Beijing day 1, last day of the Olympics

24 August 2008. Beijing, China

I landed in Beijing International Airport at local time 0410 Sunday. After a long wait, I finally got my bags and headed directly to Xiaoming's mother's apartment to pick up his camping gear.

I arrived at the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP) at approximately 0630; the first of our two field vehicles was packed up and ready to go. We loaded some of the last gear and tools and sent off the first car a few hours ago.

Tomorrow, my odd-numbered vehicle will start for Lanzhou; the reason for splitting the departure times of the vehicles is because of the traffic curfew imposed by Beijing officials during the Olympic Games.

After bringing my luggage into the building, I was ushered by a group of graduate students and professors to watch the men's marathon runners just south of the IVPP. Lots of excitement among the local folks, and even the elders brave the scorching sun to catch a glimpse of atheletic excellence the world has brought to Beijing.

Our field laptop is off with the first car; thus I will probably begin reporting wirelessly in three days.



Day of Departure

Los Angeles, California

The bags are packed, Gabriella is strapped in, and we look ahead to the discoveries and challenges that face us on the roof of the world.

We are not a superstitious bunch, but on the night before my flight, I sat in a Taiwanese boba tea shop, and opened a fortune cookie:

Let good fortune be with our crew, the scientific explorers of the world.


2008 Expedition begins 25 August 2008

After months of planning around unusually high uncertainty, the field vehicles for our 2008 Tibetan Plateau Expedition are slated to roll out of Beijing on Monday, 25 August 2008.

The initial leg of the journey is a 3-day drive to the plateau province of Qinghai. Look for our updates from the field soon!

~The Tibetan Plateau crew


The dire wolf of San Josecito Cave

Dr. Xiaoming Wang talks about the dire wolf (Canis dirus) skeleton on display in the Cenozoic Fossils Hall at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.