Taxonomy term

geology

Down to Earth With: Ted Irving

Geoscience students today may take plate tectonics for granted, but the concept that Earth has a mobile crust has only been generally accepted for the past 40 years. This modern concept is due in part to the work of Ted Irving, a geologist and scientist emeritus with the Geological Survey of Canada. In the 1950s, Irving was one of the first scientists to perform a physical test of — and find hard evidence for — Alfred Wegener’s 1912 hypothesis of continental drift. Continental drift was a precursor to plate tectonics theory, which describes how Earth’s surface is not a single shell, but is divided into large plates that are constantly moving past each other.

23 Aug 2009

Down to Earth With: Randy Olson

Marine biologist-turned-filmmaker Randy Olson made a name for himself in 2006 with the release of his first feature-length movie, “Flock of the Dodos: The Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus.” He followed that success with last year’s “Sizzle: A Global Warming Comedy.” These movies feature hot-button science issues, but they are not documentaries. Rather, Olson says, they are designed to entertain and spark an interest in the scientific topic — whether evolution or climate change — so that viewers will want to learn more.

23 Jun 2009

Down to Earth With: New congressional science fellows

Last month, a new Congress and president came to Washington, D.C. And with them came new staff, including five geoscience congressional science fellows. The fellows will take their scientific prowess to the Hill, and will use their training to work with senators, representatives and committees on policy issues. But the transition from field boot to suit jacket won’t be easy, they told EARTH reporter Brian Fisher Johnson.

23 Feb 2009

Down to Earth With: Maurice J. 'Ric' Terman

A general wants to advance his army of tanks, but doesn’t know if the terrain he plans to cross will allow it. Tanks can’t go up steep slopes, for instance. And they can’t knock down large trees or traverse soft ground like peat bogs. That’s where military geologists come in — earth scientists who scope out the terrain to determine its suitability for different types of movement and construction.

23 Dec 2008

Down to Earth With: John 'Jack' Reed Jr.

Geologist Jack Reed spent his career studying rocks the most strenuous way someone can — by climbing them. During much of his 47 years with the U.S. Geological Survey, Reed clung  to rock faces in Alaska, Wyoming and Colorado, while creating geologic maps of North America’s tallest mountain ranges. Along the way, he published dozens of books for climbers and hikers on the geology of places like the Tetons in Wyoming, Seneca Rocks in West Virginia, Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and, most recently, “Rocks Above the Clouds: A Climber’s Guide to Colorado Mountain Geology.” Shortly before his latest book hit the shelves, Reed took some time out of his busy retirement schedule to speak with EARTH contributor and fellow climber Mary Caperton Morton.

23 Nov 2008

Down to Earth With: Award-winning sci-fi novelist Kim Stanley Robinson

Don’t let Kim Stanley Robinson fool you. He may know a lot about the geography of Mars and ocean acidification, but he’s no scientist. He’s an award-winning science fiction novelist. Yet the science in his books is so convincing that many fans can’t help but be duped.
 
03 Sep 2008

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