Making the Rexroad conodont collection accessible for research

Status Start Date End Date Locations
completed Aug 1, 2016 May 31, 2017 All Counties
Director: Patrick McLaughlin
Other Researchers: Alyssa Bancroft, Barbara Hill, Clayton McGuire, Rebecca Meyer Gary Motz
Funding: Indiana University - Indiana Geological & Water Survey
Issue: The Rexroad conodont collection is the largest sample set held by the IGS, containing millions of studied specimens. It represents a substantial investment by the organization over the course of Carl Rexroad’s career to improve biostratigraphic knowledge about the state’s Paleozoic rocks. Now much of this collection lies in disarray. Conodonts are receiving renewed interest as geochemical time capsules recording major events in the evolution of earth’s ocean-atmosphere system. The IGS currently has the unique opportunity to apply the skills of Dr. Alyssa Bancroft, one of the few active condont biostratigraphers in the US. Alyssa has the rare qualifications of having worked on conodont collections of Ordovician through Pennsylvanian age. Additionally, she spent time as an undergraduate working in Carl Rexroad’s lab. She is active in the international conodont research community and has close ongoing collaborations with several researchers that currently hold portions of Rexroad’s collection. She has the knowledge, network and skills to transform this collection into a working archive that will advance bedrock studies of Indiana.
Objective: This study will recover loaned material and organize and inventory the entire Rexroad conodont collection so that it can be fully utilized in research.
Approach: We will contact researchers known to hold parts of the Rexroad collection and make additional inquiries about the whereabouts of missing parts of the collection. Collections will be retrieved, organized, inventoried and entered in spread sheets along with current IGS holdings. Existing cabinets in the Micropaleontology Lab on the 3rd floor will be cleaned, labeled and populated with the organized collection.
Products: We will generate a full inventory of Rexroad conodont collection archived at the IGS and IU Paleontology Collection. We recover loaned material and organize the entire collection by study and age of strata investigated. Finally, we organize and generate metadata associated with the collection.
Benefits: We will make this one-of-a-kind collection fully accessible to the research community. Ongoing and planned IGS research will utilize the conodonts for geochemical study.