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21 January 2020
Last week, in a moment of random thought, I suggested reviving our beloved Where On Google Earth (#WOGE). @i_rockhopper got to work right away restarting the contest, and I tracked down the image, thus earning myself the right to host the next and an hour of handicap according to the Schott Rule. Here’s your next challenge in this geoscience reverse image search!
10 December 2019
It’s been a rough week for New Zealanders, particularly those affected by the Whakaari/White Island eruption and those responding to it. I’d like to strongly urge anyone in the media to please defer your questions to the NZ experts when at all possible – and be patient with them. Tragic events like these also have a profound impact on the people who study and work at volcanoes, and they will …
20 September 2019
Recently, as chronicled in Scientific American, I was involved with amending the eruptive record at California’s Mount Shasta to remove an eruption that was supposedly seen by a French mapping expedition in 1786. USGS researchers had already been puzzling over it for years – evidence was slim, since the area was already prone to forest fires and there was nothing in the geologic record to suggest that it happened. William …
4 May 2019
I’ve delayed writing about my involvement in last summer’s Kilauea eruption for a number of reasons. One is because I wanted to wait until the USGS has had a chance to publish the preliminaries of the eruption; others are more personal, involving my experience working with the communities affected and the people responding to the eruption. But now that the one-year anniversary of the start of the eruption has come …
4 March 2019
One of the big projects I’ve been working on for the past couple of years has been assisting my SIC (Scientist-In-Charge) at the California Volcano Observatory in writing a report about California’s exposure to volcanic hazards. And (not) coincidentally, that’s the title of a new report that the USGS just released last week!
18 January 2019
It’s been 27 days since I, my colleagues and 800,000 or so others were informed that our leaders were okay with using us as political pawns. 27 days since 380,000 of us were told we weren’t allowed work at all. 27 days since 420,000 of us were told that we had to work without pay.
23 December 2018
As yesterday was my blogiversary, I was planning to write a reflective post about what I’ve accomplished (or not) in the past year. However, with the recent events in Indonesia, I decided to hold off on the introspective and use my platform to help direct people to factual information about Krakatau and the landslide and eruptions it’s experienced in the past several days. A note to the news media: As …
21 April 2018
The best science reporting in the world is diminished when you publish it under a histrionic headline.
12 March 2018
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.
2 February 2018
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.