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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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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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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 …

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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 …

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6 November 2014

Getting sketchy (when it comes to geology)

I was inspired to think about the topic of drawing (and markerboards) by the great post by Miles Traer on using stick figure animations to explain complex science concepts. I don’t know if geoscientists are a special breed in that they often default toward drawing out their ideas and thoughts, but I’ve always found it to be an invaluable part of my research process.

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14 February 2013

Love (of fieldwork) hurts! Accretionary Wedge #55)

Maitri’s hosting this month’s Accretionary Wedge, and she’s asking us to share our battle scars (or “geo-injuries”). For some reason, this struck me as an excellent topic to talk about on Valentine’s day, so instead of showing you photos of heart-shaped lava fountains or volcanic bombs, I’m getting into the real bloody side of field work.

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16 October 2012

Benchmarking Time: Fish Lake Hightop, Utah

For this week’s benchmark, I thought I’d share one of my favorites: the USGS marker on the highest point in my undergraduate field area, the Fish Lake Plateau in Utah. Fish Lake itself, which sits in a graben, is bounded by Mytoge Mountain on its southeast side and the Fish Lake Hightop on the northwest. The Hightop is accessible from the Pelican Canyon Trail, which leads you over a moraine and up a lovely glacial valley.

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28 September 2012

Benchmarking time: Mauna Kea, Hawaii

In the course of my field work, I’ve gotten in the habit of ‘collecting’ benchmarks with photos, but I didn’t know hunting for benchmarks was an actual named activity! The great Wikipedia assures me that ‘benchmarking’ or ‘benchmark hunting’ is an actual thing, with its own fansites and everything. The Geocaching.com website even has a section devoted to benchmarking. It’s a big thing. At any rate, I thought it would be a fun activity to post photos of my benchmarks each week – and, like Callan’s Friday Fold, to ask for photos of your favorite benchmarks! I’ll start with my favorite, the USGS benchmark on top of Mauna Kea’s highest point.

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30 June 2012

Accretionary Wedge #47: Nostalgia for notetaking

Jennifer at Fuzzy Science is hosting this month’s Accretionary Wedge, and this time we’re talking about field notes. For me, this is a pretty nostalgic discussion, since I haven’t been out do to field work for my own research since 2010. I’ve been on field trips since then, certainly, but notetaking sometimes gets sidelined in favor of other trip activities when you’re not doing it for work or research. Also, my research right now involves a lot of time dealing with computer simulations, so I still take lab notes, but they’re not like recording a field experience.

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