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15 January 2021

The US National Landslide Preparedness Act

The US National Landslide Preparedness Act was passed this week, requiring that the USGS develops a national strategy for landslide hazards. Meanwhile the search continues for a motorist killed in a debris flow in Oregon


14 January 2021

My journey with AGU’s Voices for Science program

The training, the mentoring, the community… all are key components of the AGU Voices for Science advocacy program that allow you to succeed in sharing science and making a difference


In 2021, create community engagement as a science activator

Would you call yourself an advocate, and activist, or an activator? All of these classifications and actions under them can make a difference for science and the present and future of Planet Earth.


31 December 2020

Top Science Stories of 2020 – what would our students say?

If you ask your students what were the major scientific accomplishments in 2020, what would they say? Are they aware of what happened in the previous year, as well as the major concerns and challenges in the sciences?


29 December 2020

Storytelling + Comedy + Science = LabX Hidden Expert

For storytelling, comedy, and science, the National Academy of Sciences LabX Hidden Expert events have the winning formula for an engaging guessing game along with learning about inspiring science research.


28 December 2020

Community (citizen) science – latest from NASA and iSeeChange

ISeeChange and the NASA Citizen Science portfolio of programs are excellent for faculty to think about utilizing as a way to engage students in their local environments, especially during remote/online instruction, and can serve as a foundation for undergraduate research efforts.


27 December 2020

Share with students your sticky notes and storyboards

I encourage all researchers and research mentors to post more about the process of science – the stages of research, the tools we use, how we prepare to disseminate results, etc. All of these are important for students to see and connect with, especially with students doing work during this time of the pandemic away from research labs and face-to-face research communities.


22 December 2020

Science stands steady in Fiscal Year 2021 spending

Amid contentious negotiation for a new COVID-19 stimulus package and several continuing resolutions, Congress finally passed the fiscal year 2021 spending package. Overall, federal science agency budgets saw slight boosts in funding. Notably, NOAA’s Climate Research office saw a 7% increase and NSF has been directed to issue a report on the extent of the damage to the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. Additionally, the Forest and Rangeland Service within …


4 December 2020

Climate Change Is About to Show Up On Your Local Weather Report

Every ten years the climate “normals” are recalculated. Today, for instance, the normal high is 52 degrees here in Salisbury, Maryland. Most TV weather reports show the average high and low for the day, and I put them on our 7-day forecast graphic, but these numbers are about to change. The normals we use now are based on the 30-year period from 1980-2010, but starting next year we will use …


3 December 2020

High resolution satellite images of the Guinobatan lahar

High resolution satellite images, collected by Planet Labs using the SkySat constellation, showing the impact of the Guinobatan lahar in the Philippines a month ago


2 December 2020

State of the Planet, by UN Secretary-General António Guterres

Now is the time to transform humankind’s relationship with the natural world – and with each other. And we must do so together. Solidarity is humanity. Solidarity is survival. That is the lesson of 2020.  —  State of the Planet, by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, December 2, 2020


1 December 2020

Legal Education for Scientists at #AGU20

The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF) and AGU work together to help scientists from all geoscience disciplines understand their legal rights and responsibilities—knowledge that’s an essential part of every researcher’s professional development. This is the ninth year we’re partnering on the Legal Education for Scientists Program, and we’re offering a range of events at the 2020 Fall Meeting.   Among our events are three workshops featuring attorneys from CSLDF and …


16 November 2020

The Meenbog peat slide in the Republic of Ireland

The 13 November 2020 Meenbog peat slide in the Republic of Ireland, which was caught on a stunning video. Reports suggest that the landslide is associated with a wind farm under construction, owned by Amazon.


9 November 2020

San Cristobal Verapaz: the deadly landslide in Guatemala triggered by Hurricane Eta

San Cristobal Verapaz: the deadly landslide in Guatemala triggered by Hurricane Eta that destroyed the village of Queja


8 November 2020

World Science Day for Peace and Development 2020

By linking science more closely with society, World Science Day for Peace and Development aims to ensure that citizens are kept informed of developments in science. It also underscores the role scientists play in broadening our understanding of the remarkable, fragile planet we call home and in making our societies more sustainable.


6 November 2020

Hurricane Eta: dozens killed by landslides in Central America

Hurricane Eta: news reports indicate that dozens of people have been killed by landslides in Central America, with at least 50 deaths in Guatemala alone


2 November 2020

The Discussion About Science We Must Have

  My friend Ed Maibach researches climate change/energy opinions at George Mason University, and he recently sent me an email with this polling result.   Atmospheric science folks like me are very interested in this because of the great disconnect between what the science says and what the public thinks. Natural gas is better than coal or oil, but it’s still a fossil fuel that produces CO2 and something we …


24 October 2020

Priorities for the Future report, from The Public Face of Science in America

We are at a moment in time when the enthusiasm and support for science communication and engagement can be harnessed for greater impact through wide­scale efforts to build capacity.  —  Conclusion, The Public Face of Science in America, Priorities for the Future


14 October 2020

A double tragedy: two landslides close to the construction site of the Rao Trang 3 hydropower plant in Vietnam

A double tragedy: two landslides close to the construction site of the Rao Trang 3 hydroelectric plant in Vietnam


13 October 2020

The role of mycorrhizal fungi in preventing landslides

An interesting short article points out that mycorrhizal fungi may play a key in reducing the susceptibility to landslides