Friday, March 28, 2008

Brian's Crinoid

Well, since this is a popular petroleum industry field trip location I am not surprised multiple images of this crinoid are floating around out there. So here's my version of the Lake Valley Formation "curled crinoid" photo.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My first Spammer...

Well, I just received my first comment SPAM. I'm not sure whether I should be grateful because maybe, just maybe, it means I am getting some decent traffic (which I am, thank you!). Or if it was just a coincidence they found my page and decided to SPAM me. In any case, I hope you are all enjoying the content.

(I tried to think of a way to make a geology joke about the spammer, but the closest I got was "Don't TREAD on me... Lame. I know.)

In any case, you can find the articles I have "starred" in my shared GoogleReader home page. It's not a geology post, but enjoy perusing the high quality posts of others!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Rough Draft of Landslide Activity

Wow! The landslide activity went great on Saturday. The kids liked it, they were interactive, and they could identify landslides and hazards areas when they were done. The powerpoint is finished, but for a more detailed explaination I wrote up a description of the activity. It's in really rough shape, just a brain dump, but I will update it as time premits. The activity went so well, I want to get a formal write-up of the activity done for teachers. There is a lot of ways this activity could be modifed for different age levels and group sizes. I have placed all the relevant files in this folder for anyone who is interested. Let me know if you have tried a similar activity or if you try this activity - how did it go?
As I develop this, I might try and make some assessment tests for this activity and practice it on some local schools in town. I want to make sure it really is a good learning activity, not just fun playing in the mud!
(Yes, the activity went so well I am still glowing about it)

Hat tip to Brian for introducing me to GeoMapApp.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Updated Blogroll

I have updated my blogroll to reflect my GoogleReader subscriptions. If you're not on there, let me know and I will add you. The links in the blogroll may lead to the RSS feed rather than the web page, but that's all I had time for while updating. Back to writing!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Landside Activity...

I am designing an activity for a group of 8th grade girls on landslides. I am going to have them generate a couple of landslides with different substrates (wet/dry, different grain sizes, different cohesion). I'm going to try a few different materials this weekend to 'field test' the activity and make sure it will work. If anyone has some advice or experience, I'd appreciate any tips.

The Plan:
Introduction on 'Women in Geology'
Rita Colwell
Mary Kraus
Kitty Milliken
Michele L. W. Tuttle
(I could go on forever. What successful female geologists would you recommend?)

Introduction on 'Landslides'
What they are (generally)
Driving forces (interactive - have them make educated guesses on why they occur)
Different types (chart - relate to features the have seen)
Generate their own landslides (different materials, mud, sand, pebbles, sandstone, then wet vs. dry then collect all the data from each group - I just hope the materials work as expected)
Identifying Landslides (show them a bathymetric map of Hawaii, identifying areas of landslide hazards, huge landslides, small landslides, and implications for development)

That should fill up an hour to an hour and a half. If their is time, I will fill it with opportunities for women in geology. It's a hot field to get a job right now!

Do you have any suggestions? I'll write up a more detailed activity as I work out the kinks. Here are some resources I've been using in the mean time.

Landslide Hazard Manual
Map of Hawaiian Islands
USGS Bathymetry of Hawaiian Islands
Oahu Field Trip
Oahu Topography

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Great Warming - and I missed it

We were reading about framing science in our discussion group and I came across a link for a movie called The Great Warming. Apparently it's been out in theaters since Nov 2007. How did I not hear about this?
Granted, I live in a small town so it's not likely that it would be screened here, but I figured I would have heard something about it from the great-omnipotent-geo-paleo-blogosphere (see updated Blogroll). The reason I think I should have heard something about this movie is that there are several interviews from church leaders and screenings specifically designed for churches and I read some pretty rabid vocal atheistic science blogs. Normally they would be up in arms about such a video. Mixing science and religion? But, it seems like the producers have "framed" the movie for different audiences. This is also evident in their DVD sales where you can buy 4 different versions of the movie (National Wildlife Federation version, Church/Synagogue version, Faith version, and Extended version).
I have not seen the movie so I cannot comment on the quality of the science presented and I am not willing to pay $29.99 to see it. Has anyone else seen this movie? Is it everything the reviews say it is?

Just for reference this is loosely based on the book "Storm Warning - Gambling with the climate of our Planet" by Lydia Dotto, then as a 3-part documentary in Canada in 2004, then a 1 hr PBS special on the movie called "Global Warming: The Signs and the Science" and has since turned into a movie.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Mt St. Helen's Video

Thanks to Nobel Intent who posted a link to the time lapse photo of the Mt St. Helen's eruption over the past few years (2004-2007). I loved seeing how the lava dome affected the glaciers. Just thought I would pass it on as well if you haven't seen it yet.
Time Lapse Video of Mt. St. Helen's Eruption
Looks like you need Windows Media Player to play it...
If you can't get the link to work, try directly at DEM showing dome growth and look under the header September 2004 - July 2007 DEM showing dome growth.

More on Death Defying Feats

Well, since Geotripper and Highly Allochthonous already brought up what will a geologist do for fun I thought this would be a good time to post a link my sister sent me recently. (If you are afraid of falling from great heights, don't even click the link.)
A little background: My sister lives in Okinawa Japan and she is going to take a 3 week trip through northern China (if they finally get a decent ticketing agent who doesn't mess things up). Before she and her husband leave, my fiancee and I want to visit. Since the plane ticket is often the most expensive part of the trip, we are also considering making it an extended vacation and visiting China (maybe even Tibet) with them. Things are still in the preliminary stages, but hopefully it all works out. In planning for this trip, she sent me a link of a hike in China. She knows I love rocks, hiking, and rock climbing and she thought this would be right up my alley. Well, it is, in a scary sh**-your-pants sort of way.
I loved the personal account provided at the bottom of the page (if short on time, just skip down and look at their pictures). While I would be scared at times, I would love to do something like this. I am not worried that I wouldn't be able to do it, it's only a couple of hours, there are handholds and you can purchase a harness for $5, but I know that I would have moments of puckering. Now, I wouldn't be as stupid as some tourists described, I'd at least have proper footware, gloves, harness, etc. And most of the hikes are just stairs, up and up and up. After reading this account by someone who is more along my risk tolerance level, I know I would have fun doing this. The scenery, the rocks, and the hike itself are worth the risk to me. How about you?
(Some commenters on the web pages above have questioned the percieved risk, but in places it is fatal if you fall. So I'm still considering it a risky endeavor.)