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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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Department of Paleobiology

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  • Dan C. Chaney
  • Research Assistant, Fossil Plants
  • Phone:   202-633-1315
  • Fax:   202-786-2832
  • E-mail Address:   chaneyd
  • 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
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Education

M.S. University of California, Riverside, 1988
B.S. University of California, Riverside, 1978

Research Interests and Responsibilities

Museum Specialist, with an emphasis on research, provide assistance to the permanent and visiting scientists.  I work primarily with William DiMichele aiding him in is research goals of understanding the history and evolution of plant community structure through time.  Our “laboratory� is the Upper Paleozoic (Pennsylvanian and Permian 320- 250 mybp) depositional basins in the northern hemisphere.  This is a time when the earth from a warm period into a glacial event and back to a warmer interval.  North America was moving north ward across the equatorial belt.  The interest is to understand how changing latitude and global climate affected or how the plant communities responded to these changes.

Publications support: The documentation of the data – the fossils themselves – requires that they be photographed for several reasons, the most important of which is for publications not only for other researches but for inclusion in books for students and the public at large. Presently the vast majority of this work is done with digital photography.  Where micro-structures are present and important to the understanding of the nature of the plants images of these features are obtained using a scanning electron microscope.  Graphics to illustrate scientific facts and interpretations play a very important roll in presenting data in a variety of different ways the goal being to clarify complex data sets or in the case of illustrations clarify photographs – which may not show the important features clearly.

Collection Management and Conservation: A collection that has no associated data – such at where, when, who, and why it was collected makes the collection almost useless to the research scientist.  So the data about each specimen is put in a searchable database. The museum specialist is also intimately involved with unpacking specimens when they come in from the field.  This is where the fist rough identifications are made and numbers which tie the specimens to field notes and the associated data are attached to the specimens. This is also when the specimens are evaluated for special conservation needs.  When exhibits are in the planning and construction state there is great reliance on the museum technician to prepare specimens for inclusion in an exhibit
Field Work – Obviously none of the above could be possible with out bringing new specimens into the collections.  This is important because scientific thoughts and approaches evolve and new material must be collected by means and with new data to answer these questions.  Field work is by far and way the most interesting part of my responsibilities.

Research Links

Pella Lycopod Tree 
A block of rock weighing in at 16.5 tons which contained part of the crown of a Lycopod tree was obtained by the National Museum of Natural History in 2005.  It is my responsibility to reduce the weight of this block to less than 4 tons so that it can be move from out side into an exhibit hall.

Professional Societies

  • Botanical Society of America
  • Geological Society of America
  • International Organization of Palaeobotany
  • Society for Sedimentary Geology
  • Paleontological Society
  • Society of Vertebrate Paleontology

Awards

  • Remey and Remy Paleobotanical Paper of the Year 2005 award, Botanical Society of America.

Professional Service

  • Session Chairman Annual Meetings, Society of Vertebrate Paleontology 1984-1991
  • Morris F. Skinner Award Nominating Committee, Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. 1988-1990
  • Auction Committee and Auctioneer, Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Annual Meetings 1987-Present
  • Auction Committee and Auctioneer, Paleobotanical Section, Biological Society of America. 1998-present
  • Membership Committee, Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections. 1988-1989.
  • Paleobiology: Editorial assistant 2001 – 2002

Field Work

  • Pleistocene coral reefs, Barbados
  • Miocene vertebrates, Siwaliks,  Pakistan
  • Cenozoic Mammals western USA (California, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Wyoming).
  • Cenozoic plants Ecuador, South America.
  • Early Cenozoic Mammals, northern China.
  • Cretaceous and Early Cenozoic animals and plants James Ross Basin, Antarctic Peninsula.
  • Early Permian vertebrates USA (New Mexico and Texas).
  • Late Carboniferous and Early Permian plants USA (Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming).
  • Early Permian plants Mengkarang Formation; Sumatra, Indonesia

