Faculty Development Grant Report
The Yamhill River in McMinnville continues to yield a bounty of Pleistocene-aged mammal fossils. In the past year Linfield students have assisted in the discovery of seventy new fossils and in outreach to local grade school children. Their work, informed by professional standards of paleontological collection and description, will serve as the basis for future summer programming as Linfield develops a more substantive paleontology research program.
It is by virtue of my recent training in field paleontology that our students could learn professional standards of collection and description. In the course of my training I have also collected data sufficient for several publications. One such publication, currently in preparation and soon to be submitted, describes a new species of 16-million-year-old weasel from central Oregon. Other publications focus more directly on data from the Yamhill River. I am in the process of analyzing occurrences of the Yamhill River fauna in order to estimate precise extinction dates for the largest species in the area; following that, I will be able to compare those estimated extinction dates with estimated arrival dates for North American humans in order to assess probable causes of the end-Pleistocene extinction in the region.
Finkelman, Leonard, "Faculty Development Grant Report" (2018). Post-Grant Reports. Report. Submission 159.