Taxonomy term

departments

Energy Notes: November 2008-2009

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.

 
20 Mar 2010

Mineral Resource of the Month: Cesium

Cesium, an alkali metal that is slightly golden in color and melts in one’s hand, is one of only two metals (along with mercury) that are liquid at room temperature. It is not found in nature in its elemental state because it is easily oxidized. 

 
14 Mar 2010

Down to Earth With: Sharon Mosher

Sharon Mosher was born with a rock in her hand, as her mom used to say. As a child in Illinois, she was fascinated by geology, conducting mineral tests on rocks in the chemistry lab her dad set up for her in their basement. She decided she wanted to be a geologist the moment she learned that’s what you call a person who studies rocks.

01 Mar 2010

Energy Notes: October 2008-2009

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.

 
20 Feb 2010

Mineral Resource of the Month: Asbestos

Asbestos is a generic name given to six needle-shaped minerals that have been used in commercial products. It is an industrial term rather than a mineralogical term, referring to specific fibrous mineral particles that possess high tensile strengths, large length-to-width ratios, flexibility and resistance to chemical and thermal degradation. Asbestos also exhibits high electrical resistance, and many forms can easily be woven into textiles. Even though asbestos markets have declined dramatically over the past 30 years because of health and liability issues, it is still used throughout the world.

 
14 Feb 2010

Down to Earth With: Mike Gallagher

Mike Gallagher is not your typical science educator. After spending three years as a researcher and field geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, Calif., Gallagher decided to become a teacher after budget cuts at USGS in the late 1980s encouraged him to reconsider his career track. Gallagher went on to earn a Washington state teaching certificate (while renting a place in the belfry of a local church). As a teacher in Washington, Gallagher engaged his students with hands-on science research projects: By 1999, two of his students had even presented their research on the water quality of a local stream to then-Governor Gary Locke, who is now secretary of commerce. A windsurfer in his spare time, Gallagher now works for Michigan’s Oakland Intermediate School District, advising districts and teachers on how to improve their science education programs.

02 Feb 2010

Energy Notes: September 2008-2009

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.

 
20 Jan 2010

Mineral Resource of the Month: Iron Ore

In nature, elemental iron is found largely in either magnetite or hematite, both iron ore minerals. Nearly all iron ore — whether used directly as lump ore or converted to briquettes, concentrates, pellets or sinter — is used to make steel. In the United States, steelmaking accounts for almost 99 percent of iron ore consumption. Minor amounts are consumed in the production of cast iron, cement, magnets and jewelry. There are eight major iron ore mines in the United States — all surface mining operations — two in Michigan and six in Minnesota. 

 
14 Jan 2010

Benchmarks: January 13, 1404: England prohibits Alchemy

Alchemy, in both ancient and medieval times, wasn’t just about turning lead into gold, although such “transmutation” was certainly one desirable goal. In a broader sense, alchemists were both philosophers and the precursors to modern chemists, in that they sought to understand thedifferent states of matter, the interactions of metals, and the way in which elements were created from the original chaos. There were thought to be four elements — earth, air, fire and water — and combining them properly could produce any substance on Earth, from medicines to gold. Among the more lofty ambitions of alchemists was the search for the fabled Philosopher’s Stone, a substance that was supposed to enable the transmutation of one substance into another (and perhaps act as an elixir of life).
 
13 Jan 2010

Down to Earth With: Matt Kondolf

As a fluvial geomorphologist teaching in the Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning Department at the University of California at Berkeley, Matt Kondolf is an ambassador from the earth sciences to landscape designers and environmental planners. Kondolf’s research in river management ranges from the impacts of urbanization on runoff and sediment yield, to river restoration, to managing salmon populations and fishing. In classes like “Hydrology for Planners” and “Ecological Analysis in Urban Design,” he encourages up-and-coming environmental planners and designers to think carefully about the geologic processes that control river formation, as well as the roles that rivers play within ecosystems. He is also active in the policy discussions that are shaping California’s and the nation’s approaches to river management.

02 Jan 2010

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