28 June 2015

Domes galore: Mono Craters, Long Valley

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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9 June 2015

Domes galore: Panum Dome, Long Valley

Domes galore: Panum Dome, Long Valley

Oh, man. Summer is a terrible time for keeping up with blog posts, but I’ve had a good reason to be absent – I was off in Denver on business and slightly wilder parts of California with my alma mater’s summer field course. I mean, what geologist could pass up the chance to tag along on a trip to Long Valley and Yosemite? During the Long Valley and Mono Lake portion of the trip, I actually did do a little work, serving as the trip’s volcanology expert and talking about lava domes as much as anyone would let me. Because Long Valley may be a beautiful caldera and the site of one of the world’s largest eruptions, but it also has domes. Boy, does it ever have domes.

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17 May 2015

Faults from the air

Faults from the air

Sometimes I spend so much time out looking at geological features in the Bay area that I forget to blog about them. But this weekend I had the chance to go for a wonderful tour of the South Bay and Peninsula via Cessna, and I’m convinced that it’s an awesome way to check out geology. (Of course, anyone who’s seen Michael Collier’s photographic work knows that already, but in case you needed convincing, take my word for it. Also, not having to brave security at the airport is lovely.)

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27 April 2015

Things you learn doing outreach

Things you learn doing outreach

A short, light post this time. I’ll be doing an outreach event as a USGS rep in a couple of weeks, and having done the demo once already at AAAS’s 2015 Family Science Days, I was thinking about the things I learned last time. Some of these have also applied to other outreach I’ve done (I love doing video chats with students and science clubs, especially if I can get people excited about geology!)

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7 April 2015

Why I study soggy volcanoes

Why I study soggy volcanoes

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to talk more about my research, and I thought it would be good to start with my basic elevator speech: I study how water and heat interact in stratovolcanoes, and how that can make them unstable even if they’re not erupting.

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23 March 2015

The clothes don’t make the scientist

The clothes don't make the scientist

Those of you who saw my somewhat exasperated tweets last week know that I was reacting to this story on the Scientific American Voices Blog about how female scientists are portrayed in media coverage. (Answer: Superficially and with far too much attention to appearances).

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5 March 2015

On the importance of fictional role models

On the importance of fictional role models

Last week, we learned that Leonard Nimoy died. Though it’s sad both because we’ve lost an amazing person and an icon of science fiction, it got me thinking about why I personally cared so much about the character he created.

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13 February 2015

Movies in your geology

Movies in your geology

No, that’s not a typo – it’s the topic of a discussion I prompted on Twitter a few weeks ago and then immediately forgot to post about. Fortunately, through the wonder of Storify, I can recap it for everyone. The backstory is that I had a request from a reader for movies he could show that featured geologically interesting places, but weren’t necessarily about geology or disasters. He also requested that they be fairly popular (things that had done well at the box office and might be expected to have been seen by a wide audience) and that they be things that intro students would recognize, either because they were recent or widely re-watched.

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29 January 2015

More pillow basalt at Rodeo Cove

More pillow basalt at Rodeo Cove

I promised photos of the second part of my trip to see pillow basalts at the Marin Headlands, and here we are, just as the fog was lifting in the early afternoon. After exploring the Point Bonita lighthouse and its vicinity, we decided to hike down through the abundant succulents (Carpobrotus edulis, if I’ve got it right) to Rodeo Cove and its beach.

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19 January 2015

Pillow basalts at Point Bonita

Pillow basalts at Point Bonita

It’s amazing how quickly I’m capable of abandoning my blogging resolutions, really. Here we are, a couple of weeks into the new year and I’ve failed to a) post more often and b) talk about my research. (I swear I have a post in the works about that, but it’s gotten long and unwieldy and in desperate need of editing!) But this weekend I’m going to keep a couple of the other resolutions, and blog about the trip I took yesterday to the Marin Headlands.

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