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2 July 2015

Darjeeling: 38 killed and 23 missing in landslides

Yesterday heavy monsoon rainfall triggered at least 25 landslides in Darjeeling, northern India, killing at least 38 people.

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Sol 1032: Lots of Contact Science!

Phew! Today was a busy day on Mars! Ken and I were both on operations today, picking up where Lauren left off yesterday. Ken was helping with ChemCam science in the geology and mineralogy (GeoMin) theme group, and I was the GeoMin Keeper of the Plan (KOP). We started off the day admiring the beautiful images from the sol 1031 “dog’s-eye view” mosaic of the ledge near the target “Missoula”. …

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1 July 2015

CUR Quarterly – a journal for undergraduate research mentors

“Council on Undergraduate Research Quarterly [CUR Quarterly]… provides useful and inspiring information about student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship from all types of institutions.”

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An updated landslide density map from the Nepal earthquakes from the EWF project

The EWF project has published a revised map showing landslide density for the Nepal earthquakes in April and May.

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Sol 1031: A Dog’s Eye View at Missoula

  By Lauren Edgar  Today we planned some MAHLI imaging along the contact near the “Missoula” target (the ledge in the upper left portion of this Navcam image).  We refer to it as a dog’s eye mosaic, meaning that we use the MAHLI camera to take a series of images along a vertical face – essentially sticking our nose in there to get a good view.  Hopefully it will provide …

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30 June 2015

Araniko Highway in Nepal: landslide problems in the monsoon

The Araniko Highway is the main route that links Nepal with Tibet. In the wake of the recent earthquake it is facing major landslide problems in the monsoon

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Sol 1030: Bumping to Missoula

  By Lauren Edgar Curiosity is still investigating the contact between the Pahrump and Stimson units.  Over the weekend, Curiosity acquired MAHLI images on a coarse-grained rock named “Big Arm” (above).  The goal today is to characterize some of the veins that occur above and below the contact, and then bump towards a target named “Missoula” to assess the contact at that location.  The plan today includes ChemCam observations of …

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Disintegration of Pramecou Glacier, France

Pramecou Glacier is on the Dome de Pramecou above the Grande Motte Glacier, which is a key portion of the Tignes Ski area in France. The Grande Motte area is open for summer skiing this year from June 27th to Aug. 9th. The glaciated landscape in this area is changing dramatically, Gardent and Deline, (2011) noted a 33% loss in glacier area since the 1960’s. The Tignes Ski area has responded by …

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29 June 2015

FAQ – Working with the Media: Part III – Avoiding missteps and pitfalls

This is the third in a three-part series answering scientists’ frequently-asked questions about working with the media. This FAQ series accompanies the Working with the Media webinar, offered by AGU’s Sharing Science program on May 29. Read part one and part two.

1. What are some common pitfalls when working with the media and how can I avoid them?

Common Pitfall #1: Getting into the weeds. Focus on the bigger picture. Prepare your top three key messages ahead of time and practice delivering them to a mirror, to a friend, over the phone, etc. During the interview, bring the conversation back to your key messages. Then, keep coming back to them. Communicating in simple, repeated messages is not a natural skill for many scientists, but it is a critical skill for any speaker. Often, audiences need to hear ideas repeated before they will remember them. For more on this, read “How much detail should I go into when talking with reporters” in Part II of the FAQ.

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Beijing quadrupled in size in a decade, new study finds

A new study shows that Beijing quadrupled in physical extent between 2000 and 2009. The new buildings alone — not including the impacts of additional city dwellers and their cars — increased heat and changed wind and pollution patterns in a ring around Beijing.

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Daning River landslide: a video that is purported to show the failure event

CCTV has uploaded a video onto Youtube that reportedly shows the Daning River landslide in China last week as failure occurred

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28 June 2015

Sols 1027-1029: Resuming tactical operations

  Mars has passed through solar conjunction, and reliable communication with the spacecraft at Mars is possible again.  As planning started this morning, we were still waiting for more data to be relayed by the orbiters to confirm that MSL is ready to resume science planning, but proceeded with tactical planning so that we would be ready when the data arrived.  The Sol 1027 plan starts with Mastcam observations of …

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We Are Rapidly Approaching A World Where A Minor Cut Can Be Fatal

We hear so much these days about cancer and Alzheimer’s, but these diseases have been around for most if not all of human history, it’s just they were the minor killers of people who had a long life of 50 or 60 years. The lucky ones got cancer or senility, the rest died from such things as a scratch in the garden, or a bad cold that turned into pneumonia. …

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Domes galore: Mono Craters, Long Valley

Being the guest lecturer on a geology trip is great, especially if you get to talk about your favorite geologic features. But what does one do when volcanology day is over and it’s time for the students to do a moraine mapping project? Naturally, sit on a convenient rock and observe some lovely lava domes.

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27 June 2015

Lac du Chambon – a rapidly failing landslide that has disrupted the Tour de France

In the Alps a progressively failing landslide on the banks of the Lac du Chambon has required a change to the route of a famous stage of the Tour de France

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25 June 2015

Rutor Glacier, Italy Retreat and Rising Snowline

The Rutor (Ruitor) Glacier is one of the 10 largest in Italy and is on the France-Italy border draining into the Aosta River valley.  The glacier has three termini with the main terminus being the eastern one. The position of the glacier snout has been surveyed though not every year by the Italian Glaciological Committee since 1900. The glacier has a long series of terminus and volume observations compiled by …

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24 June 2015

Destroying the Most Persistent Scientific Myth In America

If anyone tells you that the warming we’ve seen over the past century is just a natural swing in Earth’s temperature, they are wrong. Absolutely and totally wrong.This widespread myth is a favorite of some politicians, but It’s been proven WRONG, and there is no scientific doubt about it. I’ve talked about this before and shown graphs etc. but Bloomberg Business did an excellent html web page that shows just …

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Science communication about hydrography – Captain America to the rescue!

When asked to speak to the public about surveying the ocean floor at the Smithsonian, how was I possibly going to compete with the Hope Diamond and dinosaurs for the attention of visitors? Captain America came to my rescue!

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22 June 2015

Severe Geomagnetic Storm Underway

Update 7:25 PM US EDT: Scott Kelly on the ISS is seeing what he calls the best display he has ever seen from orbit of the aurora: The Kp index is currently at 8 and if that holds, we could see the Northern Lights over the northern half of the U.S. tonight. Europe should be seeing them now, but because we are at the solstice the light lingers at high …

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Monday Geology Picture(s): Bogenfels Rock Arch, Sperrgebiet, Namibia

Pictures of the impressive Bogenfels Rock Arch in the fascinating and magical Sperrgebiet of Namibia.

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