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This book is a picture guide to fossil plants and a few fossil marine organisms found in close association with the coal measures in southwestern Virginia. The fossils are sorted by groups and located as to coal seam horizon and geographic location. Short descriptions of each group of plant types are provided. This publication has been designed for the amateur (rock hound) and also as a virtual guide for the more advanced collector.
Thomas McLoughlin earned a Bachelor of Science from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky. He also has a Master of Science in geology from Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky. He was a geologist and coal mine inspector for 28 years with the US Department of Labor Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), where he collected plant fossils in the coal mines and outcrops (road cuts) in southwestern Virginia. For approximately 26 years, McLoughlin taught introduction to geology courses at colleges in Cumberland, Kentucky, and Wise, Virginia. He started out in geology as a rock hound, collecting rocks, minerals, and fossils. His parents insisted he leave home before it was overtaken by rock samples.