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The N. Gary Lane Paleontology Collection Fund

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Answers to society's most challenging earth science questions require a critical, deep-time perspective. How will changing climates affect environments and biotas? Where will tomorrow's energy resources be found? More than ever, research in geobiology requires large-scale analyses of past organisms and their environments to understand the dynamics of changing climatic, biotic, and earth systems. As a recent NSF sponsored report on Future Research Directions in Paleontology (2007) stated, "Never before has the study of past life been as exciting and as urgent".

The 1.3 million fossils collected in the field over the past two centuries and now housed in the IU Paleontology Collection provide new sources of data to address these questions through geochemical analysis, micro-CT scanning, 3D visualization, biochemical and molecular analysis, and paleoinformatics. While field collecting will continue as the underpinning of paleontological research, today's questions require more data that a single research group can recover themselves. Global scale data are only available by harvesting from existing paleontological collections. Today's research depends so heavily on collections like ours that the Future Directions taskforce ranked "Database and Museum Collection Development and Integration" as one of its five top priorities for funding.

The Department of Geological Sciences is poised for 21st Century geobiological research thanks to the IU Paleontology Collection. The more than 1.3 million specimens from thousands of stratigraphic sections across the continent (and around the world) represent a century and a half of collecting, preparation, and alpha-level analysis that would be impossible to assemble today. The Collection provides a foundation for 21st Century research in high-resolution biostratigraphy, paleoecology, climate change biology, evolutionary morphology, and paleoinformatics. The Collection also underpins field-based research in paleontology, indeed its facilities are required to obtain federal funding for such research and to obtain permits to collect vertebrate fossils from federal lands. As such, the Collection is a companion resource to the Judson Mead Geological Field Station.

Recent funding for the IU collection has come from the US National Science Foundation (DBI-0846697) under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Department of Geological Sciences, and the College of Arts and Sciences. Since 2009, major advances have been made with these funds to revitalize, inventory, and rehouse the collection.

The N. Gary Lane Paleontology Collection Fund will help us maintain this momentum by supporting the infrastructure, curation, and staffing of the IU Paleontology Collection. Launched in 2016 to celebrate the reopening of the Collection after a seven year revitalization program, this fund is named after the late Gary Lane (1930-2006), who was an internationally recognized paleontological research and long-time member of IU's faculty.

Gary recognized the fundamental importance of a permanent repository for paleontological speciemens to meet IU's research needs professional and regulatory requirements of scientific publishers, grant agencies, and research permitters. The fund supports ongoing costs of housing and curating our material, as well as digitizing it to make it accessible to researchers around the world and to the public.

Our target is $1 million to support the salaries and activities of a full time collection manager and to meet costs for cabinetry, renovation, and materials.

Our core needs are...

  • To develop and protect the collection;
  • To enhance faculty and student research and share the results through publication and creative development of biodiversity informatics;
  • To optimize storage of the collection with state-of-the-art compactor shelving;
  • To facilitate research, preparation, and field work with the assistance of a full-time collection manager;
  • To support student education, including access to our collections and facilities by researchers from around the world;
  • To develop our capacity to apply new tools from geochemistry, stratigraphy, informatics, ecometrics, morphometrics, and analytical paleobiology to long-standing questions about critical transitions in the history of Earth and life.

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If you wish to support our program or are considering a large-scale gift, please contact one of the faculty curators (Claudia Johnson, claudia@indiana.edu, David Polly, pdpolly@indiana.edu, or Jackson Njau, jknjau@indiana.edu), the Department chair, Dr. Jim Brophy (geochair@indiana.edu), the Development Officer of the College of Arts and Sciences Travis Paulin (tpaulin@indiana.edu), or the IU Foundation.

The Galloway-Perry-Horowitz Fund for Graduate Education

The Galloway-Perry-Horowitz fund supports the research and educational needs of graduate students in paleontology, stratigraphy and paleoecology in the Department of Geological Sciences at Indiana University Bloomington Campus.

The fund was founded in memory of Prof. Jesse J. Galloway by one of his students, A. C. Brookley. Galloway, who taught paleontology at IU from 1911 to 1954, was a leader in the study of micropaleontology and an expert on early reef organisms, including bryozoans and stromatoporoids. The Galloway fund grew from donations by students and faculty. The fund grew again after the death of paleontologist Thomas Perry, a Canadian who served on the IU faculty from 1951 to 1972. Perry fastidiously pursued everything he did, from paleontology to golfing, and was an international expert on the phylum Bryozoa and its evolutionary and ecological history. Gifts from Perry's students and colleagues were added to the fund, along with Perry's name. Dr Alan Horowitz, researcher and longtime manager of the IU Paleontology Collection from 1966 to 1996, bequeathed a substantial gift to the fund at the time of his death in 1999. Horowitz's name name was added to those of his predecessors.

The Galloway-Perry-Horowitz fund is used in support of graduate student field research, laboratory equipment, and to support partial expenses connected with participation in specialized aspects of the academic program and expenses incurred during completion of their research..