Improving the website and permian geology

Website design

I’ve been working out how to streamline the website so that it’s easier to expand and also easier to navigate. The photo-buttons I have up for the Biology and Technology pages just aren’t cutting it I think, which is why I’ve been designing icons to represent these subjects.

The biology button, in full color which indicates that the page can be visited.

The biology button, in full color which indicates that the page can be visited.

The biology button, desaturated, indicating that the page is not yet ready.

The biology button, desaturated, indicating that the page is not yet ready.

The goal is for each core subject to be represented by an icon that is easily identifiable, regardless of language. Initially, many of the buttons will be greyed out while the pages are being constructed but, over time, they will gradually be colored in letting you know when the page is ready. In the future, once the core subject pages are all public, these two different colored versions of the buttons may be used in a mouse-over highlight effect instead, I’m not sure though.

Investigating local geology

Here in central Oklahoma, there aren’t nearly as many fossils or interesting geologic features as elsewhere in the state, or so I thought up until recently…

About a year ago, I found what appears to be bioturbated sandstone on a layer of garber sandstone in the spillway of the largest pond on county line. These are trace fossils of burrows, or possibly plant roots, formed during the permian period (~295mya) when all of this sand was deposited by blowing winds and/or flowing water.

Here is one of the specimens I recovered, with even white lighting and an overhead light in order to demonstrate how difficult it is to see the pattern in the sandstone.

When evenly lit, it appears to be unremarkable sandstone.

When lit at an angle, the patterns become clear.

This finding has gotten me fairly excited about finding fossils locally, something I once thought would never happen. I also intend to create a simulation of the same permian environment this specimen existed in, much like a similar project I was involved in a while back, the carboniferous forest simulation.

Over time, I’ll be doing more research and excavation to see what else may be found at the site and I will keep you up to date.