ORONO – Lions, tigers and bears, oh my! One UMaine Assistant Professor is looking at all prehistoric artifacts to determine if we can survive another Ice Age.
Why take a vacation to California if you can see and smell a little piece of it right here in Maine.
“This looks like a lump of rocks and soil but its stuck together through natural asphalt, so if you smell it, it smells like a road” said Assistant Professor Jacquelyn Gill.
Gill and her students are working with the University of California to uncover plants and animals that have been preserved in tar pits from the Ice Age. They’re hoping through their research, they can have a better understanding on surviving climate change. Gill said, “If you take certain pieces out, how much can we do that before something becomes more vulnerable?”
By looking at what animals and plants survived the ice age thousands of years ago, we can predict what humans and animals may need if we are to ever see an extreme change in this lifetime.
“We ave a lot of survivors, like squirrels and rabbits. Those persisted through the change, so one thing we want to understand is what makes some species vulnerable while others are ok” said Gill.
And they want local kids to get involved as well, they’re looking for middle school and high school students to help become interested in ecology.