Green Gabbro

Hey, is this thing still on?

Feedburner tells me that there are still more than 50 people waiting patiently for my next post here. Um. Hi? When I shifted from personal/political blogging to science blogging, and particularly when I started writing here at ScienceBlogs, I wanted to be a reliable source. Turns out that it’s difficult for me to care about…

This morning, the California Supreme Court will announce its decision on whether or not a slim 50% majority can amend the state constitution in order to specifically deny a previously-recognized constitutional right. It will also determine the fate of the 18,000 same-sex marriages performed last year, between the state Supreme Court’s decision that same-sex marriage…

Field Vehicle Amenities

Following on Short Geologist’s list of things you do and don’t need at a field hotel, and fresh from the field (where by “field” I mean “three days of driving around the mountains looking for stuff”, and by “fresh” I mean I’m still at the airport), I thought I’d do a list of amenities that…

But I’m Not Dead Yet!

Huh, I suppose it’s been a while, hasn’t it? 1: I was really surprised by how many of you fell for my April Fools joke. 2: I do have a real job now. I’m an environmental consultant, and I can’t be much more specific than that – not because I am trying to keep the…

Employed at Last

Update, April 2: I hope you all had a wonderful April Fools Day, unmarred by water shortages, supervolcanoes, and threats to your world view. This was a fake, but I should have a real job announcement to make soon – and it won’t involve any quack apologetics. After months of searching in a desperate economy,…

The question of whether or not I am a geologist is not just an amusing exercise in academic politics. In Washington, as in most U.S. states, geology is a regulated profession; guidelines for who can and cannot call themselves a geologist in a professional context are laid out in the administrative code and enforced by…

Are Geophysicists Geologists?

Or, less generally, am I a geologist? I have a B.S. in geophysics and an M.S. in earth and planetary science with a funky geophysics/geohydrology emphasis. I took some intro physical geology and earth history as a sophomore, but I have never taken formal courses in mineralogy, petrology, structural geology, sedimentology, or stratigraphy. However, I’ve…

On Monday, airline passengers were the first to observe the eruption of the just-barely-above-the-water volcano that forms the islands of Hunga Tonga and Hunga Ha’apai, in Tonga. Three days later, a magnitude 7.9 earthquake occurred on the Tonga trench. Was the timing of these two events just coincidence? Yes.

The Parable of the Messy Map

My job, for most of the past six weeks, has been to align cryptic old maps with existing digital data, so that points labeled in small, blurry fonts can be entered into a database. I am not going to show actual screenshots of my work – even if I gave away no useful information to…

“Temblor”

A friend of mine IMed me this weekend, very excited about a minor earthquake. She used the word “temblor” and was very excited about that, too – how often do you get a chance to say “temblor”? She felt impressive and sciencey. I have been hanging around with seismologists for some time now, and I…