Taxonomy term

departments

January 26, 1905: The world's largest gem-quality diamond is unearthed

Each day, thousands of visitors to the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History view the rare and spectacular Hope Diamond, a 45-carat blue diamond. And dozens of diamonds bigger than the Hope — with names like Excelsior, Incomparable and Jubilee — have also been retrieved, cut and polished to perfection.

26 Jan 2014

December 27, 1888: The Geological Society of America is founded

When the Geological Society of America (GSA) held its first organizational meeting in December 1888, there were only about 200 geologists in North America. Today, as GSA celebrates its 125th anniversary, the organization has evolved into one of the world’s largest societies devoted exclusively to geology, representing more than 25,000 members — researchers, students, teachers and industry professionals with interests spanning the geosciences — in 107 countries.

27 Dec 2013

Down to Earth With: Past American Geosciences Institute Congressional Geoscience Fellows

The American Geosciences Institute’s (AGI) William L. Fisher Congressional Geoscience Fellowship provides an opportunity each year for a geoscientist to work in Washington, D.C., as a staff member in the office of a member of Congress or congressional committee. Since the fellowship program began in 1998, many fellows have used the skills and knowledge they acquired to launch careers at federal and state agencies, nongovernmental organizations and universities.

15 Dec 2013

Mineral Resource of the Month: Phosphate Rock

As a mineral resource, “phosphate rock” is defined as unprocessed ore and processed concentrates that contain some form of apatite, a group of calcium phosphate minerals that is the primary source for phosphorus in phosphate fertilizers, which are vital to agriculture.

02 Dec 2013

Energy Notes: August 2012-2013

Oil and petroleum imports data are preliminary numbers taken from the American Petroleum Institute’s Monthly Statistical Report. For more information visit www.api.org.
 

02 Dec 2013

Down to Earth With: David Montgomery

From the length and breadth of his body of work, you might assume that David Montgomery, a geomorphologist at the University of Washington in Seattle, is approaching the end of a highly successful career. After all, among other accomplishments, he pioneered our understanding of how river channels shape landscapes, explored how glaciers and climate determine the height of the world’s highest mountain ranges, and helped elucidate how erosion has shaped human civilizations through time. 

 
15 Nov 2013

November 10, 1934: Arizona declares war against California at Parker Dam

From above, tiny green irrigation circles draw a narrow buffer along the 2,300-kilometer course of the Colorado River like the brush strokes of a zoomed-in pointillist painting. These vibrant green dots stand out against the buff and ochre hues of the desert palette, a testament to the river’s life-giving waters. Less obvious are the 6.4 billion cubic meters of water that flow, or are pumped, more than 390 kilometers from the Colorado’s gorge through tunnels and canals, up and down hills, to the agricultural and population centers of Southern California each year, and the additional 3.4 billion cubic meters that gurgle toward Phoenix and central Arizona annually.

10 Nov 2013

Mineral Resource of the Month: Thallium

Thallium, a grayish-white metal similar to tin in appearance, was discovered spectroscopically in 1861. Like lead, it is heavy yet soft, and can be cut easily with a knife. When exposed to air, thallium’s luster quickly tarnishes to a blue-gray color owing to the formation of a film of thallium oxide. Its concentration in Earth’s crust is estimated at 0.7 parts per million; mostly it is found in association with potassium minerals in clays, soils and granites, but in general it is not commercially recoverable from those sources. Manganese nodules, found on the ocean floor, also contain thallium.

04 Nov 2013

Energy Notes: July 2012-2013

Oil and petroleum imports data are preliminary numbers taken from the American Petroleum Institute’s Monthly Statistical Report. For more information visit www.api.org.

04 Nov 2013

Down to Earth With: Kirk Johnson

In 1967, at a family picnic in Casper, Wyo., 6-year-old Kirk Johnson stumbled across a fossil that looked to him like an ancient rattlesnake tail (it turned out to be a brachiopod). Not long after, while hiking in his home state of Washington, he accidentally knocked over a piece of shale, fortuitously discovering a fossil leaf. The ensuing epiphany that he had a knack for finding fossil treasures led to what he now calls his “paleo obsession.”

16 Oct 2013

Pages