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11 May 2017

Taiwan landslide hotspots: changing patterns through time

Taiwan landslide hotspots: a new paper shows changing patterns through time in response to the extreme Typhoon Morakot event in 2008


28 April 2017

The Oso landslide: a new paper on the material properties and failure mechanism

A new paper examines both the materials and the mechanisms of the 2014 Oso landslide, and proposes a new model that fits all of the available evidence


24 March 2017

The Mitchell Creek landslide in British Columbia, Canada

In a paper just published, Clayton et al. (2017) describe the Mitchell Creek landslide, a very large rockslide in Canada triggered by glacial debuttressing


22 February 2017

The 170 km/h Sanxicun landslide in Sichuan Province, China

In 2013 the catastrophic Sanxicun landslide in Sichuan Province in China killed 166 people. A new paper suggests that it reached a peak velocity of 170 km/h


9 February 2017

Review of a paper: the Dongla Landslide in Sichuan, China

In a new paper in landslide, my colleague Lis Bowman and her co-authors describe the reactivation by bridge construction of the Dongla landslide in China


18 June 2016

Using climbing guides to examine changes in rockfall activity in the European Alps

In a recent paper, Temme (2015) has used descriptions of rockfall risk in Alpine climbing guides to examine the effects of climate change on the degradation of permafrost and the resulting increased occurrence of rockfalls.


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.