Earth Research Partnerships

Coordinated by: Paul Harnik and Dr. Robert M. Ross, in Collaboration with Dr. Carlton Brett, Professor of Paleontology at the University of Cincinnati.

The Devonian Seas project seeks a more detailed understanding of the pattern of 'coordinated stasis'; originally proposed by Brett & Baird (1995) based on their studies of the Devonian rocks of New York state. 'Coordinated stasis' suggests that during intervals of geologic time, in some marine environments, faunas track their preferred environments through intervals up to several million years. During these times, there is relatively little change in the composition and ecological structure of these faunas. These intervals of stability come to an end abruptly, and new patterns of stability are established. Our project involves a large-scale high-resolution study of the Moscow Formation (uppermost Middle Devonian strata), involving analysis of rates of evolutionary and paleoecological change. The project is being developed to include upper Elementary and High School students and teachers in sampling, data collection, and classroom analysis. The scientific goal for the project centers on an understanding of the high-resolution dynamics of fossil communities during periods of 'stability'. Educationally, we hope that involving classrooms in real paleontological research will result in students and teachers who are more engaged and interested in science. Participation in actual ongoing scientific research is perhaps the ultimate example of this kind of hands-on, inquiry-based involvement.


For more information on the Devonian Seas Project, contact Paul Harnik at (607)273-6623 x22.

The Paleontological Research Institution
1259 Trumansburg Road
Ithaca, NY 14850 phone: 607-273-6623 fax: 607-273-6620
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