Taxonomy term

terri cook

The geology of Middle-earth

The first time filmmaker Peter Jackson read J.R.R. Tolkien, he was 18 years old and riding a train across the North Island of his native New Zealand. Whenever Jackson glanced out the train’s window, he was struck by how much the passing landscape resembled his imagined picture of Tolkien’s mythical realm of Middle-earth. This revelation stuck with him; two decades later, Jackson chose New Zealand as the backdrop for his blockbuster film adaptation of the entire “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, and again later when filming “The Hobbit” series.

15 Dec 2014

Travels in Geology: Lentils, lace and lava: France's Massif Central

Tucked between the Pyrenees and the Alps in south-central France is a little-known highland called the Massif Central. This rugged and secluded region is celebrated for its natural beauty and is known for its rolling volcanic hills, handmade lace and savory green lentils.

13 Dec 2014

What a wonderful world to explore

Exploring this planet is a seminal experience, but my children don’t always see it that way. Over the last year, I was fortunate to travel extensively with my family across Europe, New Zealand, Australia and portions of Southeast Asia. From Croatia’s dazzling coastline and Australia’s dusty Outback to Bali’s mist-clad volcanoes, I immersed myself in dozens of diverse landscapes and numerous cultures. I was privileged to share these encounters with my husband, a fellow geologist, as well as my children — as it turned out, this was not always as enriching an experience for them as it was for us.

03 Dec 2014

Travels in Geology: Bali beckons

Bali, Indonesia's top tourist destination, boasts everything a visitor could want: copious sun, sand and surf, flavorful food and fruity libations, stunning sunsets, and verdant rice paddies tucked beneath misty mountains. It also hosts a number of geo-attractions, including hot springs and Indonesia's first global geopark. 

30 Oct 2014

Getting there and getting around Bali

Visitors to Bali arrive at the Ngurah Rai International Airport on the island’s southern side. No direct flights are available from the U.S.; most itineraries route through a major East Asian hub. To travel between Bali and the neighboring islands of Java or Lombok, you can either catch a short domestic flight (options include Garuda Indonesia and Lion Air) or take a short, though frequently rough, ferry ride.

30 Oct 2014

Travels in Geology: Winter sun and tectonic tales in Tucson

Late last March, seeking warm sun and a verdant landscape after a cold, snowy Colorado winter, our family headed south during the spring school break to the lowest-elevation place we could easily drive to in a day or two: Tucson. Hosting Saguaro National Park, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and the largest concentration of astronomical observatories in the country, Tucson has the grand vistas, great hikes and learning opportunities we wanted.
 

15 Sep 2014

Searching the stars

Thanks to its dry climate and soaring peaks, the Tucson region offers some of the best night-sky viewing in the world.

15 Sep 2014

Getting there and getting around in Tucson

Both Phoenix and Tucson are good arrival points for exploring southeastern Arizona, but it’s best to base yourself in Tucson to visit the attractions described here. You will need a car to get around the area; if you choose to fly in, you can rent a vehicle at either city’s airport. Tucson is located about 180 kilometers south of Phoenix on Interstate 10.

15 Sep 2014

Travels in Geology: Aussie Outback Adventure

Australia hosts a remarkable record of early-Earth events: from mineral grains only slightly younger than the planet itself, to a glacial event so severe that geologists call it “Snowball Earth,” to an unparalleled record of life’s early evolution. All are found deep in the vast, arid interior wilderness known as the Outback.

20 Aug 2014

Getting there & getting around the Aussie Outback

The Red Center’s gateway airports are Alice Springs and Ayers Rock/Uluru. Neither hosts direct flights from the U.S. but both are well connected to Sydney, Australia’s primary international arrival point, and other major Australian cities.

19 Aug 2014

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