This 2016 Geological Society of America (GSA) Annual Meeting trip will explore
the Core Research Center, Paleontological Collection, and National Science Foundation
National Ice Core Laboratory—three collections of major national signifi cance
managed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Since its inception in 1879, USGS
has collected, preserved, and managed physical collections for scientifi c investigations
of Earth’s systems. The Core Research Center is the largest federal core repository
in the United States, where over 74 million meters (242 million feet) of the subsurface
are represented by the collection of rock cores and well cuttings, available for use by
researchers investigating resource potential, tectonics, structures, aquifers, and more.
The USGS has conducted paleontological research for more than 110 years to
inform geological mapping, biostratigraphy, paleoecology, paleoclimate, and other
research. Most of these paleontological samples are at the Smithsonian Institution
National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) and USGS Denver facilities. The
USGS Denver paleontological collection includes ~1.2 million samples. Ancillary
materials consisting of handwritten ledgers, index cards, fi eld reports, maps, and
other information produced by USGS investigators provide profound knowledge
about the specimens and associated geological systems. The USGS is working with
NMNH to systematically digitize the collection to preserve and expose samples and
data to research.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) National Ice Core Laboratory (NICL) is
the nation’s repository for preserving, archiving, and sampling meteoric ice cores collected
from the world’s ice sheets, ice caps, and glaciers, mostly from Antarctica and
Greenland. NICL’s primary mission is to store and curate ice cores, primarily collected
during NSF-sponsored projects, for present and future sample investigations.