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31 October 2017
Who’s afraid of the big bad…pegmatite?
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.
27 June 2016
Yellowstone hot springs: Upsetting your color scale
I was fortunate enough to spend several weeks in Yellowstone National Park this summer, doing geophysical surveys in hydrothermal areas. I’ll be talking about those elsewhere in a few weeks (keep an eye on the AGU Instagram!), but in the meantime I wanted to show off some of the other excellent features of the park. Fieldwork in Yellowstone – and especially fieldwork with electrical equipment – is at the mercy of …
23 May 2016
Making the fieldwork count
I’m in the midst of preparing for field work, and it got me to thinking about the public perception of how geologists do research. A lot of us probably extol our chosen profession because of the opportunity for working outside of an office – I know it’s one of the reasons I often bring up when I’m asked why I love volcanology. But I also find that when people follow …
14 August 2015
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.
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 …
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.
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.
5 June 2013
Benchmarking Time: Kilauea Caldera and Kilauea Iki, Hawaii
Buffalo is actually a lovely place to be in the summer even though it’s feeling very summerlike right now. But I wouldn’t pass up another chance to revisit the Big Island, because it’s a fantastic place to be at any time of the year. One of my favorite parts of the island, aside from the malasada shops, is Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. (Bet you couldn’t see that one coming!) I’ve been lucky enough to go there three times – once with William & Mary’s regional geology course, once with UH Hilo’s volcanology field course, and once with my parents for vacation. I loved showing my parents the park, since I’d been there with the William & Mary crowd the year before, and because I was finally getting a chance to show them what a volcano is really like.
12 October 2012
Field trip etiquette
I just spent three days on another great field trip to Bancroft, Ontario, and while I will post photos of the fabulous structural features we were observing, I thought I’d also put down some thoughts about how to comport yourself as a participant on a geology field trip. Some of this is fairly specific to students, but a lot of it goes for ‘grown up’ geologists as well (and hopefully we already know it!) Most of it is things I’ve observed people either doing well on a trip, or forgetting to do – it’s always a mix. (I screw these up myself from time to time, so it’s not like I’m a paragon of field trip virtues. I have to remind myself to do all this as well!)