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17 May 2017

So you’re going hiking for the first time

So you're going hiking for the first time

In the spirit of my “So you’re going camping for the first time” post – which came about as a result of a Twitter conversation about racial and economic barriers to outdoor experiences – here’s a collection of thoughts and tips for easing into your first experience with hiking, whether for a class or a field trip or research or fun.

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4 April 2017

So you’re going camping for the first time

So you're going camping for the first time

A conversation on Twitter recently got me thinking about my first field experience. Until I went to college I had never actually gone camping in a park or anywhere else – and aside from minor incidents, my barrier to entry into the camping world was small. But a recent conversation with @lada90 and @DanyaAbel has helped me realize that others don’t have it as easy, and that there are structural, social, and economic barriers that prevent many from participating in outdoor recreation.

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9 August 2016

Work or pleasure? Taking a geoscientist on vacation

Work or pleasure? Taking a geoscientist on vacation

I’m getting ready to take my first long vacation-with-friends in quite a while, and I’m very happy to be following the trend of geologists going to Iceland. Suffice to say that there will be scads of photos when I’m there, when I get back, and probably for a few months afterwards. (Can you tell I’m excited?)

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27 June 2016

Yellowstone hot springs: Upsetting your color scale

Yellowstone hot springs: Upsetting your color scale

I was fortunate enough to spend several weeks in Yellowstone National Park this summer, doing geophysical surveys in hydrothermal areas. I’ll be talking about those elsewhere in a few weeks (keep an eye on the AGU Instagram!), but in the meantime I wanted to show off some of the other excellent features of the park. Fieldwork in Yellowstone – and especially fieldwork with electrical equipment – is at the mercy of …

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23 May 2016

Making the fieldwork count

Making the fieldwork count

I’m in the midst of preparing for field work, and it got me to thinking about the public perception of how geologists do research. A lot of us probably extol our chosen profession because of the opportunity for working outside of an office – I know it’s one of the reasons I often bring up when I’m asked why I love volcanology. But I also find that when people follow …

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19 April 2016

Common sense and volcano tourism

Common sense and volcano tourism

It’s not very often that I comment on news articles, but a reader of the blog recently brought this one to my attention, and it hits close to home. The article is in the Washington Post’s Travel section and is entitled, “In Guatemala, a treacherous hike to one of the world’s most active volcanoes”. That title pretty much covers why I’m so upset – and conflicted – about the author of the piece is writing about.

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31 December 2015

2015 through a geologist’s eyes

2015 through a geologist's eyes

It’s the last day of my eighth year of blogging. I’ve had a pretty amazing year, and though I haven’t gotten to writing about every bit of it, I’ve amassed some great photos of my travels. So here are a few things you’ve already seen, and a preview of a few things yet to come!

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14 September 2015

Benchmarking Time: California Collection

Benchmarking Time: California Collection

I’ve been neglecting this series, but I didn’t stop “collecting” benchmarks when I moved to California. In fact, working at the USGS makes it really easy to find markers, because there are at least three on campus.

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14 August 2015

#FieldWorkFails

#FieldWorkFails

There’s been a hilarious meme on Twitter the past couple of weeks that follows in the footsteps of #OverlyHonestMethods: #FieldworkFail. If you’ve ever gone out in the field (i.e., not in a lab or office) to do your research, you know that there are many opportunities for things to go wrong. Particularly if you travel to remote locations, work with animals, or rely on finicky equipment to get the job done. (Or, in my case, when you work with volcanoes.) A number of media outlets picked up some of their favorite tweets, and I’m happy to say that two volcanologists made it on many of the lists: myself and Alison Graettinger, who’s a postdoc at the University at Buffalo.

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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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