Taxonomy term

july 2011

Getting There and Getting Around Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs is a good jumping off point for exploring Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument. A car is necessary to get around the area; you can rent one at the Colorado Springs Airport if you choose to fly into Colorado. Once you’re ready to visit the fossils, head west on Highway 24 for about 50 kilometers to the town of Florissant, where you’ll find gas, a couple of restaurants and convenience stores. Woodland Park, about 25 kilometers east of Florissant, offers accommodations and more eating options.

07 Aug 2011

Voices: A growing need for geoscience diplomacy

“I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world … we have a responsibility to join together on behalf of the world we seek.”

With this speech in June 2009 at Cairo University in Egypt, President Barack Obama outlined a new program to promote U.S. cooperation in science and technology initiatives with counterparts in Muslim-majority countries. Obama appointed six science ambassadors to follow up on these cooperation initiatives.

28 Jul 2011

Travels in Geology: Twin coral reefs separated in time in Western Australia

Take advantage of the chance to explore similar-looking reefs in Western Australia: one from the Devonian and one forming now off the coast.

22 Jul 2011

Energy Notes: March 2010-2011

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 Jul 2011

Voices: Austerity axes geological survey in Greece

We have all heard about the austerity measures being taken in Greece regarding its economy. This economic situation is about to affect many of us outside of Greece, however: One aspect of the austerity measures is the immediate closure of the Institute of Geology and Mineral Exploration (IGME). This is a travesty. I am hopeful that by raising awareness outside of Greece, we might be able to save this great body.

17 Jul 2011

Great Lakes geologic sunken treasure

Just beneath the surface of Lake Huron lie several sinkholes full of mysterious microorganisms that may hold clues to early life on Earth and to new medicinal drugs.

15 Jul 2011

Mineral Resource of the Month: Indium

Geologically, the occurrence of indium minerals is rare. The element most often occurs as a sulfide inclusion or substitutes in other base-metal minerals, including cassiterite, chalcopyrite, sphalerite and stannite. Indium’s abundance in the crust is estimated to be 0.05 parts per million, which makes it more abundant than silver, but it is so widely disseminated that it does not occur in high enough concentrations to form mineable deposits. Therefore, indium is most often recovered from byproduct residues produced during the refining of lead and zinc. But only about one-quarter of the indium mined worldwide is refined into metal, as many indium-bearing concentrates are sent to refineries that do not have the capability of recovering the metal.

 
14 Jul 2011

Blogging on EARTH: Webb Space Telescope ensnared in political drama

Perhaps you have heard of the psychological principle of entrapment. In college, a friend of mine once described it to me while we stood in a seemingly endless line in one of the dining halls. As I recall, the essence of it is that the more money, time or effort you invest in some venture waiting for a return — a sandwich in my case — the harder it is to simply let it go or give up hope, regardless of how unfavorable the potential cost-benefit ratio is.

13 Jul 2011

Is there really a minerals crisis?

Reports suggest that the world is running out of crucial supplies of minerals, from copper and lead to the rare earths. But shortages have more to do with sociological and political issues than actual geology.

08 Jul 2011

Hazardous Living: Atlantis' final countdown

As the space shuttle Atlantis prepared for liftoff for the final time this morning, I was humming Europe’s 1986 hit “Final Countdown” in my office. As the countdown proceeded, I got chills. When Atlantis lifted off, I got a little teary-eyed. Watching NASA TV for the next hour, I couldn’t help but wonder what will become of all the people involved in the space shuttle program — mission control, the engineers, the astronauts. It’s hard not to think of this as the end of the U.S. space program. But as we’re assured by NASA, it most certainly is not.

08 Jul 2011

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