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Publications

Byers, Bruce A., Ash, Sidney R., Chaney, Dan and DeSoto, Lucía. 2014. First known fire scar on a fossil tree trunk provides evidence of Late Triassic wildfire, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 411:180-187

Lucas, Spencer G., Lerner, Allan J., DiMichele, William A., Cantrell, Amanda K., Suazo, Thomas L. and Chaney, Dan S. 2014. "Geology of the Sacramento Mountains Region". Pp. 311-314 in Xiphosurid fossils from the Pennsylvanian Beeman formation, Otero County, New Mexico ().

DiMichele, William A., Cecil, C. B., Chaney, D. S., Elrick, S. D. and Nelson, W. J. 2014. "Fossil floras from the Pennsylvanian-Permian Cutler Group of southeastern Utah". Pp. 491-504 in Geology of Utah's Far South ().

Stull, Gregory W., Labandeira, Conrad C., Dimichele, William A. and Chaney, Dan S. 2013. The "Seeds" on Padgettia readi are Insect Galls: Reassignment of the Plant to Odontopteris, the Gall to Ovofoligallites N. Gen., and the Evolutionary Implications Thereof, Journal of Paleontology, 87(2):217-231

Lucas, Spencer G., Nelson, W. J., DiMichele, William A., Krainer, Karl, Barrick, James E., Voigt, Sebastian, Chaney, Dan S., Elrick, Scott and Spielmann, Justin A. 2013. Field guide to the Carboniferous-Permian transition in the Cerros de Amado and vicinity, Socorro County, Central New Mexico, New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Bulletin, 59:39-76

Lucas, Spencer G., Krainer, Karl, Chaney, Dan S., DiMichele, William A., Voigt, Sebastian, Berman, David S. and Henrici, Amy C. 2013. The Lower Permian Abo Formation in Central New Mexico, New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Bulletin, 59:161-180

Tabor, Neil J., Romanchock, Charles M., Looy, Cynthia V., Hotton, Carol L., Dimichele, William A. and Chaney, Dan S. 2013. Conservatism of Late Pennsylvanian vegetational patterns during short-term cyclic and long-term directional environmental change, western equatorial Pangea, Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 376:201-234

DiMichele, William A., Chaney, Dan S., Lucas, Spencer G., Kerp, Hans and Voigt, Sebastian. 2013. Flora of the Lower Permian Abo Formation redbeds, western equatorial Pangea, New Mexico, New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Bulletin, 59:265-288

Tabor, Neil J., DiMichele, William A., Montañez, Isabel P. and Chaney, Dan S. 2013. Late Paleozoic continental warming of a cold tropical basin and floristic change in western Pangea, International Journal of Coal Geology, 119:177-186

Lucas, S. G., Krainer, K., Chaney, Dan S., DiMichele, William A., Voigt, S., Berman, D. S. and Henrici, A. C. 2012. "The Lower Permian Abo Formation in the Fra Cristobal and Caballo Mountains, Sierra County, New Mexico". Pp. 345-376 in Geology of the Warm Springs Region: New Mexico Geological Society 63rd Annual Field Conference Guidebook (Lucas, S. G., McLemore, V. T., Lueth, V. W., Spielmann, J. A. and Krainer, K.). New Mexico Geological Society

Lucas, Spencer G., Harris, Susan K., Spielmann, Justin A., Berman, David S., Henrici, Amy C., Krainer, Karl, Rinehart, Larry F., Dimichele, William A., Chaney, Dan S. and Kerp, Hans. 2012. Lithostratigraphy, Paleontology, Biostratigraphy, and Age of the Upper Paleozoic Abo Formation Near Jemez Springs, Northern New Mexico, Usa, Annals of Carnegie Museum, 80(4):323-350

