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john copeland

Geologic Column: On the Summer Solstice

Today, we can only speculate on the significance that the summer solstice had for our ancestors, but we do know its scientific meaning. The author ruminates on the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, and its place in our annual journey around the sun.
21 Jun 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: Geography as destiny: How glaciation led to the Civil War

It intrigues me how geography — a product of dynamic processes shaping Earth’s surface — influences our lives, culture and even plays a hand in the affairs of nations. Take, for example, the last glacial maximum, which shaped parts of North America roughly 20,000 years ago, and in doing so contributed to factors that eventually led to the American Civil War.

07 Nov 2014

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