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17 December 2015

AGU Fall Meeting 2015: Making Connections

It’s the third day of the meeting and I’m already exhausted. But this is par for the course when you try to do everything at AGU! It’s possible to spend all of your time in talks and posters and immerse yourself entirely in new research, but most people here end up mixing in other things: workshops, town hall discussions, service groups, and of course meeting with colleagues and collaborators. The …

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14 December 2015

AGU Fall Meeting 2015: Taking the Lead

This year, you may have noticed I didn’t do a Social Media Roundup, and I’m not using my usual Day 1, Day 2, etc. titles. Partially, that’s because AGU has been doing a fantastic job of advertising the social media activities going on this year, and because there are now too many social-media-related sessions, talks and posters to list in one place. That’s wonderful! But I’m also changing things up …

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25 November 2015

Altered states (of lava domes)

Time for some shameless self-promotion – but also some research blogging. Last week I (finally) had a paper come out about my graduate modeling work on the hydrothermal systems and alteration in lava domes. (I’m sorry it’s not open access – I couldn’t afford it this time! But feel free to contact me if you want a copy.) Basically, the rundown is this: Lava domes, like volcanoes in general, are big …

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22 October 2015

Being objective (with yourself)

I recently recorded a podcast with Chris Jones of Rock Your Research (check out that website – he’s had some great guests on so far!) The very first question I got to answer about grad school was what I struggled the most with, and all those of you who’ve gone through grad school can probably guess that I said “impostor syndrome”. I’ve written a little bit about it before, but it’s …

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7 October 2015

Science on a budget

One thing that’s been taking up an inordinate amount of my time lately is the suspense about whether I’ll be allowed to do my job (aka the Congressional budget process). As a postdoc on a limited-term position at the USGS, I lose valuable time if the government shuts down, and I don’t get it back. The same is true of any employee, but it’s especially rough on the ones who are working on fixed-duration projects or term hires.

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14 September 2015

Benchmarking Time: California Collection

I’ve been neglecting this series, but I didn’t stop “collecting” benchmarks when I moved to California. In fact, working at the USGS makes it really easy to find markers, because there are at least three on campus.

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14 August 2015

#FieldWorkFails

There’s been a hilarious meme on Twitter the past couple of weeks that follows in the footsteps of #OverlyHonestMethods: #FieldworkFail. If you’ve ever gone out in the field (i.e., not in a lab or office) to do your research, you know that there are many opportunities for things to go wrong. Particularly if you travel to remote locations, work with animals, or rely on finicky equipment to get the job done. (Or, in my case, when you work with volcanoes.) A number of media outlets picked up some of their favorite tweets, and I’m happy to say that two volcanologists made it on many of the lists: myself and Alison Graettinger, who’s a postdoc at the University at Buffalo.

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23 July 2015

Domes galore: Obsidian Dome, Long Valley

For the final dome in our volcanology day back in my May Long Valley field trip, the W&M students and I took a short hike up to Obsidian Dome. The Obsidian, Glass Creek and Deadman Creek domes all erupted around 1350 CE, which makes them some of the youngest features in the Long Valley area. The three domes are aligned north-south and probably all erupted from the same dike, which …

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28 June 2015

Domes galore: Mono Craters, Long Valley

Being the guest lecturer on a geology trip is great, especially if you get to talk about your favorite geologic features. But what does one do when volcanology day is over and it’s time for the students to do a moraine mapping project? Naturally, sit on a convenient rock and observe some lovely lava domes.

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9 June 2015

Domes galore: Panum Dome, Long Valley

Oh, man. Summer is a terrible time for keeping up with blog posts, but I’ve had a good reason to be absent – I was off in Denver on business and slightly wilder parts of California with my alma mater’s summer field course. I mean, what geologist could pass up the chance to tag along on a trip to Long Valley and Yosemite? During the Long Valley and Mono Lake portion of the trip, I actually did do a little work, serving as the trip’s volcanology expert and talking about lava domes as much as anyone would let me. Because Long Valley may be a beautiful caldera and the site of one of the world’s largest eruptions, but it also has domes. Boy, does it ever have domes.

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