Falcon-Lang, Howard J., Jud, Nathan A., Nelson, W. John, DiMichele, William A., Chaney, Dan S. and Lucas, Spencer G. 2011. Pennsylvanian coniferopsid forests in sabkha facies reveal the nature of seasonal tropical biome, Geology, 39(4):371-374

DiMichele, William A., Looy, Cindy V. and Chaney, Dan S. 2011. A New Genus of Gigantopterid from the Middle Permian of the United States and China and its Relevance to the Gigantopterid Concept, International journal of plant sciences, 172(1):107-119

DiMichele, William A., Cecil, C. B., Chaney, Dan S., Elrick, Scott D., Lucas, Spencer G., Lupia, Richard, Nelson, W. J. and Tabor, Neil J. 2011. "Pennsylvanian-Permian vegetational changes in tropical Euramerica". Pp. 60-102 in Geology of the Pennsylvanian-Permian in the Dunkard Basin. Guidebook for the 76th Annual Field Conference of Pennsylvania Geologists (Harper, John A.). Field Conference of Pennsylvania Geologists, Inc.

Wang, J. and Chaney, Dan S. 2010. A re-examination of the type specimens of Yuania H.C. Sze 1953 and its junior synonym Russellites Mamay 1968 (Noeggerathiales), Taxon, 59(2):517-524

DiMichele, William A., Chaney, Dan S., Kerp, Hans and Lucas, Spencer G. 2010. Late Pennsylvanian floras in Western Equatorial Pangea, Cañon del Cobre, New Mexico, New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin, 49:75-113

Chaney, Dan S. 2009. "A brief overview of the Geology, Taphonomy, and Paleoenvironment of the Jacona Microfauna (Miocene, Late Barstovian), Pojoaque Member, Tesuque Formation, North Central New Mexico". Pp. 185-196 in Papers on Geology, Vertebrate Paleontology, and Biostratigraphy in Honor of Michael O. Woodburne. Museum of Northern Arizona Bulletin 65 (Albright, I. I.).

Lerner, A. J., Lucas, Spencer G., Spielmann, J. A., Krainer, K., DiMichele, William A., Chaney, Dan S., Schneider, J. W., Nelson, W. John and Ivanov, Anton B. 2009. The biota and paleoecology of the Upper Pennsylvanian (Missourian) Tinajas Locality, Socorro County, New Mexico, New Mexico Geological Society 60th Field Conference Guidebook, :267-280

Lucas, Spencer G., DiMichele, William A., Krainer, K., Chaney, Dan S. and Spielmann, J. A. 2009. A coal-measure forest near Socorro, New Mexico, New Mexico Geological Society 60th Field Conference Guidebook, :235-242

Chaney, Dan S., Mamay, Serguis H., DiMichele, William A. and Kerp, Hans. 2009. Auritifolia gen. nov., Probable Seed Plant Foliage with Comioid Affinities from the Early Permian of Texas, U.S.A, International journal of plant sciences, 170(2):247-266

Mamay, Serguis H., Chaney, Dan S. and DiMichele, William A. 2009. Comia, a seed plant possibly of peltaspermous affinity: a brief review of the genus and description of two new species from the Early Permian (Artinskian) of Texas, C. greggii sp. nov. and C. craddockii sp. nov, International journal of plant sciences, 170(2):267-282

DiMichele, William A., Chaney, Dan S., Nelson, W. J., Lucas, Spencer G., Looy, C. V., Quick, K. and Jun, Wang. 2007. A low diversity, seasonal tropical landscape dominated by conifers and peltasperms: Early Permian Abo Formation, New Mexico, Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 145:249-273

Chaney, Dan S. and DiMichele, William A. 2007. Paleobotany of the classic redbeds (Clear Fork Group - Early Permian) of north central Texas, Proceedings of the XVth International Congress on Carboniferous and Permian Stratigraphy, 1:357-366

