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Getting there and getting around Tibet

Tibet is a long way from most everywhere. There are no direct flights from North America, so it’s usually cheapest and most convenient to fly into a major Chinese city such as Beijing and then catch the next flight to Lhasa Gonggar Airport (LXA). Air China, Tibet Airlines, Sichuan Airlines and China Southern are among the carriers offering direct and connecting flights to Lhasa from most major Chinese cities. Sichuan Airlines and Air China also provide nonstop service from Kathmandu, Nepal. The Lhasa airport is located 65 kilometers south of the city center and takes about an hour to reach.

17 Jan 2019

Travels in Geology: Lhasa, Tibet: Journey to the roof of the world

On a trip to the Tibetan capital of Lhasa, one of the world’s highest cities, you can cross the Eurasian- Indian collision suture zone, admire the sparkling turquoise waters of sacred Yamdrok Lake, tour hidden monasteries belonging to different Buddhist sects, and marvel at Mount Everest, the world’s tallest mountain.
17 Jan 2019

Eyes in the sea: Swarms of floating robots observe the oceans

Swarms of small, inexpensive, autonomous robots that can be deployed over a large area for a long time are changing how oceanographers work. The robots can rise and sink to different depths, swim against vertical currents, synchronize their movements and be tracked underwater. The sampling possibilities are nearly endless.
02 Jan 2019

Revealing the ghosts of glaciers past

On the ground, it’s hard to fathom the effects that glaciers once had on the now nearly ice-free Rocky Mountains, but from the air, the landscape is clearly haunted by the ghosts of glaciers past. In 2015, pilot and photographer Garrett Fisher set out in his antique 1949 Piper Cub aircraft to photograph all the remaining glaciers in the American Rockies. 
18 Dec 2018

Getting There and Getting Around Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C., is served by three major airports: Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA), Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI). Reagan National is closest to downtown and is conveniently served by the Metro subway system. For those with window seats, flights in and out of DCA offer views of the Piedmont-Coastal Plain boundary along the Potomac River, in addition to exciting views of the National Mall. Dulles is a roughly 45-kilometer drive west of downtown D.C. in the exurbs of Northern Virginia. Window-seaters approaching IAD can spy quarries excavating rocks from the Culpeper Basin, as well as the Blue Ridge Mountains to the west. Flights to BWI, about 50 kilometers north of downtown D.C., offer views of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries draining the Coastal Plain. The airport is served by a commuter train that runs to Union Station, Washington’s downtown rail hub adjacent to the U.S. Capitol. Automobile traffic in and around the city is often heavy, and a cab or rideshare from IAD or BWI into the city can take upwards of an hour. Rail service aboard Amtrak into Union Station, which is on Metro’s Red Line, may be a convenient option for some visitors to D.C.

11 Dec 2018

Travels in Geology: Touring the Capital Geology of Washington, D.C.

This month, the American Geophysical Union will host its annual fall meeting in Washington, D.C. Take a tour of the city’s unexpected geology, showcased in both natural rock outcrops and the capital’s diverse suite of building stone found in museums and monuments on the National Mall.
07 Dec 2018

Travels in Geology: Jewel of the Apennines: Italy's Monti Sibillini National Park

The landscape of the central Apennines is a manifestation of the geological processes that have acted on this region for more than 200 million years. It is a place where human history is closely tied to the terrain: a relationship that has produced terrific rewards of agriculture and art, as well as great catastrophes from earthquakes and landslides. 
14 Nov 2018

Getting There & Getting Getting Around Monti Sibillini National Park

For those traveling internationally by air to Italy to visit Monti Sibillini National Park, flying into Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport (FCO) is likely the best option. Florence is another option, but Rome is closer and hosts more flights. There are several routes into the park from different directions; all the entrance points on the western side of the park are a two-and-a-half- to three-hour drive east of Rome. Bus tour services run out of Rome, but the best way to reach the park is via rental car. Rental cars are plentiful, and the good news is that, unlike driving in some parts of Italy such as around Naples or in Sicily (which is not for the faint of heart), driving in the Apennines is much more like driving in the U.S. In this part of Italy, drivers are more courteous and generally adhere to road signage and lane guidelines. All countries have driving norms that are not immediately clear to foreign drivers, however. In Italy, to avoid scorn from your fellow drivers, it’s important to remember to never pass another car on the right. Italians consider it a severe breach of driving etiquette.

14 Nov 2018

Going subterranean: Repurposed mines become innovative labs

Around the world, old mines are finding new life as underground research facilities, offering scientists unique ways to answer some of science’s biggest questions — from investigations of natural resources, seismic activity and carbon sequestration, to less obvious topics like biofuel development and how life began on Earth — and, maybe, on other planets as well. 

05 Nov 2018

Dutch Masters: The Netherlands exports flood-control expertise

Since the 13th century, the low-lying Netherlands has been developing innovative water management techniques and technologies, including recent projects like the Delta Works, the Zandmotor and Room for the River. Now, facing global sea-level rise, flood-prone coastal cities in the U.S., like New Orleans and New York, and elsewhere around the world, are calling on the Dutch to teach them how to hold back the sea. 
15 Oct 2018

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