed Collection

 

Libraries (Reference Books)

  • Thompson Library of North American Floras
  • Plant Macrofossil and Wood Identification Reference Library

 

Modern Pollen Legacy Collections

  • Thomas Ager Modern Pollen of Alaska Photographic Reference Collection
  • USGS Modern Pollen Photographic Reference Collection
  • USGS Modern Pollen Slide Reference Collection
  • Jansonius, J. and Hills, L.V., 1976. Alphabetical Guide to the Genera of Fossil Spores and Pollen. Department of Geology, University of Calgary. (paper index card collection)
  • Jansonius, J. and Hills, L.V., 1976. Morphological Guide to the Genera of Fossil Spores and Pollen. Department of Geology, University of Calgary. (paper index card collection)

 

 Paleobotanical Collections

 

Quaternary Paleobotany Laboratory microscope equipment
Microscope equipment used for plant macrofossil and wood identification in the Quaternary Paleobotany Laboratory

 

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