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Title: Pollen Detective (15 minutes)
Producer: Gary Hochman

“I guess you could compare looking for pollen with the old joke about looking for a needle in a haystack. And basically what we do in the field is pick out the likely
looking haystacks.”

–Peg Bolick

Peg Bolick

University of Nebraska palynologist Peg Bolick is allergic to almost every type of pollen she studies. Peg seeks clues about microscopic pollen in the air we breathe as she collects daily pollen counts for physicians, but her passion is detecting clues to the ancient past left by pollen in the remains of fossil animals. Peg takes viewers for a behind-the-scenes look at a fossil excavation with paleontologist Mike Voorhies and then back to her lab to show how fossil deposits yield microscopic pollen in an amazing variety of sizes and shapes that indicate prehistoric environments.


Introduction to the Video

Peg Bolick is a detective. Not the kind you usually think of.

You gotta take a look at this with the magnification.

Her prey isn't a dangerous criminal. But it is dangerous to some people. Pollen is her seldom seen prey. And she looks for it in all sorts of unusual places.

You go around and you get all the little pieces of evidence and then you put it together and it makes a nice picture.

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 9909496.
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and
do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation (NSF).