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Paleo Slide Set: Coral Paleoclimatology
Extracting core with hydraulic drill on a Porites lobata colony, Clipperton Atoll
The drilling is completed and the core segment is removed from the hole. Paleoclimatologists travel the world, from the stark whiteness of the Greenland Ice Sheet to the scrub forests of the American Southwest to the lush underwater jungles of the tropics. Most of them spend a few months a year doing field work. The rest of the year, they analyze samples like this core segment that they have gathered in the field, teach courses to college students, and write articles and books about their research. If you asked just about any paleoclimatologist what they liked most about their job, they would say moments like the one pictured, creative moments when they get to apply years of training to the environments they are so interested in.

The drill goes all the way into the coral. Next, the scientists carefully extract the core pieces, label them, and box them for safe shipment home. Back in the laboratory, the excitement of the field work will be followed by new discoveries and new insights into our planet's past.

Photo Credits:
Maris Kazmers
SharkSong Photography, Okemos, Michigan

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Last Modified: 12 October 2001

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