Table of Contents

Lab locations on the Core Deck


One of the primary roles for a shipboard paleontologist is to provide age control for the recovered material. Paleontologists are responsible for collecting one ~5 cm whole round sample from the core catcher at the base of the core for micropaleontology. This sample will be subsampled for each microfossil group; any remaining material is bagged and available to request for personal sampling. Additional samples are sometimes taken from split cores to refine the biostratigraphy. Toothpick samples to make smear slides may be taken from the archive or working half, whereas larger samples for foraminifer, radiolarian, and palynological processing must be included in the shipboard sampling plan and are taken from the working halves. Paleontologists typically document biostratigraphically useful taxa, preservation, and additional assemblage information (typically for paleoenvironmental interpretation) as time permits. Data are entered into our data capture system (GEODESC– see below).

Paleontology Preparation Lab


You will be using GEODESC applications for describing micropaleontological samples. If you are new to GEODESC, you may want to read this introductory document first:

You have three browser-based GEODESC applications at your disposal (on shore, simply remove the .ship from the link!):

These applications have help buttons at the right top of their user interfaces, which link to the relevant sections in the user guides. You can also access the user guides directly:

These main user guides have embedded links to each other and, in particular, to the GEODESC glossary where general terms and concepts are explained.

Primary Equipment

  • Sinks
  • Oven
  • Sieves
  • Fume and canopy hoods (one for HF acid)
  • Two Eppendorf 5804/5810 Multipurpose Centrifuges



  • See the Microscopy Lab for details, including
    • Sample Preparation
    • Sample Imaging
    • Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)

Protocols for Using Hydrofluoric (HF) Acid 

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