Put down the laser and pick up a camera! In the lab, Holly packs essential gear to collect a photogrammetry dataset using scale bars, Munsell charts and, oh yeah, she's gonna GoPro it. (Photo: NDP)
This post will kick off a series running for the next week that will provide live updates on our lab's joint expedition to the Atacama Region of Chile. This research builds on collaborative field work in this region that has been ongoing since 2009, and this will be the fifth field season where the Smithsonian has been involved. (Dig through this blog's archives, under the "Chile" and "Cerro Ballena" tags to read more).
As I write, 3D digitization guru Holly Little is currently en-route to Chile. She is representing the Smithsonian side, and after touching down in Chile later this morning, she will fly to Copiapó, and rendezvous with Dr. Carolina Gutstein and other Chilean members of the Universidad de Chile Red Paleontológica team. Caro et al. have just arrived with the field trucks on the long drive up from Santiago, and are probably relaxing under a cool South Pacific evening breeze.
Together, this group will collect a massive photogrammetry dataset on Cerro Ballena, as it looks today (and to compare it with our datasets from 2011) And, then the team will roll southwards, prospecting for new localities off the South American fossil highway. (I also bet there will be some good food, too). Check back here for Holly's dispatches, where she will share the adventure and also follow along on Facebook and Twitter (@PyensonLab).
Right next to the Archives Metro station is the US Navy Memorial. Look carefully and you can see El Morro near Caldera; the cleat-like Mejillones Peninsula; and then up to Peru, near Pisco with the Paracas Peninsula; and then the Illescas Peninsula. Holly's flight also crosses over the Piña locality in Panama too! (Photo: NDP).