Skip to main content.

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
{search_item}

Department of Paleobiology

bar
face
  • Thomas F. Jorstad
  • Paleobiology Information Officer
  • Phone:   202-633-1334
  • Fax:   202-786-2832
  • E-mail Address:   jorstadt
  • Mailing Address:
    Smithsonian Institution
    PO Box 37012, MRC 121
    Washington, DC 20013-7012
  • Shipping Address:
    Smithsonian Institution
    National Museum of Natural History
    10th & Constitution NW
    Washington, DC 20560-0121
bar

Education

M.S., Geology, University of Pittsburgh
B.S., Geology, Northern Illinois University
B.A., Anthropology, Northern Illinois University

Research Interests and Responsibilities

Serve as the Paleobiology Information Officer and provide educational assistance for the general public and outside researchers. I organize and archivally conserve the photographic materials in the Department and am creating a digital library pertaining to the Paleobiology collections, exhibits and Departmental history. I coordinate the Department’s education an outreach activities for the general public including the operation of the Paleobiology Training Program. I serve as the coordinator and primary contact for the volunteer program in the Department.

Geological research and analyses involving geoarchaeology, sedimentology, stratigraphy geomorphology and taphonomy for various geological/archaeological localities. These include analyses and interpretation of the geological and geochemical properties of sediments, as well as core samples, using a variety of tools ranging from X-ray photography, laser particle-size analysis with the Coulter Counter (LS200), Scanning Electron Microscopy (Leica Stereo Scan 440 and Philips XL-30 ESEM), Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) using backscattered (BSI) and secondary (SEI) imaging with a JEOL-JMA-840A high resolution scanning microscope and the Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometry (TIMS) with a Finnegan isotope-ratio mass spectrometer for analyzing lead isotope variations.

Field Work

  • Grand Canyon, Arizona
  • Big Horn Basin, Wyoming
  • Potwar Plateau, Pakistan
  • East Africa Rift Valley, Kenya
  • Nile Delta region, Egypt
  • Calabria region, southern Italy

Publications

Earliest art in the Americas: incised image of a proboscidean on a mineralized extinct animal bone from Vero Beach, Florida, with Barbara A. Purdy, Kevin S. Jones, John Mecholsky, Gerald Bourne, Richard C. Hulbert Jr., Bruce McFadden, Krista L. Church, Michael W. Warren, Dennis J. Stanford, Melvin J. Wachowiak and Robert J. Speakman. Journal of Archaeological Science 38: 2908 – 2913, 2011.

Buried Canopic Channel Identified Near Egypt’s Nile Delta Coast with Radar (SRTM) Imagery, with Jean-Daniel Stanley. Geoarchaeological Research in Egypt and the Nile Valley. A commemorative issue highlighting a selection of research publications online at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/(ISSN)1520-6548

Predynastic Human Presence Discovered by Core Drilling at the Northern Nile Delta Coast, Egypt, with J. D. Stanley, M.P. Bernasconi, D. Stanford and M. Jodry. Geology 36 (8): 599- 602, 2008.

Pelusium, Ancient Port-Fortress on Egypt’s Nile Delta Coast: It’s Evolving Environmental Setting From Foundation to Demise, with J.-D. Stanley and M. P. Bernasconi. Journal of Coastal Research 24 (2): 451 – 462, 2008.

Submergence of Archaeological Sites in Abu Qir Bay, the Result of Long-term Processes plus Catastrophic Events, with Daniel Jean Stanley and G. Schnepp. In Geoarchaeology, Underwater Archaeology in the Canopic Region in Egypt. Oxford: Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology Monograph 2, 23 -57, 2007.

Vibracores in Abu Qir Bay: Description and Analyses, with Daniel Jean Stanley. In Geoarchaeology, Underwater Archaeology in the Canopic Region in Egypt. Oxford: Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology Monograph 2, 87 – 117, 2007.

Alexandria, Egypt, Before Alexander the Great: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach Yields Rich Discoveries, with J.-D. Stanley, R. W. Carlson, G. Van Beek and E. A. Landau. GSA Today 17: 4 – 10, 2007.

Buried Canopic Channel Identified Near Egypt’s Nile Delta Coast with Radar (SRTM) Imagery, with Jean-Daniel Stanley. Geoarchaeology: An International Journal 21(5): 503 – 514, 2006.

Vibracores in Abu Qir Bay: Description and Analyses, with Daniel Jean Stanley. In Geoarchaeology, Underwater Archaeology in the Canopic Region in Egypt. Oxford: Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology Monograph 2, 87 – 117, 2007.

Submergence of Ancient Greek Cities off Egypt’s Nile Delta – A Cautionary Tale, with Daniel Jean Stanley, F. Goddio and G. Schnepp. GSA Today 14: 4 – 10, 2004.

Human Impact on Sediment Mass Movement and Submergence of Ancient Sites in the two harbours of Alexandria, Egypt, with Jean-Daniel Stanley and Franck Goddio, Norwegian Journal of Geology (in press).

Direct Sediment Dispersal from Mountain to Shore, with Bypassing via Three Human-modified Channel Systems to Lake Annecy, SE France, with Daniel Jean Stanley. Journal of Coastal Research, 20(4): 958 -969, 2004.

Finding Buried Treasure. The Curcurbit Network News, Miami, Florida. Published electronically and no longer available online. Fall 2003. (Story involves seeds recovered from sediment cores drilled at the underwater archaeological sites of Heraklion and Eastern Canopus, Egypt).

Iron-Coated Quartz as a Provenance and Paleoclimatic Marker in the Rhone Delta, France, with Jean-Daniel Stanley. Journal of Coastal Research 18(4): 712 - 729, 2002.

Iron-Stained Quartz as a Record of Recent Sediment Reworking by Natural and Anthropogenic Processes, Rio Grande Delta, Texas, with Daniel Jean Stanley and Giovanni Randazzo. Journal of Coastal Research 17(3): 584 - 598, 2001.

Iron-Stained Quartz to Distinguish Holocene Deltaic from Pleistocene Alluvial Deposits in Small Core Samples, with Daniel Jean Stanley and Arghya K.Hait. Journal of Coastal Research 16(2): 357 - 367, 2000.

Looking Into the Ancient Past. International Intergraph Graphic Users Group, Huntsville, Alabama.  Electronically published, 1997.

The Role of GIS in the Interdisciplinary Investigations at Olorgesailie, Kenya, a Pleistocene Archaeological Locality, with R. Potts and D. Cole.  In Anthropology, Space, and Geographic Information Systems, M. Aldenderfer and H.D.G. Maschner, editors.  Oxford University Press 1996.

The Pleistocene Locality of Kanjera, Western Kenya:  Stratigraphy, Chronology and Paleoenvironments, with A.K. Behrensmeyer, R. Potts, T. Plummer, L. Tauxe and N. Opdyke.  Journal of Human Evolution 29:247-274, 1995.

Mapping Human Origins on an Ancient Landscape, with J. Clark.  Professional Surveyor 15(4):10-12, 1995.