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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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22 November 2016

Serenity in blue

Serenity in blue

During my visit to Iceland, I got to visit glaciers up close and personal for the first time, and one of the places we stopped was at Jökulsárlón, the pro-glacial lagoon at the terminus of the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier.

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22 October 2016

Ísland: Floods

Ísland: Floods

When you bring together volcanoes and ice – as many places in Iceland do – you get floods. Specifically, they’re called jökulhlaups, which literally means “glacier run” but in reality means a glacial outburst flood. Originally the term was used for subglacial outburst floods from Vatnajökull ice cap, which covers the Grímsvötn and Öræfajökull volcanoes, but it’s come to mean any large, abrupt release of water from under a glacier or from a lake at the glacier front.

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28 September 2016

Ísland: Volcanoes

Ísland: Volcanoes

If you’re a volcanologist – or really any geology buff who appreciates volcanoes – Iceland is flat-out paradise.

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8 September 2016

Ísland: Rifts

Ísland: Rifts

Flying from the West Coast to Iceland doesn’t leave you a lot of time for sleeping, and neither does the prospect of standing on the on-land expression of a mid-ocean rift.

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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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18 December 2015

AGU Fall Meeting 2015: Guide TO Conference-Goers

AGU Fall Meeting 2015: Guide TO Conference-Goers

You’ve probably seen all the excellent “How to navigate a conference” posts that pop up in the fall and winter each year, and they’re great, but this isn’t one of them. My take is a little different; I’m going to give you a kind of bird-watcher-style guide to the people you’re sure to meet every year at AGU Fall Meeting. Many of us fall into one or more of these categories, depending on the ways we find to survive the whirlwind conference week.

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