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30 March 2015

Leroux Bay Glacier Retreat-Island Formation, Antarctic Peninsula

Leroux Bay is on the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula in Graham Land.  Numerous glacier drain from the Antarctic Peninsula into the ocean along this coast, and as they retreat the coastline is changing.    Air temperatures rose by 2.5°C in the northern Antarctic Peninsula from 1950 to 2000, which has led to recession of 87% glaciers and ice shelves on the Peninsula in the last two decades (Davies et al.,2012). …

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28 March 2015

We Already Have Pi Day, But Why Not 60 Seconds for Euler?

Fareed Zakaria of CNN has a very good piece in the Washington Post about STEM and I must say that it makes a lot of sense, although you might not think I would from the title. Check out “Why America’s obsession with STEM education is dangerous” and then come back here for more. Ok, so your back and I hope you agree with what he said, because I do, and …

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26 March 2015

Shell-shocked: Ocean acidification likely hampers tiny shell builders in Southern Ocean

A new study shows a ubiquitous type of phytoplankton — tiny organisms that are the base of the marine food web – appears to be suffering from the effects of ocean acidification caused by climate change.

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North Leones Glacier Retreat and new Landslide, Patagonia, Chile

Jill Pelto, my daughter returning from fieldwork with UMaine in the Falkland Island took a picture last week out the plane window of Leones Glacier of the northern Patagonia Icefield. The picture illustrated two changes worth further examination, and the fact that if you have a glacier picture that you would like more information on let me know. The picture indicates outlet glaciers of the Northern Patagonia icefield fed by …

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Peru declares a state of emergency over landslides

Peru has declared a state of emergency in the aftermath of large debris flows in the Chosica region east of Lima that have left at least 8 people dead.

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25 March 2015

On the JOIDES Resolution: Turbidite Transport (+ video)

On this expedition, we’re studying sediments that have been eroded from the Himalayas, the highest mountain range in the world. The Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers carry this sediment to the delta in Bangladesh, but what happens next? How does this material get all the way out to the middle of the Bay of Bengal where we’re drilling, almost 2,000 kilometers (1,243 miles) away?

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“Stop complaining and do something” [Women's History Month]

My final post for Women’s History Month in 2015 celebrates those that have taken a stand and taken action when faced with unequal representation and inappropriate comments towards women in STEM. May we all be just as brave to take action and make the difference we want to see.

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24 March 2015

Martinsburg Formation outcrops in Edinburg Gap

A report from the field: new outcrops of Ordovician-aged turbidites featuring geopetal indicators, fossil content, and a structural overprint imparted during Pangaea’s assembly.

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23 March 2015

Q&A with journalist-turned-geologist Rex Buchanan (Part 2): Walking a political tightrope

About the first of October, we had a … I think it was a 4.2 [magnitude earthquake]. We had to go down to where the earthquake was and meet with the county commission. It was open to the public. All the Wichita television stations were there. [Many of us] had lunch together, and I said, “I know when I walk in that room, everybody’s going to say, ‘well I’m sure glad I’m not that guy.’” And everyone at the table pretty much agreed with me.

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Yeager Airport slope failure: deformation for two years prior to collapse

It is now clear that the Yeager Airport slope failure was preceded by two years of deformation, with some signs of an increase in rate with time

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Widespread Retreat Gilkey Glacier System, Alaska

Gilkey Glacier drains the west side of the Juneau Icefield and has experienced widespread significant changes since I first worked on the glacier in 1981.    Here we examine the changes from the August 17, 1984 Landsat 5 image to the August 21, 2014 image from newly launched Landsat 8.  Landsat 5 was launched in 1984, Landsat 8 launched in 2013. The Landsat images have become a key resource in the examination of …

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Neil deGrasse Tyson Rocks 60 Minutes

In case you missed it, Neil deGrasse Tyson was profiled on CBS’s 60 Minutes Sunday, his attention grabbing interview explaining in itself why he is America’s best science communicator. He mentions at the start something I wrote about back in 2009, the most famous photo ever taken, and the stunning impact it has had on how we see ourselves since. The interview on 60 Minutes is below, in case you missed …

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21 March 2015

Markovici: impressive drone footage of a large landslide in Montenegro

A large translational landslide at Markovici in Montenegro has destroyed an important road. A drone has been used to capture a video of the damage

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19 March 2015

Zoophycos trace fossils in Mahantango Formation, Fort Valley

A morning’s field trip yields an outcrop of excellent Zoophycos trace fossils in southern Fort Valley, Virginia.

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Harvesting “big data” to help farmers

Scientists are using massive amounts of information about the climate, weather and land to develop new tools farmers can use to grow more food without harming the environment.

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Downwasting Tributary-Glacier Dammed Lake Formation at HPN4 Glacier, Patagonia, Chile

We often are more concerned with what is happening at the terminus of a glacier; however, often key changes are happening up glacier some distance. This is the case with the following example. The Northern Patagonia Icefield (Hielo Patagónico Norte, HPN) is one of the two main icefields in Patagonia.  The remoteness of the region is evidenced by the number of significant lakes and glaciers that remain unnamed.  This remoteness has …

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18 March 2015

NOAA: Earth Had Warmest Winter On Record

Earth just had it’s warmest winter on record, and this past February was the second warmest on record. This from NOAA/NCDC During February, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.48°F (0.82°C) above the 20th century average. This was the second highest for February in the 1880–2015 record. The highest temperature occurred in 1998, at 1.55°F (0.86°C) above average. During February, the globally-averaged land surface temperature was 3.02°F …

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The Voices of Women in STEM via podcasts [Women's History Month]

For the month of March, in honor of Women’s History Month, I am dedicating my weekly blog posts to the outstanding organizations, resources, and inspiring stories about women in STEM. Be sure to check out my first two posts on the Earth Science Women’s Network (ESWN) and Wikipedia edit-a-thons.

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Yeager airport fill slope failure: the landslide history

Historical accounts and recollections by local residents suggest that the site of the Yeager Airport fill slope failure may have a history of landslides

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Why Dennis Mersereau at Gawker is Wrong About Fahrenheit Being A Better Temperature Scale

  I enjoy Dennis Mersereau’s pieces on Gawker, and I suspect his piece (touting the superiority of the OLD Fahrenheit scale) was covertly designed to get a thousand ugly comments from those of us who live metrically, and apparently it worked. Now, I suspect that most of Fahrenheit’s dwindling number of supporters are the type who have trouble remembering if 0.04 is 4 tenth’s or 4 hundredth’s, and are of the …

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