The University of California Museum of Paleontology (UCMP) recently acquired the collections of the Department of Earth and Climate Sciences (Formerly Department of Geosciences), San Francisco State University (SFSU). The SFSU collection was accessioned and moved to UCMP in 2017.
This collection is from the Kettleman Hills of Kings County, Central California, and is predominantly composed of invertebrates with rare vertebrate fossils. The Kettleman Hills are a structural dome or doubly plunging anticline along the eastern edge of the California Coast Ranges where it borders the western San Joaquin Valley. Formed by fault-related folding east of the San Andreas Fault, the Kettleman Hills are divided into three domes, North, Middle, and South, and the SFSU Kettleman Hills collection is from the North Dome. The Plio-Pleistocene deposits exposed in the Kettleman Hills document changes in the inland sea that once covered the Central Valley of California (Woodring et al., Reference Woodring, Stewart and Richards1940; Adegoke, Reference Adegoke1969; Stanton and Dodd, Reference Stanton and Dodd1970; Loomis, Reference Loomis1988; Bowersox, 2004, Reference Bowersox2005). The SFSU collection was made by undergraduate students at San Francisco State University participating in annual paleontology and historical geology field trips to the Kettleman Hills-Coalinga area, beginning in the 1970s with Raymond Sullivan and succeeded by Lisa White. The goal of the field trips each year was to collect fossils from the three major formations of Pliocene-Pleistocene age exposed in the area, Etchegoin, San Joaquin, and Tulare formations, as part of a larger class project on interpreting the depositional and ecological history of the San Joaquin Valley. Students in the courses collected continuously in the area for more than 40 years, revisiting the same field trip stops each year. In addition to fossils being well constrained spatially and stratigraphically, many examples of rare or notably well-preserved specimens were selectively retained on each trip over those 40 years. Invertebrates are predominantly bivalves and echinoids, but also include anthozoans, crabs, gastropods, and barnacles. Vertebrates include rare bony fish, sharks, rays, and marine mammals. These collections complement and augment UCMP’s invertebrate and vertebrate holdings and, as they are cataloged as part of the transfer effort, will be incorporated into our data made available as part of the Eastern Pacific Invertebrate Communities of the Cenozoic (EPICC) Thematic Collections Network project and online at http://ucmpdb.berkeley.edu. Specimens or localities can be identified as part of the former SFSU collection by searching for “SFSU” in the locality name.
Support for the transfer, housing, and digitizing of records comes from NSF CSBR award #1561759.