Earth Sciences in Mongolia

Earth Sciences doctoral students John Graf and Thomas Adams, who provided the reports for this blog, along with Professor Louis L. Jacobs, are traveling to Mongolia as a part of a multi-international dinosaur expedition hosted by the city of Hwaseong in the Republic of Korea. The purpose of the project is to discover, collect and study dinosaur fossils from the Gobi desert in Mongolia, which is one of the most important dinosaur localities in the world.
In addition to SMU researchers, the multinational team includes researchers from Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM) and Paleontological Center, Mongolian Academy of Sciences and the University of Alberta, Canada. The project will be augmented each year by additional researchers from countries including the United States, Canada, Japan and China.

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On the road

Sept%205.jpg We made it north of Baruunbayan before breaking for camp last night. This morning we will continue our trek without the big trucks, which run slower and will take their time getting back to the city.

We stopped along the way at a ger to have lunch. A ger is a traditional Mongolian dwelling from the times before Genghis-khaan and is more effective in rough Mongolian weather. Gers are easy to put up. A latticework forms the wall, and supports the long roof poles, which come together at the central ring. Layers of felt are draped over the frame, and covered with white cotton. Several ropes hold everything together. In winter more layers of felt are added for warmth, while in summer the bottom of the covers may be turned up for extra ventilation. A simple stove heats the ger, fueled by firewood or animal dung. The interiors are brightly colored and filled with simple furnishings.

We arrived in Ulaan Bataar by late evening and checked into the Bayan Gol Hotel.

(In photo: John Graf and Louis Jacobs enjoying the comforts inside a ger.)

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