DiMichele, William A., Tabor, N. J., Chaney, Dan S. and Nelson, W. J. 2006. "From wetlands to wet spots: Environmental tracking and the fate of Carboniferous elements in Early Permian tropical floras". Pp. 223-248 in Wetlands trough time: Geological Society of America Special Paper 399 (Greb, S. F. and DiMichele, William A.). Geological Society of America

DiMichele, William A., Tabor, N. J. and Chaney, Dan S. 2005. Outcrop-scale Environmental Heterogeneity and Vegetational Complexity in the Permo-Carboniferous Markley Formation of north-central Texas, The Nonmarine Permian.New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin., 30:60-66

DiMichele, William A., Van Konijnenburg-Van Cittert, H. A., Looy, C. V. and Chaney, Dan S. 2005. Equisetites from the Early Permian of north-central Texas, The Nonmarine Permian.New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin., 30:56-59

Chaney, Dan S., Sues, Hans-Dieter and DiMichele, William A. 2005. A juvenile skeleton of the nectridean amphibian Diplocaulus and associated flora and fauna from the Mitchell Creek Flats locality (upper Waggoner Ranch Formation; Early Permian), Baylor County, north-central Texas, USA, The Nonmarine Permian.New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin., 30:39-47

Waveren, I. M., Hasibuan, F., Suyoko, Makmur, de Boer, P. L., Chaney, Dan S., Ueno, K., Booi, M., Iskandar, E. P. A., King, I., de Leeuw, J. H. V. M. and van Konijnenburg-van Cittert, J. H. A. 2005. Taphonomy, palaeobotany and sedimentology of the Mengkarang Formation (Early Permian, Jambi, Sumatra, Indonesia, The Nonmarine Permian.New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin., 30:333-341

DiMichele, William A., Kerp, H., Krings, M. and Chaney, Dan S. 2005. The Permian Peltasperm Radiation: Evidence from the Southwestern United States, The Nonmarine Permian.New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin., 30:67-79

Hannibal, J. T., Lucas, Spencer G., Lerner, A. J. and Chaney, Dan S. 2005. An eurypterid (Adelophthalmus sp.) from a plant-rich lacustrine facies of Upper Pennsylvanian strata in El Cobre Canyon, The Permian of Central New Mexico.New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin., 31:34-38

DiMichele, William A. and Chaney, Dan S. 2005. Pennsylvanian-Permian fossil floras from the Cutler Group, Cañon del Cobre and Arroyo del Agua areas, in northern New Mexico, The Permian of Central New Mexico.New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin., 31:27-33

DiMichele, William A., Hans, Kerp and Chaney, Dan S. 2004. "Tropical floras of the Late Pennsylvanian-Early Permian transition: Carrizo Arroyo in context". Pp. 105-110 in Carboniferous-Permian Transition at Carrizo Arroyo, Central New Mexico (Lucas, Spencer G. and Zeigler, K. E.). New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin 25

DiMichele, William A., Hook, R. W., Nelson, W. J. and Chaney, Dan S. 2004. An Unusual Middle Permain Flora from the Blaine Formation (Pease River Group: Leonardian-Guadalupian Series) of King County, West Texas, Journal of Paleontology, 78:765-782

Albright, B. M., Woodburne, O., Case, Judd A. and Chaney, Dan S. 2003. A Leatherback Sea turtle from the Eocene of Antarctica: Implications for the antiquity of Gigantothermy in Dermochelyidae, Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 23:945-949

DiMichele, William A., Mamay, Serguis H., Chaney, Dan S., Hook, R. W. and Nelson, J. W. 2001. An Early Permian Flora with Late Permian and Mesozoic Affinities from North-Central Texas, Journal of Paleontology, 75:449-460

Case, Judd A., Martin, James E., Chaney, Dan S., Reguero, Marcelo, Marenssi, Sergio A., Santillana, Sergio M. and Woodburne, Michael O. 2000. The First Duck-Billed Dinosaur (Family Hadrosauridae) from Antarctica, Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 20:612-614

