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February 16, 2017

Lauren and the giant pumice

Lauren and the giant pumice

The submarine volcanism Chapman Conference is at an end, and by all means it was a success. We had 102 scientists from 13 countries, including 27 students, attend. Submarine volcanologists got to talk to subaerial volcanologists. We saw cool videos of scientists pouring lava over water and ice. We went on a field trip and saw seals and dolphins. We talked about lots and lots of volcanoes (I stopped counting at 27).

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February 13, 2017

Surveying the rugged beauty of Tasmania’s coast

Surveying the rugged beauty of Tasmania’s coast

After our morning of watching Tasmanian Devils tear apart scraps of meat and me trying desperately to take a selfie with a kangaroo, we finished the mid-conference field trip with a 3-hour eco-cruise around the Tasman Peninsula. The peninsula has some of the most beautiful coastline in the world, which includes some amazing exposed rock formations, which our group of geologists were all too happy to see.

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February 3, 2017

Animals of the Tasman Peninsula

Animals of the Tasman Peninsula

On Wednesday, we took a field trip to the Tasman Peninsula to see some of Tasmania’s native animals in their natural habitat. Our first stop was the Tasmanian Devil Unzoo. According to the owners, the unzoo is the complete opposite of a zoo. Instead of displaying animals in cages and enclosures, the unzoo allows visitors to interact with animals (both wild and resident) in their natural environment. There are few enclosures and mostly open space where animals are free to come and go as they please.

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January 28, 2017

Exploring underwater volcanoes from down under

Exploring underwater volcanoes from down under

Yesterday, I arrived in Hobart, the capital of Tasmania, after a dizzying 30-hour trip from Washington, DC. I exchanged the frigid cold of the US East Coast for the warm 70-degree weather of this tiny island off the coast of Australia. It’s by far the furthest south I have ever been. What am I doing here? I’m attending the AGU Chapman Conference on submarine volcanism that will take place next week. At this point you may be wondering: what’s a Chapman Conference? And what the heck is submarine volcanism?

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December 8, 2016

Daikoku dive 2: Sulfur so good

Daikoku dive 2: Sulfur so good

The first day on the job is nerve-wracking for anyone, but when you’re a multimillion dollar ROV venturing into one of the most inhospitable landscapes on the planet you’d have a pretty good excuse to feel nervous. Everything yesterday with ROV SuBastian went as smoothly as we could have hoped. We all get a quick nights rest and are back ready to go at sunrise. It’s dive two for the #hydrothermalhunt and we’re making another dive at Daikoku seamount for what may be our final visit.

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December 7, 2016

Return to Daikoku

Return to Daikoku

After two cancelled dives in the back-arc, we transit to our northern-most destination: Daikoku seamount. The winds and seas are calmer there, and it is a chance to revisit a fascinating underwater volcano. We get the confirmation we have been hoping for at 6.30am – conditions are good enough and ROV SuBastian is ready for its first dive.

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November 18, 2016

Alaska Taking Shape Near Yakutat

Alaska Taking Shape Near Yakutat

The relentless advance of Hubbard Glacier takes center stage in Yakutat, but the area surrounding the town is one of the world’s great examples of geology in action.

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November 17, 2016

Nepal Himalaya model: context of 2015 Gorkha earthquake

Nepal Himalaya model: context of 2015 Gorkha earthquake

New video of a laboratory model which reproduces the decollements — essentially horizontal faults — on which the 2015 Gorkha earthquake rupture occurred in Nepal.

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November 15, 2016

Porcupines of the Rio Grande

Porcupines of the Rio Grande

Thus far, about 90 quill samples have been collected. Quills are modified hairs that are easily detached when the porcupine smacks its body into something. Contrary to popular belief, a porcupine cannot “shoot” its quills as a defensive strategy.

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November 14, 2016

Hunting The Natural Treeline in Central Nepal, Part 3

Hunting The Natural Treeline in Central Nepal, Part 3

Landslide season conspires with apple season and the Hindu festival of Dashain to push three field researchers to the limit.

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