Taxonomy term


Comment: Preparing for the volcano in your backyard: New Zealand sets an example

Preparing and planning for a potential volcanic eruption can help communities cope with fallout and manage the human response when eruptions do happen. Auckland, New Zealand, is working on just such a plan that can serve as an example to other cities facing potential volcanic hazards now or in the future.

26 Dec 2014

Geologic Column: Get busy living!

Whether imprisioned literally or figuratively, one has a choice: Get busy living or get busy dying. A recent stint with temporary invalidity got the author thinking about how he has rekindled the creative fires and enthusiasm at various times throughout his life and career, and his keys to getting busy living again. 

24 Nov 2014

Comment: How much hazard mitigation is enough?

Given society’s finite resources, communities face the tough challenge of deciding how much mitigation is enough. Prioritizing is always hard, but it is especially difficult because of the limited ability to forecast future natural hazards. But there are ways to figure out the optimal amount of mitigation.

20 Nov 2014

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

Comment: IPCC faces challenges in communicating climate science

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), released piecemeal over the last year, reports “unequivocal” warming of the climate system due to increasing greenhouse gas concentrations, further emphasizing the need for global mitigation and adaptation schemes. But not everyone is ready to curtail carbon emissions, and the increasing clamor from skeptics and deniers — along with potential overstatements and even understatements by scientists — creates a polarized political environment that complicates efforts to communicate science effectively.

05 Nov 2014

Geologic Column: Combining art and geology in the sand

Once upon a time, sand sculptures made of sand were mostly castles, built by children and families on a summer vacation to the beach. Today, sand sculpting is also a serious business. But it all starts with the sand — which starts with geology.

18 Sep 2014

Comment: Building sanctuaries to increase civilization's resilience

Asteroid impacts, supervolcano eruptions, global pandemics, nuclear war and cyberterrorism: Each could cripple or destroy the foundations of civilization. Perhaps humanity should invest in its future by building archival sanctuaries to safeguard civilization in the event of catastrophe.

17 Sep 2014

Geologic Column: How T. rex got its street cred back

Apparently, T. rex was in danger of losing its street cred as the scariest meat-eating hunter of all time. Until a recent discovery, the lumbering giant was being dissed as a sneaky scavenger. Forensic paleontologists to the rescue!

16 Aug 2014

Comment: Energy 360: Let science speak, not agendas

Ideally, science is objective and without bias. But realistically, some bias, in the form of predetermined inclination, is unavoidable. Thus it falls on scientists to disclose our biases and potential conflicts, and to do our utmost to be objective.

15 Aug 2014

Comment: The search for clarity on climate change

Straightforward scientific conclusions about climate change often fail to reach policymakers and the broader society. Climate scientists need to revise their communication strategies to close the vast gap in understanding that persists between what is known about climate change and how the public perceives the issue.

31 Jul 2014