In order to enhance the capability of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) geologists in conducting paleontological analysis using foraminifera, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Central Office (MGB-CO), using the Microsoft Teams as the virtual platform, organized a five-day virtual training on paleontological analysis using foraminifera from 2021. August 16-20. This was participated by select participants from the MGB-CO and MGB Regional Offices. Multiple exercises were done by the participants to apply the topics discussed by the resource speakers. The training lectures were given by Dr. Leopoldo P. De Silva, Jr. of the University of the Philippines – National Institute of Geological Sciences (UP-NIGS) and Dr. Maybellyn A. Zepeda, OIC-Chief of the Lands Geological Survey Division (LGSD) of MGB-CO.
The training started with Dr. De Silva giving a general overview on what foraminifera are. The first, second, and third day focused on the small benthic forams (SBF), large benthic forams (LBF), and planktonic foraminifera, respectively. Dr. De Silva presented to the participants the relevant foraminifera species in the Philippine setting. The fourth day of the training focused on biostratigraphy, which is the characterization of rock units based on fossil content. Dr. Zepeda lectured on Cretaceous to Paleogene planktonic forams present in the Philippines.
Exercises prepared by the MGB-CO were answered by the geologist-participants on the afternoon sessions of Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3. These exercises helped the participants apply the learnings they acquired from the lectures given by the resource speaker. These were then presented in the last day of the training where Dr. De Silva commended the outputs of the participants.
The training greatly helped the participants to be familiar with the numerous forams that could be found in the Philippines. It further emphasized that smaller fossils are just as important as the bigger ones (e.g., dinosaurs, mammoth). All fossils aid us in mapping out how life evolved across geologic time and in picturing out how past geologic events shaped the Earth’s present configuration.