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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.
22 September 2017
Every four years, the volcanological community gets together somewhere in the world to spend a week (or two) talking about…you guessed it, volcanoes. And because volcanology – like any ‘disaster science’ – occupies a special intersection of geologic processes and human impacts, there is an inherent social science aspect in its practice.
28 September 2016
If you’re a volcanologist – or really any geology buff who appreciates volcanoes – Iceland is flat-out paradise.
19 April 2016
It’s not very often that I comment on news articles, but a reader of the blog recently brought this one to my attention, and it hits close to home. The article is in the Washington Post’s Travel section and is entitled, “In Guatemala, a treacherous hike to one of the world’s most active volcanoes”. That title pretty much covers why I’m so upset – and conflicted – about the author of the piece is writing about.
26 February 2016
My father and I share a habit: we tend to point out and grumble over certain catchphrases we hear or read in a news report, mostly because they’re misused, overused, or just plain don’t make sense. He dislikes things such as “address the issue” or “touch base” or “spearhead”. Me? I make faces when I hear Earth science terms getting co-opted.
9 June 2015
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.
29 January 2015
I promised photos of the second part of my trip to see pillow basalts at the Marin Headlands, and here we are, just as the fog was lifting in the early afternoon. After exploring the Point Bonita lighthouse and its vicinity, we decided to hike down through the abundant succulents (Carpobrotus edulis, if I’ve got it right) to Rodeo Cove and its beach.
6 December 2014
Note: This is a post I was writing back in October of 2013, during the last government shutdown. There’s a little rambling about data availability, but it’s mostly supposed to be a list of some useful volcanology data resources!
23 March 2014
My PhD advisor relocated to Scotland last year, and I finally had a chance to visit her in Edinburgh. And wow, what a great place for a geologist to go!
1 March 2014
So, you may have seen me mention on Twitter that I was planning on seeing Pompeii this week – and I did, properly fortified with some nice cider at a nearby pub beforehand. I’m not going to give you the full rundown of the science and history of the eruption, because David Bressan is already working on a series of excellent posts about that. Instead, I’m going to treat this as a quick-and-snarky guide to whether you want the movie to feature at your next “bad geology movie night”.