California, here's to thee...

25 July 2008 Berkeley, California

Today is the last day of my week-long trip in Berkeley. I have wrapped up filming at the Research Station for the Study of Behavior, Ecology, and Reproduction, and photography at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology.

The MVZ boasts one of the largest single collection of wild spotted hyena research specimens in North America; thanks to previous work by Dr. Lawrence Frank, the University of California, Berkeley is a unique place linking the behavior (at the Research Station), morphology (at the MVZ), and evolution (at the UCMP) of bone-cracking predators that I am studying as part of my dissertation.

[Kombo, a 9-year-old female, glances at observing scientists as we prepare the bone feeding experiment]

[Kombo working on a distal humerus of cow]

[Winnie, 14-year-old male, works on a complete cow femur]

This past week represents the longest time I have spent back in Berkeley since leaving the green city for graduate school in 2005; the trip brought back memories of my natal days as an academic-in-training in the Valley Life Sciences Building, the home of the Department of Integrative Biology.

[View from the entrance of the University of California Museum of Paleontology; the same building also houses an outstanding herbarium, science library, and the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology]

During my stay, I also heard news about the grand re-opening of the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. On 27 September 2008, the Academy will re-open the largest natural history museum public exhibits in northern California.

[a model of the HMS Beagle on which Charles Darwin took his maiden journey around the world's oceans from 1831-1836]

CALifornia, here's to thee.



Diana said...

wow, it looks so cute and harmless. this blog is fun!

Zhijie (Jack) said...

They are extremely cute, that's for sure! But they are NOT harmless...they are hunting machines hidden beneath the cuddly exterior.

Spencer said...

University of California Museum of Paleontology

Wait, we have one? ...what are the collections like?