EPICC virtual fieldwork experiences (VFEs) provide opportunities to virtually visit classic paleontological field sites along the Pacific coast and to explore images and data from specimens that have been collected there. VFEs can combine high resolution and 3-D pictures for exploring an outcrop, images of fossils (snails, clams, sand dollars, and others) in place and in museum collections, geological maps and satellite views, and much more.
The VFEs at this website can be used by anyone with an interest in fossils, especially Cenozoic marine fossils of the west coast of the U.S. The VFEs were designed with secondary school students and their teachers in mind; teachers can visit the page “For educators” for further details about using the VFEs as classroom activities (e.g., teacher guides, information on using VFEs, and science education standards). We expect that other audiences will find the imagery and information interesting, including members of the public with a passion for invertebrate fossils, researchers who haven’t been to the field sites, and college educators with introductory classes. The VFEs are each composed of several modules that focus on topics such as fossils, sediments, and tectonics; teachers will find that these can be adapted to middle or high school levels, or adapted to specific curricular topics within Earth sciences, environmental sciences, and biology.
“EPICC” stands for Eastern Pacific Invertebrate Communities of the Cenozoic. It is a partnership of nine natural history museums, working together to put data online about marine fossils found along the Pacific coasts of the Americas (such collaborations are known as “Thematic Collections Networks”). The focus of the EPICC project is fossil bivalves, gastropods (snails and slugs), crabs, echinoids (sea urchins), and other invertebrates from the Cenozoic Era — the last 66 million years of Earth’s history. During the course of the grant we will make data from the labels of about 1.6 million museum specimens available online, including thousands of photographs. To learn more about the technical details of the EPICC Thematic Collections Network go to the EPICC project homepage.
We are funded through the National Science Foundation’s Advancing Digitization of Biological Collections program and affiliated with Integrated Digitized Biocollections (iDigBio).
To learn more about the project team, visit our Credits page.