Resources > Video: Beyond Mastodons & Mammoths: The Latest Scientific Understanding from the Snowmass Ice Age Discovery

Beyond Mastodons & Mammoths: The Latest Understanding from the Snowmass Ice Age Discovery

Naturalist Nights 2017 | Stephanie Lukoski

What was Snowmass like during the last interglacial period? As a result of the geologic and fossil data collected during the Snowmastodon excavation at the Ziegler Reservoir in 2010-11, scientists were able to reconstruct the ecosystem during the Sangamon interglacial period. Stephanie Lukowski of Snowmass Ice Age Discovery will take an in depth look at the geologic history of the Ziegler Reservoir and the fossil plants and animals featured in the paleoenvironmental reconstruction to explain how the past ecosystem changed in response to the climate of that time.

Stephanie Lukowski grew up in the Chicago area, where as a high school student, she volunteered at the Field Museum of Natural History. She received her Bachelor’s degree in geology from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. Subsequently, she obtained her Master’s degree in vertebrate paleontology from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, in Rapid City, South Dakota. Her graduate research focused on Paleocene-age mammals from the Crazy Mountains Basin in Montana. She has worked extensively in the field, with sites ranging throughout the western United States and Panama as a part of the Panama Canal Project with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the University of Florida. Stephanie is excited to be a part of the Ice Age Discovery Center, and welcomes any questions regarding the discovery in Snowmass, paleontology and geology.

Naturalist Nights are brought to you through a partnership between Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, Wilderness Workshop, and Roaring Fork Audubon.

Thanks to our 2017 community sponsors for making it possible to film the Naturalist Nights series.

0:00 Introduction
0:01 Naturalist Nights In Aspen and Carbondale
15:31 Intermediate slopes, few surface boulders, well-developed soils
19:16 Ziegler Reservoir Stratigraphy
20:49 Rate of Decay for Carbon 14
29:17 Ziegler Reservoir tundra environment
29:24 Pollen Zone 6 (138 ka)
36:03 Ziegler Reservoir forest environment
46:15 Marine Isotope Stages and the Deposition of the Ziegler Reservoir Site
50:43 77ka Cooler drier conditions Former lake completes its transition to a wet meadow of fir, spruce and pine mixed with sagebrush
55:59 Ziegler Reservoir Fossil Site is unique because of the plant and animal diversity, elevation in Rocky Mountains, time during the Ice Age, and preservation

Stephanie Lukowski, Paleontologist, Snowmass Ice Age Discovery Center

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