Taxonomy term

Voices

Comment: The new frontier: Homesteading on Mars

Once relegated to science fiction, the idea of humans colonizing Mars could become a reality. But the lack of an international agreement governing the colonization of other planets challenges us to think about how to use the resources of space fairly, efficiently and ethically.
25 May 2015

Geologic Column: The Rumpelstiltskin Factor

Are you a taxonomic “lumper” or “splitter”? The author ruminates on the meanings and conventions of scientific classification and naming.

21 Apr 2015

Comment: When scientists come under legal attack

When scientific findings contradict some groups’ ideologies or business interests, they resort to legal tactics to stymie research. Here’s what scientists can do if it happens to them.
18 Apr 2015

Geologic Column: Nature for couch potatoes

Why humans seem to fear nature so much — when we are the ones dominating it — is unclear. However, a glance at how nature and wildlife are portrayed in print and on screen reveals our long history (with some exceptions) of declawing it to make ourselves feel safer.

25 Mar 2015

Comment: Our flawed perceptions of risk

Growing up in Southern California, the author knew the damage earthquakes could do, but didn’t worry about it as much as distant friends and family did. New research suggests this phenomenon may come down to how we perceive probabilities and risk.

23 Mar 2015

Geologic Column: Lighting out for the territory

The author contemplates the history of westward expansion into arid lands and wonders if our unwise use of resources in places like the U.S. Southwest will eventually return the land "to the process of geology."

27 Feb 2015

Comment: Rebuilding geology faculty in Afghanistan

A Pentagon program to improve geology and mining education in Afghanistan enlisted a team of geologists from Nebraska, Missouri and Turkey, including the author, to help. 

24 Feb 2015

Geologic Column: February 2: A day long celebrated for its seasonal ties

February is the only month not named for a god, a number, or a Roman Emperor. It is named for a Roman festival of purification. Since antiquity, many groups have celebrated February, specifically Feb. 2, honoring everything from a fire goddess to sheep and other furry animals, and much later, church candles and groundhogs. 

02 Feb 2015

Geologic Column: What geoscientists can learn from TED Talks

TED talks have become an international — and Internet — phenomenon. The presentations are pithy, conversational, focused and entertaining; they are often inspirational and sometimes very personal. Geoscientists — whether presenting conference papers, classroom lectures or presentations for general audiences — can learn a lot from TED talks, especially from the structure and guidance applied to preparing the talks.

27 Dec 2014

Comment: Preparing for the volcano in your backyard: New Zealand sets an example

Preparing and planning for a potential volcanic eruption can help communities cope with fallout and manage the human response when eruptions do happen. Auckland, New Zealand, is working on just such a plan that can serve as an example to other cities facing potential volcanic hazards now or in the future.

26 Dec 2014

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