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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 …
11 December 2018
This year, sadly, I’m not attending AGU’s Fall Meeting. It’s partly personal choice – I have several big projects scheduled for December and January – and partly that I don’t want to make two cross-country flights to go to a meeting and head home for the holidays (the timing doesn’t line up well). It’s also partly because in the USGS (and in the government in general), our choice of conferences to …
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.
16 July 2013
I don’t get out for field work much anymore (in fact my entire summer has been reserved for thesis writing – grr!), but Evelyn’s call for the July Accretionary Wedge is a good chance for me to look back on past field trips and reminisce. Geologists come across a lot of signs when they do field work, and volcanologists in particular get some doozies. I had a hard time deciding on just one, so I’ve got several offerings for the Wedge, all of them from the two trips I’ve taken to Hawaii.
5 June 2013
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.
28 September 2012
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.
30 June 2012
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.
8 December 2011
Tuesday was the first chance I had to attend a press conference (one of the perks of being an AGU blogger!) I was especially excited about one of the first of the morning, which was by Hawaii volcanologist Don Swanson about explosive eruptions at Kilauea. Dr. Swanson worked (and still works) at the USGS Hawaii Volcano Observatory, so he knows Kilauea intimately (especially the information that can be drawn from …
26 August 2011
Lockwood at Outside the Interzone wants to know what gets a geologist all shook up. (Hint: it’s not just earthquakes.)
Several hours of hiking on an exotic tropical island + one active cinder/spatter cone + standing on the exact spot where a fissure eruption started, that’s what!
17 May 2010
My geo-photo of choice is a bit of interplay between the forces of geology and biology: an ohi’a shoot growing from a crack of a lava flow on the flank of Mauna Ulu, on the Big Island of Hawaii. The photo is significant to me for a number of reasons: This was my second trip to Hawaii, but the first time I’d had a chance to learn the techniques of …