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Lasting over 100 million years, the early Mesozoic (252 to 145 Ma) is punctuated by two of the largest mass extinctions of the Phanerozoic (Permo-Triassic and Triassic-Jurassic) plus several smaller events. It witnessed the appearance of the modern biota including mammals, turtles and birds, the ascent of the dinosaurs, and spans a time of dramatic climate changes on the continents. Some of the richest repositories of the history of these events lie in the giant, largely continental and paralic, epicontinental basins of the southwestern United States that are famously exposed on the Colorado Plateau and environs. A focused scientific drilling program, the Colorado Plateau Coring Project (CPCP) addresses major, outstanding issues of early Mesozoic chronology, paleogeography, paleoclimate, and biotic evolution, including mass extinctions, that are relevant to the themes of interactions between environmental change and major events in the history of life, as well as the context for understanding anthropogenic climate and biodiversity crises.

We invite researchers from the international scientific community with experience and interest in these, as well as related topics, such as borehole instrumentation, drilling techniques, and geoinformatics, to participate in a CPCP workshop in Albuquerque, New Mexico on May 8 to May 11, to prepare a plan for support to continuously core Mesozoic strata on (and off) the Colorado Plateau.

Those interested in participating, should visit
for more information, complete an application (from the website), and submit it to John Geissman, Univ. New Mexico ( by March 1, 2009. We especially encourage young scientists, graduate students, and industry representatives.

The conveners, John Geissman (Univ. New Mexico USA), Gerhard Bachmann (Martin-Luther-Univ. Halle, DE), Ronald Blakey, (North. Arizona Univ. USA), Dennis Kent (Rutgers Univ., USA), Wolfram Kürschner (Univ. Utrecht NL), Paul Olsen (LDEO USA), Jingeng Sha (Nanjing Inst. Geology & Paleo., CN), will inform those selected to participate.

Funded by the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP) & US National Science Foundation (NSF).