Although the term "museum" usually evokes a vision of long halls lined with exhibits, the University of California Museum of Paleontology is more like a library representing more than a billion years of life on Earth. It is an active center of research, housing one of the nation's largest fossil collections as well as state-of-the-art facilities for the study of these fossils. Research focuses on fields related to paleontology, including systematics and evolution of protists, plants and animals; biostratigraphy; paleoecology; paleoceanography; paleobiogeography; and paleoenvironmental analysis. One can browse individual faculty web pages for more specific information on current research interests, or visit the Information Exchange page to find out more through publications and on-line discussions. There is extensive online information and exhibits covering phylogenetics, geology, and evolution, as well as a virtual tour of the Museum. Weekend short courses are offered, and online K-12 resources include Understanding Evolution, Explorations Through Time, Learning from the Fossil Record, ISTAT Digital Curriculum Guide, and PaleoPortal, providing access to high-quality North American paleontology resources on the Internet.

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