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Like many others, I was introduced to fieldwork in Hell Creek, Montana by Bill Clemens and Harley Garbani. Since 1998, many colleagues, volunteers, friends, have joined me in collecting latest Cretaceous and earliest Paleocene vertebrate fossils in the area. The fossils are collected with the permission of the Bureau of Land Management, Charles M. Russell Wildlife Refuge, State of Montana, and private land owners and housed at various museums: University of California Museum of Paleontology (UCMP), Museum of the Rockies, Denver Museum of Nature & Science (DMNS), and now the Burke Museum of Natural History & Culture (UWBM). The fieldwork relates to research on the K-T extinction event and the subsequent recovery and radiation of mammals.

Below are photos of our fieldwork in the Hell Creek in 2008. Photos from previous Montana trips can be seen here.

2008 Summary: Our field crew included Jeremy Riedel, Peter Smits, Thomas van Wageningen, Marie Weide, Dave DeMar, Mike Poltenovage, Noli Ergas, and Brendan and Seth Reed. Fieldwork focused on prospecting for and sampling vertebrate microfossil localities from the middle part of the Hell Creek Formation, a zone that is historically underrepresented in our collections.                                                                                

We were also joined by assorted other crews. Jessica Haas, a student of Joe Hartman (Univ. N. Dakota), joined us to help record detailed GPS data for fossil localities. Will Clyde (Univ. N. Hampshire), his Master's student Rebecca LeCain, and undergraduate Matt Jones came out to take samples for paleomagnetic analysis of sections through the Hell Creek and Tullock Formations. Nan Arens (Hobart & William Smith) and her crew joined us to collect several important paleobotanical localities. Bill Clemens (UC-Berkeley) gave us a tour of some important Paleocene localities that had not been re-sampled in a number of years. We collaborated with Denver Fowler (Montana State Univ.), Ray Butler, and Joe Hartman on the geology of a near complete section through the Hell Creek Formation. And Joe Hartman and his crew sampled molluscan fossil localities.

From L to R: Peter Smits, Jeremy Riedel, Will Clyde, Greg Wilson, Bill Clemens, Matt Jones, Thomas van Wageningen, and Rebecca LeCain.

Thomas Thomas
Mike Poltenovage, Greg, Thomas, and Peter collecting from Manzoni in the lower Hell Creek Fm.
Jessica Haas taking GPS measurements using the Trimble.

Thomas Thomas
Jeremy, Jessica, and Thomas at Walking Wounded. The paleomagnetics crew: Matt, Rebecca, and Will.

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