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June 26, 2012

Doctoral Regalia: MIT/WHOI Style

Almost three weeks ago I participated in the doctoral hooding and commencement ceremonies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). During these ceremonies, I received my doctoral hood and my diploma, which I earned for my PhD in Marine Geology, a degree which was jointly awarded by MIT and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). During the course of planning for and participating in these ceremonies, I found myself fascinated …


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April 29, 2012

Blast from the Past: Meteorite Graduation Gift

I feel very fortunate to have known Phil Plait aka “The Bad Astronomer” for many years, primarily through our involvement with the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF). I twice worked as an intern for the JREF, and Phil used to be president of the JREF. Over the years, Phil has been very encouraging and supportive of ┬ámy scientific studies. I’m currently packing up my office as I prepare to depart …


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April 19, 2012

Geology Word of the Week: T is for Time

def. Time: 1. What the clock (or the cesium atom) measures. 2. “The indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole.” (From Google Dictionary). 3. “A finite extent or stretch of continued existence, as the interval separating two successive events or actions, or the period during which an action, condition, or state continues; a finite portion of time; a period.” (From …


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April 16, 2012

Monday Geology Picture: PhD Defense

On Friday the 13th I successfully defended my PhD in Marine Geology in the MIT/WHOI Joint Program. For this week’s geology picture, here I am on Friday with my co-advisors Susan Humphris and Ken Sims at my post-defense party. Everyone has to call me Dr. Evelyn now… at least for a few days. Then everyone can call me just plain old Evelyn again. Once I recover from post-thesis exhaustion and …


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April 4, 2012

PhD Defense!

Someone has been posting these signs all over the Geology and Geophysics Department at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Earth and Planetary Science Department at MIT: I can’t believe that I’m actually going to defend my PhD next week. Honestly, it feels somewhat surreal. I guess I’d better make a presentation! And make sure I know my carbon cycle. MIT/WHOI Joint Program thesis defense presentations are open to the …


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June 17, 2011

My New Favorite T-Shirt

I just love this shirt. Just before leaving the East coast, I picked up a new t-shirt. Isn’t it great?


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June 6, 2011

Blast from the Past: The Goldilocks Planet

Earth, the Goldilocks Planet. Click to view larger. On Saturday I am leaving Woods Hole to spend the summer in Laramie, Wyoming. Between now and then I have a zillion things to do. I pretty much have to work constantly prepping samples in lab, running the mass spectrometer, packing, and cleaning out my apartment. Oh, and maybe remembering to eat and sleep now and again. I’m pretty tired as aside …


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May 29, 2011

Just a Typical Sunday Morning Conversation at WHOI

I had an interesting conversation with one of the security guards here at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) just a few minutes ago. The conversation went something like this slightly stylized version: ************** Security guard: Do you know where Mary* is? I noticed her car wasn’t in the parking lot last night. Me: Hmm… haven’t seen her recently. Security guard: I know she’s been working in New York, so I …


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April 16, 2011

Good Hotplate

On Wednesday there was a bad hotplate incident that melted two of my samples. As scary and destructive (for my poor Oman rocks…) as this incident was, I’m happy to report that there is some good resulting. I’ve filed a full safety report, and with the help of a safety person I’ve been in touch with Thermo Scientific, the company that manufactured the defective hotplate. Maybe it’s because Woods Hole …


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April 13, 2011

Bad Hotplate

When it comes to laboratory safety, you should never cut corners to save money. A few months ago, I had a teflon beaker melt on a yellow hotplate which we had purchased for the lab to replace a hotplate that died. Unfortunately, when inexpensive hotplates “die” they tend to heat up very hot, which can be very dangerous. I’m not sure exactly what happens, but I think that over time …


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