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Monday Geology Picture: Black Basalt on the Beach, Mauritius

Mon, 09/01/2014 - 3:48pm
First of all, my apologies for the long absence from blogging. Work has been extremely busy this year, and for the last 6 weeks I was in the field with very spotty satellite internet connection. However, I’m back in Cape Town now, and September should be a quieter month for me, workwise. So, I’m hopeful that I will have time to catch up on some blogging. One of the things …

Field work on the Grinnell Formation at Red Rock Canyon, Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta

Mon, 09/01/2014 - 9:10am
Callan's Rockies field course students document faulting and jointing in Red Rock Canyon, Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta.

How Hot Is Your City?

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 5:47pm
You’ve probably heard about the urban heat island effect, but I bet you do not realize is how much it affects your weather (and how much it costs you in cooling costs). The folks at Climate Central put out a report this month that breaks down how large the temperature differences are between some cities, and the rural areas surrounding them. The report makes it obvious that we are paying a …

Earthquake rupture through a U.S. suburb

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 12:40pm
In the quiet wee hours of a NorCal summer night, the ground lurched beneath the mud of the northern San Francisco Bay and sent seismic waves roaring upward and outward into the world-famous wine valley’s central city, Napa, CA. After they wreaked their havoc in Napa and nearby communities the seismic waves spread farther afield and gently rumbled most of the Bay Area and its exurbs from our weekend slumber. By the time …

Friday fold: Pleistocene glacial folding of Cretaceous sedimentary rock?

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 8:54am
The Friday fold is found in Cretaceous rocks of eastern Alberta - but far beyond the tectonic influence of the Canadian Rockies. So what's responsible for the folding?

Dinosaur bone

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 8:42am
In July, I found a dinosaur bone in Dinosaur Provincial Park! It was lying in a wash coming off a small mesa, and sure enough, when the students and I walked up the little draw, we came to in situ bones poking out of the cliff above. After showing it to the students, I put it back down exactly where I had found it, of course.

Getting students to read the syllabus with a Syllabus Quiz

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 8:36am
We spend much time writing a syllabus, including all the required information by our universities... and yet, we struggle getting the students to read our masterpiece! Perhaps a syllabus quiz can motivate our students to learn about our courses from Day 1.

GOES 14 Rapid Scan images of Hurricane Cristobal

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 6:04pm
This is the kind of satellite imagery we will see daily when GOES R launches in 2016, and it will be even higher resolution spatially and temporally. GOES 14 is a spare satellite that is turned on and checked out from time to time. It can take one minute rapid scan images. GOES R will be able to do this at two spots simultaneously.   Post by NOAA NWS Weather …

Heating up the fishbowl: Climate change threatens endangered Devils Hole pupfish

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 1:38pm
Climate change is hurting reproduction of the critically endangered Devils Hole pupfish, threatening the survival of the already small population, new research shows.

Two Peas in a Pod

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 5:00am
Being a good researcher, scientist and/or engineer is more than the number of grants, publications and conference presentations you have given. Take your research to the next level. Bring it to your community, your neighborhood, and your legislators. Engaging others in your research and engaging in the policies that impact your research can be just as important as our models, lab, and field work. So here is a list of key things I will be taking away from my internship this summer and why I’m committed to being a scientist who is actively engaged in policy.

Intrigued by Earthquakes and Volcanoes? It’s Easy to Become Geologically Literate

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 2:23am
Meteorologists in general do not know much about Geology, but broadcast mets are usually the first person newsroom producers (and the public) turn to when there is an earthquake, tsunami, meteor showers etc.  I had a couple of great courses in Geology working on my masters, and a field trip to the Washington State was a fantastic learning experience, and it left me with a lifelong fascination of rocks and …

Sunkoshi landslide in Nepal – still no reduction in the lake level

Sun, 08/24/2014 - 6:23pm
The level of the lake behind the Sunkoshi landslide dam shows no signs of reducing, despite extensive efforts by the army to widen the channels

Culling the deskcrops

Sun, 08/24/2014 - 11:56am
If you saw my post for the Geological Society's "Speaking of Geoscience" blog, you'll know that I'm in a transition period - finishing up my job as a policy fellow and getting ready to move on to a postdoctoral fellowship with the USGS in September. In the meantime, that means I've been spending a lot of my time packing all my possessions into increasing numbers of boxes, in between pecking away at various writing projects.

Dariali Gorge: another very large landslide from the Devdoraki glacier

Sat, 08/23/2014 - 6:07pm
On 20th August another very large landslide descended from the Devdoraki Glacier in Georgia, blocking the main highway through the Dariali Gorge

Dirt Bucket Challange is a Bad Idea

Sat, 08/23/2014 - 2:40pm
Apparently, in the interest of saving water in drought-stricken California and calling attention to the crisis there, two men dumped dirt over their heads. This is a bad idea, in support of a good cause, in my view. The video has gone viral and shows a dry-land adaptation of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Soil is not only where plants grow, but is also host to many kinds of bacteria …

An examination of the Horseshoe Canyon Formation in eastern Alberta

Sat, 08/23/2014 - 1:05pm
An expert on the deltaic depositional setting of eastern Alberta's Horseshoe Canyon Formation shares field evidence and expertise with Callan's students.

July Heat and Misleading Headlines

Sat, 08/23/2014 - 3:39am
This past July was the 4th hottest on record and for the 38th July in a row, the global temperature in July was above the average July temperature in the 20th century. Not only that but the same thing has happened for the last 358 consecutive months, and that’s pretty amazing when you think about it. You may have seen some headlines this week about a “global warming pause” that …

10% of Iceland Closed as Concern Over Volcano Grows

Thu, 08/21/2014 - 10:50pm
Concern is increasing tonight that the Bararbunga (BOWR-Thar Boon-Ka) volcano may be getting ready to erupt. Earthquakes continue, and these type of quakes indicate that magma (Lava with high pressure gases) is moving beneath the volcano, which is much larger than the one that caused serious air travel disruptions a few years ago. Late today, Icelandic officials declared about 10% of Iceland off-limits, and is evacuating residents, hikers and campers …

Hiroshima: disastrous landslides with further rainfall warnings in effect

Thu, 08/21/2014 - 6:27pm
Catastrophic landslides in Hiroshima, Japan on Wednesday have killed 39 poeple, with many more reported missing. Further heavy rainfall is forecast for the area.

Before you set a hashtag for your course or have students blog, think FERPA

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 8:22am
Are you going to require that your students post on a public blog this semester?  Will you be creating a Facebook page for your class and asking students to post on it?  Will you have students post selfies on Twitter with a course hashtag?  For those instructors that use social media with their students and courses, this could be the most important tweet you read all year:   Is your …