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25 November 2015

Altered states (of lava domes)

Time for some shameless self-promotion – but also some research blogging. Last week I (finally) had a paper come out about my graduate modeling work on the hydrothermal systems and alteration in lava domes. (I’m sorry it’s not open access – I couldn’t afford it this time! But feel free to contact me if you want a copy.) Basically, the rundown is this: Lava domes, like volcanoes in general, are big …


9 November 2015

Tamu Massif: Closing thoughts from Chief Scientist Dr. William Sager

This is the last post in a series of dispatches from scientists and education officers aboard the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s R/V Falkor. The crew is on 36-day research trip to study Tamu Massif, a massive underwater volcano, located 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) east of Japan in the Shatsky Rise.


22 October 2015

Being objective (with yourself)

I recently recorded a podcast with Chris Jones of Rock Your Research (check out that website – he’s had some great guests on so far!) The very first question I got to answer about grad school was what I struggled the most with, and all those of you who’ve gone through grad school can probably guess that I said “impostor syndrome”. I’ve written a little bit about it before, but it’s …


7 October 2015

Science on a budget

One thing that’s been taking up an inordinate amount of my time lately is the suspense about whether I’ll be allowed to do my job (aka the Congressional budget process). As a postdoc on a limited-term position at the USGS, I lose valuable time if the government shuts down, and I don’t get it back. The same is true of any employee, but it’s especially rough on the ones who are working on fixed-duration projects or term hires.


4 January 2012

Science Resolutions -or- Grad School Lessons Learned

Now that I have finished graduate school and am an older, wiser “post-doctoral fellow”, I was planning to put together a post containing advice on grad school. But then as I thought about it, I realized that the bulk of my advice fell into the “do as I say, not as I do” category. That, combined with the new year and accompanying new job, led me to re-tool my advice …


23 October 2011

Cell Phone Spectrometer

Working with light and spectrometers is a part of my job. I worked with lab-built spectrometers and tunable lasers as a grad student at Montana State. At Los Alamos I worked with a mock-up of the ChemCam spectrometers and laser system. I still work with spectrometers at Apogee Instruments. I am also a smart-phone nerd. Recently, I stumbled onto an article about research using a modified cell-phone to enable doctors to perform in-situ analysis by turning the phone into a microscope or spectrometer.