24 August 2014
If you saw my post for the Geological Society’s “Speaking of Geoscience” blog, you’ll know that I’m in a transition period – finishing up my job as a policy fellow and getting ready to move on to a postdoctoral fellowship with the USGS in September. In the meantime, that means I’ve been spending a lot of my time packing all my possessions into increasing numbers of boxes, in between pecking away at various writing projects.
Moving anywhere as a geologist means packing three main categories of items: books, rocks and everything else. The relatively high density of the first two categories means that any box I end up packing is likely to be a heavy one, so it’s necessary to do some culling of the rock collection before I go.
Some of my favorite “deskcrops” are large, mainly because they show features that I didn’t want to lose by breaking them down further, or because they’re too hard to break down.
The advantage to being a volcanologist is that some of my favorite deskcrops are made of pumice, like this one I picked up from the Soufriere Hills volcano on Montserrat.
Others are a little more dense (and/or fragile) and require careful wrapping:
And the rest are just going to get scattered into whatever box doesn’t already have too many books or other heavy things.
However, this has left me with a box of mixed samples that are either 1) duplicates of things I’m keeping or 2) things I’ve forgotten to label and can’t for the life of me ever recall collecting. Most of them are either ugly, dirty or both, and there’s not much point in trying to find someone who wants them. So, they’re becoming garden decorations:
If in the distant future an archaeology team ever decides to excavate my neighborhood, they’re going to have a hell of a time figuring out what we were doing with our landscaping. (“Well, dang, that’s not local…”)