News from the Indiana Geological and Water Survey
December 2019 issue

Resurrecting Megajeff

“Megajeff” is a nearly complete skeleton of a Megalonyx jeffersonii giant ground sloth that once existed within the natural history collections at Indiana University. The skeleton survived fossilization, railroad transport, and fire, but was ultimately destroyed by a lack of understanding of the importance of natural history collections.

For the past year, the IGWS has worked with Executive Director of University Collections Heather Calloway to shine a new light on this story as part of an IU Bicentennial Project. Combining archival documents, interactive maps, and 3-D models of the remaining bones, a new digital exhibit reveals never-before-seen documentation of Megajeff’s fate and the Survey’s role in the former University Museum.

Check out the fully illustrated story online and stay tuned for the return of Megajeff to the Bloomington campus in 2020.


Graphic courtesy of David Orr, Blue Aster Studio, for this IU Bicentennial Project.

IGWS Researchers Win an "Oscar for Invention"

An innovative software package known as SimCCS has been selected for a prestigious R&D 100 award. Widely known as the “Oscars of Invention,” the R&D 100 awards are considered one of the most prestigious honors for innovation in the U.S., celebrating research and development pioneers and their contributions to science and technology.

IGWS research scientist Kevin Ellett led a team of researchers from Indiana University in partnering with Montana State University and lead organization Los Alamos National Laboratory to develop the SimCCS software. In addition to Ellett, the Indiana University team included Ryan Kammer from the IGWS, along with Sudhakar Pamidighantam and Jun Wang from the Pervasive Technology Institute.

SimCCS software provides novel capabilities for decision support and design of integrated carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies—a key approach to reducing the carbon footprint of a whole range of critical industries including power production, oil and gas, ethanol, iron and steel, cement, and chemicals. SimCCS supports decision making by integrating applications in industrial engineering, operations research, geographic information systems, infrastructure engineering, geoscience, economics, and public policy.

Users are able to produce integrated CCUS system designs for problems ranging from single facilities to large regional networks involving multiple carbon emission sources and geologic sinks. By harnessing the power of high-performance computing resources, users in the research and policy communities can investigate how CCUS may play a meaningful role in mitigating climate change. Users in the commercial sector are able to run large ensembles of model experiments to evaluate financial risk and find optimal investment solutions for implementing CCUS technologies.

A select number of R&D 100 Award winners are honored further with special recognition awards for their potential impact in the categories of market disruption, corporate social responsibility, and green technology. The SimCCS development team was honored with the silver medal for special recognition in corporate social responsibility. Ellett and the other leads from Los Alamos National Laboratory and Montana State University will receive their awards at the gala event on December 5, 2019, in San Francisco, California.

Deam Wilderness Trail Map Now Available for your Mobile Device

Published last summer, the Charles C. Deam Wilderness Topographic Trail Map including the Nebo and Hickory Ridge Areas has been very popular with hikers, backpackers, and outdoor enthusiasts. Now a mobile version can be purchased for $6.99 and viewed using the Avenza app.

The two-sided trail map printed on waterproof, tear-resistant paper is still available for sale in the IGWS Bookstore for $15.00.


We Need Your Opinions

The IGWS is gauging public interest in natural history collections and wants your input. Consider taking a 3-minute survey here. Participation is voluntary and you may skip any questions that you do not wish to answer. All information will be kept confidential. You must be 18 or older to participate.

2020 IGWS Calendar Available

Known to geologists as the Salem Limestone, Indiana limestone has been an essential part of building the Indiana University Bloomington campus. In 2020, as IU reaches its 200-year anniversary, the Indiana Geological and Water Survey celebrates the bicentennial with an annual calendar featuring Indiana’s beautiful limestone campus.

The mosaicked image of the Sample Gates is made of hundreds of photos from various IGWS collections. The 21- by 33-inch calendar is printed in full color on heavy poster paper and is shipped rolled in a sturdy cardboard tube.


Holiday Gift Ideas

Do you have someone on your list who is a geology buff or rock hound? Someone who loves maps? We have some suggestions for holiday gifts!

Discovering Indiana Geology Deluxe Set -- SALE!

Introduction to Geology Set -- SALE!

Hikers and Campers Set -- SALE!

Indiana Rocks! A Guide to Geologic Sites in the Hoosier State

Map of the Wyandotte Cave System

Map of Indiana

Charles C. Deam Wilderness Topographic Trail Map

Sets with multiple items are discounted from their original prices. Please order by December 13 to ensure holiday delivery. Sale ends on January 13, 2020.

Visit our brick-and-mortar bookstore at 420 N. Walnut St, Bloomington, IN, to pick up a variety of geology-related gifts. You can also order online from the IGWS online bookstore.