The Paleontology Synthesis Project and Establishing a Framework for Managing National Park Service Paleontological Resource Archives and Data
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The National Park Service Paleontology Program maintains an extensive collection of digital and hard copy documents, publications, photographs and other archives associated with the paleontological resources documented in 268 parks. The organization and preservation of the NPS paleontology archives has been the focus of intensive data management activities by a small and dedicated team of NPS staff. The data preservation strategy complemented the NPS servicewide inventories for paleontological resources. The first phase of the data management, referred to as the NPS Paleontology Synthesis Project, compiled servicewide paleontological resource data pertaining to geologic time, taxonomy, museum repositories, holotype fossil specimens, and numerous other topics. In 2015, the second phase of data management was implemented with the creation and organization of a multi-faceted digital data system known as the NPS Paleontology Archives and NPS Paleontology Library. Two components of the NPS Paleontology Archives were designed for the preservation of both park specific and servicewide paleontological resource archives and data. A third component, the NPS Paleontology Library, is a repository for electronic copies of geology and paleontology publications, reports, and other media. The NPS Paleontology Archives and Library has been an important investment supporting data discovery, current and future resource management, protection, scientific research, curation, education and other activities involving NPS paleontological resources.