DiMichele, William A., Chaney, Dan S., Dixon, W. H., Nelson, W. J. and Hook, R. W. 2000. An Early Permian Coastal Flora from the Central Basin Platform of Gaines County, West Texas, Palaios, 15:524-534

Korth, W. W. and Chaney, Dan S. 1999. A New Subfamily of Geomyoid Rodents (Mammalia) and a Possible Origin of Geomyidea, Journal of Paleontology, 73:1191-1200

DiMichele, William A., Eble, C. F. and Chaney, Dan S. 1996. A Drowned Lycopsid Forest above the Mahoning Coal (Conemaugh Group, Upper Pennsylvanian) in Eastern Ohio, U.S.A, International Journal of Coal Geology, 31:249-276

Shelton, Sally Y. and Chaney, Dan S. 1994. "Polymeric Adhesives and Consolidants Recommended for the Conservation of Fossil Vertebrates". Pp. 35-45 in Vertebrate Paleontology Techniques vol. I: Methods of Obtaining and Preparing Information (Luggi, P. and May, P.). Springer-Verlag

Goodwin, M. B. and Chaney, Dan S. 1994. "Molding and Casting: Techniques and Materials". Pp. 235-271 in Vertebrate Paleontology Techniques vol. I: Methods of Obtaining and Preparing Information (Luggi, P. and May, P.). Springer-Verlag

Fitzgerald, G. R., Chaney, Dan S. and Shepard, K. M. 1992. "Storage System For Large Objects Using Form-Fitted Support Pallets and Pallet Racking. pages 91-94". Pp. 91-94 in Workbook for the Storage of Natural History Collections (Rose, Carolyn L. and Amparo, R. de Torres). Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections

Chaney, Dan S. 1992. "Encapsulating Supports for Large Three Dimensional fragile Specimens". Pp. 95-98 in Workbook for the Storage of Natural History Collections (Rose, Carolyn L. and Amparo, R. de Torres). Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections

Chaney, Dan S. and Mark, Goodwin. 1989. R.T.V. Silicone Rubber Compounds Used for Molding Fossil Vertebrate Specimens: A Comparison, Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 9:471-473

Chaney, Dan S. 1989. Hand-Held Mechanical Preparation Tools, Paleontological Society Special Publication, 4:192-209

Chaney, Dan S. 1989. Mold Making with Room Temperature Vulcanizing Rubber, Paleontological Society Special Publication, 4:289-309

Woodburne, M. O., Case, J. A. and Chaney, Dan S. 1988. New Fossil Vertebrates from Seymour Island, Antarctic Peninsula. 1987 Review 22(5):4-5, Antarctic Journal of the United States 1987 Review, 22(5):4-5

Case, J. A., Woodburne, M. O. and Chaney, Dan S. 1988. A New Genus of Polydolopid Marsupial from Antarctica, Geological Society of America Memoir, 169:505-522

Chaney, Dan S. 1988. Techniques Used in Collecting Fossil Vertebrates on the Antarctic Peninsula, Geological Society of America Memoir, 169:21-24

Case, J. A., Woodburne, M. O. and Chaney, Dan S. 1987. A Gigantic Phororhacoid(?) Bird from Antarctica, Journal of Paleontology, 61:1280-1284

Chaney, Dan S. 1986. Bones for Barnum Brown. Adventures of a Dinosaur Hunter, Journal of Earth Sciences History, 5(2):178

Chaney, Dan S. 1986. Sodium Polytungstate, A Safe Heavy Liquid, News Bulletin, 137:52-53

Chaney, Dan S. 1985. Hot Glue Gun, News Bulletin, 134:57

Chaney, Dan S. 1985. PMC-724 Urethane Elastomer (Molding Compound), News Bulletin, 134:57-58

Chaney, Dan S. 1981. RTV-700 Molding Compound, News Bulletin, 122:58-59