24 November 2014
There are field trips that make me very glad I drive a car with a reasonable amount of clearance, and my camping overnighter to the Los Padres National Forest south of Big Sur was no exception. Driving the Coast Ridge Road wasn’t the most harrowing trip I’ve ever made, but it certainly merited the description of ‘gnarly’ that one of my camping buddies applied.
6 November 2014
I was inspired to think about the topic of drawing (and markerboards) by the great post by Miles Traer on using stick figure animations to explain complex science concepts. I don’t know if geoscientists are a special breed in that they often default toward drawing out their ideas and thoughts, but I’ve always found it to be an invaluable part of my research process.
31 October 2014
21 October 2014
Having just arrived in California and still in the process of unpacking boxes in my apartment, I decided the most productive thing to do was go on a hike. Silicon Valley is near a lot of Open Space Preserves as well as various local and state parks, and I was really eager to get outside and explore. And because I’m in California, I was hungry to finally set eyes (and foot) on the biggest fault I could get to.
29 September 2014
So I’ve made it across the country, and I’m now happily settled in California and getting used to my new job as a postdoc with the USGS! However, being a federal employee means I have different regulations to follow while using social media, so I’m going to be taking a break from blogging while I sort those out. To tide you over, here are some of my favorite photos from the cross-country drive, which was a great (though long) experience.
24 August 2014
If you saw my post for the Geological Society’s “Speaking of Geoscience” blog, you’ll know that I’m in a transition period – finishing up my job as a policy fellow and getting ready to move on to a postdoctoral fellowship with the USGS in September. In the meantime, that means I’ve been spending a lot of my time packing all my possessions into increasing numbers of boxes, in between pecking away at various writing projects.
1 August 2014
The IVM-Fund exists to assist volcano observatories with the smaller expenses that may not make it into a grant or a large instrumentation campaign, but which are nonetheless crucial to the day-to-day work of the scientists. In the last few years, they’ve been able to supply OVSAN and INSIVUMEH (the Guatemalan geologic survey) with a variety of pieces of field equipment – things like GPS units, digital cameras, thermal sensors, and rangefinders. They’ve also assisted the observatory in getting an internet connection hooked up (that’s how you get those lovely dome pictures on their webcam every day). But that kind of equipment, especially in a harsh environment with lots of moisture and volcanic ash, needs replacing every few years.
22 July 2014
Washington DC is an interesting city. When the original plans were being made in the 1780s and 1790s, they called for a 100-square-mile area to be allocated for the city, and George Washington (who was President at the time) wanted to include the City of Alexandria in Virginia. But the Residence Act, passed in 1791, specified that all the federal buildings had to be on the Maryland side of the river (mostly because someone realized that the law allowed the President to choose the location and some members of Congress didn’t want him taking advantage of that and including his own property to the south of Alexandria). So we ended up with a diamond-shaped District 10 miles on a side, overlapping both Virginia and Maryland, with the actual city in Maryland.
12 July 2014
One of the interesting things about inviting a geologist to any sort of historic site is the inevitable moment when they get distracted by the stones that have been used to build whatever fabulous architectural treasure it is that you’re admiring. Case in point: When I was invited to go to the New Horizons Symposium in the Chimalistac neighborhood of Mexico city, I spent at least a few minutes each day taking photos of the walls (much to the amusement of my fellow conference-goers).
2 July 2014
A little while ago, as some of you may have guessed from my tweets, I was in Mexico City on a business trip. My reason for the whirlwind visit was to present a talk about volcanic hazards to the New Horizons in Science Symposium, a joint effort between the National Academies of Mexico, Canada and the United States.