(Ocean Drilling Program Microfossil Reference Centres)

What is the ODP MRC program?
The concept of the MRC program is that representative sets of microfossil slides should be prepared and made available at centres around the world. They are intended for reference study for example to:
For the MRC program representative sets of samples are identified for each DSDP and ODP site and multiple preparations are made for: foraminifers, radiolarians, diatoms and calcareous nannofossils. Full sets of all these collections are held at the 5 main collections, in the Smithsonian, Texas A&M, Basel Museum, Tokyo Science Museum and IGNS New Zealand (see table for contacts and addresses)
For more information see ODP Site

NEW ODP Nannofossil Reference Centres in 1998
In 1998 there was some re-organisation of the ODP Microfossil Reference centres and as result three additional nannofossil collections became available and bids were formally invited for hosts for them. Not surprisingly many centres of nannofossil research applied for these but the end result was that the collections were assigned to the Florida State University, Tallahassee, Universitá di Parma, and The Natural History Museum, London.
The nannofossil MRCs will only have nannofossil collections and will play roles in developing the nannofossil collection. This is intended to include - preparation of further sample sets (both FSU and Parma have made commitments in this area); enhancement of database information on the MRC sample sets (In particular adding information on the nannofossil assemblages in the slides); identifying and preparing additional sample sets of special value for nannofossil research (e.g. topotype samples, samples with exceptional nannofossil preservation); promotion of use of the nannofossil MRCs. The Nebraska and FSU sites both have diatom MRC collections as well as the nannofossils.

Who can use the collections?
Anyone, a basic condition of ODP providing MRC collections is that they should be freely available to the scientific community. Obviously, though the relevant host scientists should be contacted before visiting the centres. Also note that the collections cannot be loaned, only studied at the host institutes.

What material is in the nannofossil MRCs?
The following sets of slides
1. 3070 slides from DSDP Legs 1-40, Sites 1-362. This sample set has been entirely prepared, is held in all nannofossil MRCs and a full listing of samples is available on the WWW. Many of these preparations are of rather poor quality and are only suitable for reconnaisance work (checking the potential of samples), not for research or training.

2. Approx. 2400 nannofossil preparations from Legs DSDP40 to ODP181 - these are all of good quality and ideal for research or training work. Legs 40-76 are covered in detail, for subsequent legs only sites of particular interest are included, although more are in preparation. Databasing of these has now been completed, and in particular nannofossil zonal assignments, based on data from the DSDP and ODP report volumes, has now been given for all these samples. Also abundance and preservation data where available. This information will be converted into an online database but is directly available in an excel file.

Credits: the slides have been produced by Annika Sanfillipo at La Jolla, Dave Watkins at Nebraska University, Barbara Donner at Bremen University, Woody Wise and Matthew Curren at Florida State University, and Giuliana Villa at Parma University - with the invaluable help of numerous students and support staff. Data compilation by Jeremy Young (NHM), greatly asisted by vounteer Francis Quesada.

Details of nannofossil samples (including leg and site summaries): Excel format, this file was produced in June 2004, it includes nannofossil zone data for all slides from Leg 41 onwards.
Bibliographic data for nannofossil related chapters in DSDP/ODP report volumes (from database of Laurel Bybell, USGS)

Regular ODP MRC Collections
U.S. East Coast Smithsonian Inst Dr. Brian Huber huber.brian@nmnh.si.edu ALL
U.S. Gulf Coast Ocean Drilling Program Dr. John Firth john_firth@odp.tamu.edu ALL
Western Europe Natural History Museum, Basel Dr. Michael Knappertsbusch knappertsbus@ubaclu.unibas.ch ALL
Japan National Science Museum, Tokyo Dr. Yoshihiro Tanimura tanimura@kahaku.go.jp ALL
New Zealand Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences, Ltd., Lower Hutt" Dr. Percy Strong p.strong@gns.cri.nz ALL
Nannofossil Satellite ODP MRC Collections
US Mid West University of Nebraska, U.S.A Dr. David Watkins dwatkins@unl.edu Nannos & diatoms
Italy Universitá degli Studi di Parma, Italy" Dr. Giuliana Villa geol01@ipruniv.cce.unipr.it Nannos
US South East Florida State University, Tallahassee, USA Dr. Sherwood W. Wise, Jr., and Dr. Thomas Janacek wise@gly.fsu.edu Nannos & diatoms
UK The Natural History Museum, London Giles Miller g.miller@nhm.ac.uk Nannos

The "logo" used here is an unofficial modification ofthe ODP logo, which depicts the JOIDES Resolution. In this version the drill string is depicted as recovering a large coccolith, as seen in profile.