Taxonomy term

voices

Comment: Our flawed perceptions of risk

Growing up in Southern California, the author knew the damage earthquakes could do, but didn’t worry about it as much as distant friends and family did. New research suggests this phenomenon may come down to how we perceive probabilities and risk.

23 Mar 2015

Geologic Column: Lighting out for the territory

The author contemplates the history of westward expansion into arid lands and wonders if our unwise use of resources in places like the U.S. Southwest will eventually return the land "to the process of geology."

27 Feb 2015

Comment: Rebuilding geology faculty in Afghanistan

A Pentagon program to improve geology and mining education in Afghanistan enlisted a team of geologists from Nebraska, Missouri and Turkey, including the author, to help. 

24 Feb 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: What geoscientists can learn from TED Talks

TED talks have become an international — and Internet — phenomenon. The presentations are pithy, conversational, focused and entertaining; they are often inspirational and sometimes very personal. Geoscientists — whether presenting conference papers, classroom lectures or presentations for general audiences — can learn a lot from TED talks, especially from the structure and guidance applied to preparing the talks.

27 Dec 2014

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

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