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12 July 2014

Building DC goes to Mexico (or, why is the geologist taking pictures of the doorframe?)

One of the interesting things about inviting a geologist to any sort of historic site is the inevitable moment when they get distracted by the stones that have been used to build whatever fabulous architectural treasure it is that you’re admiring. Case in point: When I was invited to go to the New Horizons Symposium in the Chimalistac neighborhood of Mexico city, I spent at least a few minutes each day taking photos of the walls (much to the amusement of my fellow conference-goers).


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18 June 2012

Blown away by Bancroft: Part III

On the second afternoon of our trip, we finally began moving out of the greenschist facies into the amphibolite facies – higher pressures, higher temperatures and a different set of minerals.


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2 December 2011

Teaching the teachers: Activities for a plate tectonics workshop

A few weeks ago, I helped co-teach a plate tectonics workshop with a fellow UB geo grad. The workshop was intended as sort of a continuing education credit for local middle school science teachers, and rather than talk at them the whole time, we decided to have the teachers try out some activities that they could adapt for their classes. Plate tectonics is a pretty broad topic, and we covered everything from the history and development of the idea to volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. Because we had so much to cover (it was a six-hour workshop), we did three activities – one about sea-floor spreading, one about viscosity (to go along with the volcanology bit where we talk about magma type controlling landform appearance) and one that tied seismology and subduction together.


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26 August 2011

Sexy Geology: Accretionary Wedge #37

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!


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29 September 2010

Guess this means it’s columnar jointing week

Well, since everyone else is getting in on the columnar jointing meme/festival/whatever, I suppose I could throw a few photos out there… Columns in an ignimbrite on the east side of Santa Maria volcano in Guatemala. (A drive-by, unfortunately. I would have loved a close-up look at these!) Some of the oldest volcanics in the Vulsini volcanic district, Italy: a jointed trachyte from the Bolsena caldera complex. (The tree at …


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