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12 March 2018

Improving the interview-a-scientist assignment

Nearly every scientist who’s active on social media or blogging gets requests from students to answer questions for interview-a-scientist assignments. Now, I love the intent of these assignments, which is to get students excited about a science topic by connecting them with an actual living, breathing scientists. However, the execution can be a problem for the scientists.

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2 February 2018

Rehearsing for eruptions

In the past few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to help run several “tabletop” exercises with the USGS and our partners where we walk through a timeline of what might happen during a volcanic eruption, and ask participants to make decisions about how they would need to respond and work together. I find them both fascinating and exhausting.

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22 December 2017

10 years

It’s not very often that someone my age gets to celebrate a 10-year anniversary. But this year is one of those times, because it’s been 10 years since I graduated from college, 10 years since I started my first job, and 10 years since I started this blog.

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28 November 2017

Taking a breather

So I’ve definitely been letting the blogging and tweeting drop off for a couple of months now, and there are a few reasons for that. The first is that I’ve taken on some new responsibilities at work and I’m now a USGS Social Media Ambassador, which means that some of the USGS Volcanoes content you see is being produced by yours truly. This means, however, that I don’t access my …

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31 October 2017

Who’s afraid of the big bad…pegmatite?

Happy Halloween!

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22 September 2017

The human side of volcanology at IAVCEI 2017

Every four years, the volcanological community gets together somewhere in the world to spend a week (or two) talking about…you guessed it, volcanoes. And because volcanology – like any ‘disaster science’ – occupies a special intersection of geologic processes and human impacts, there is an inherent social science aspect in its practice.

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7 August 2017

Vacationing at volcanoes: Mount Sibayak

Berastagi, a city in northern Sumatra, is a great place for volcanoes, because it has two active ones: Mount Sibayak and Mount Sinabung. Active takes on a different context here; to the locals, Sinabung is active, and dangerous, while Sibayak, which hasn’t erupted in living memory, is not.

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16 June 2017

Vacationing at volcanoes: The Toba Caldera

Visiting one of the largest volcanic lakes (and calderas) in the world in northern Sumatra: Toba Caldera

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17 May 2017

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

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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