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Airliner Chronicles: Stuck on a Plane with a Proselytizer...

And really, I felt sorry for the poor guy who was stuck sitting with me on the plane flight from St. Louis to LAX. Oh, I wasn't trying to convert the poor guy into some religion. No, he got the full-court press from me about the importance of understanding what was going on 35,000 feet below us on the ground. Show More Summary

Beatty: Old Buildings, A Fold, and Onward toward Titus Canyon

Before a mediocre breakfast with slow service at the casino at the north end of Beatty, I walked around in the early morning light taking various photos of some of the old (and old-styled) buildings. The Sourdough Saloon and Happy Burro sit across the street from the parking lot of the Exchange Club Motel. Show More Summary

Airliner Chronicles: When Disaster Arrived from the Heavens

I thought briefly of making this one of those "What is it?" kind of posts, but it seemed kind of obvious. We were flying home from our weekend in St. Louis, and without a GPS, I was trying to get myself situated correctly into the geography that was drifting by slowly far beneath us. Show More Summary

Upper Arroyo Viejo: My first Oakland fossil

Two weeks ago I wrote about the upper part of Arroyo Viejo, in Knowland Park, and said that I hadn’t walked the whole section exposed along the stream. Soon afterward I returned there and did the deed. I had a special goal of locating fossils in the Knoxville Formation. This time, instead of following deer […]

Pele is a Capricious Goddess...Part Three, a Precious Gift from a Mysterious Woman

One of the most awe-inspiring moments of my life I've been celebrating my impending return to the Hawaiian Islands by revising and expanded a few posts I did in 2009 about the volcano goddess Pele, and my experiences with the ongoing eruption of Kilauea. Show More Summary

Arizona legislative session had big impact on geology

Governor Doug Ducey last week signed bills that his office described as "aimed at protecting job creators from excessive government regulations and burdensome licensing requirements." This included HB 2613 that de-licensed a number of professions, initially including geologists, and SB 1256 which eliminated licensing of assayers. Show More Summary

Earthquake swarm in northwest Arizona slowing but still active

There was a magnitude 1.1 earthquake in northwest Arizona about 8:43 p.m. last night after several days of no activity in the area. We have seen over 60 earthquakes in this area since March 28. [Right, orange star marks last night's epicenter. Show More Summary

Pele is a Capricious Goddess (reprised)...Part Two

Continuing the story from the previous post, I had a second chance to see a volcano in action in 2004. I was the newly elected president of the Far West Section of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers, and for my first conference, I had persuaded someone to sponsor a meeting in Hilo, Hawaii. Show More Summary

Pele is a Capricious Goddess...Part One (A Return to the Realm of Fire)

Note to my Geology 190 Students: this IS NOT a picture from my current visit. Lava is NOT flowing this way right now. I offer NO GUARANTEES that anything we see on our trip in two weeks will be anything like this. The reasons are described below.... Show More Summary

AZGS moving to University of Arizona by June 30

The Arizona Geological Survey will move out of our state offices in Tucson by June 30 and move into the office space recently vacated by the Arid Lands Resource Sciences on the east end of the University of Arizona campus. This is a result of the Governor's consolidation of state agencies. Show More Summary

Mineral museum transfer will occur in August

The former Mining & Mineral Museum in Phoenix will transfer to the Arizona Geological Survey sometime in August. A proviso in SB1530, the Agency Consolidation bill, called for it to be retroactive to May 1, but it failed to include the emergency statute that would allow that.We also got a 65-page preliminary Facility Assessment prepared for the Dept. Show More Summary

Airliner Chronicles: Finding Fault by Flying

Flying can be no fun whatsoever, what with the lines, the waits, the security checks, surly attendants, and the tarmac delays. It would be intolerable were it not for window seats. So while I'm in connecting flight limbo, here is a sight from my flight between Oakland and LAX today. Show More Summary

Quake swarm resumes in northwest Arizona

Two earthquakes in northwest Arizona demonstrate the swarm activity is not over yet. A magnitude 1.7 earthquake occurred just before midnight, followed by a magnitude 2.0 event at 10:21 a.m. local time this morning. It's been a few days with no reported activity. Show More Summary

The Other California: A Chance to See a Unique Piece of our State, our local Galapagos Island

Santa Cruz Island in Southern California. Here is your chance to explore this dynamic and unique ecosystem! Source National Park Service I work with some pretty incredible people. Modesto may be not be the most exciting place to live,...Show More Summary

Dust storm closes I-10 east of Tucson

Dust storms have closed Interstate 10 east of Tucson near the New Mexico border multiple times in recent weeks. It's happening again.Here is a picture of I-10 taken at 4 p.m. today east of Willcox at mile marker 376. [Credit, AZ Dept. of Transportation]

Arizona mining scams "alive and in good standing"

Fraudulent mining schemes are "alive and in good standing" according to an article, "Recent Arizona Mining Scams," by W. Scott Donaldson, in the May issue of Arizona Attorney magazine. Donaldson notes scams dating back to the 1800s but focuses his analyses mostly on modern events. Show More Summary

Where my rocks go to die

For many years I saved and collected rocks. This was especially true during my years at, when I put together a large set of photos and explanations to help people learn about rocks. When dropped my contract in 2014, I’d reached “peak rocks.” My office had rocks everywhere, and my closet had still […]

Cherishing Our Rivers: A Journey on the Water with the Tuolumne River Trust

Are you lucky enough to live near a river? For much of my life I didn't have that privilege. Southern California has creeks at best, except when they were flooding and otherwise causing havoc. The creeks often flowed through incredibly beautiful mountains and valleys, but they can't be a source of life for human civilization. Show More Summary

Earthquake swarm in northwest Arizona continues

We now have recorded more than 60 small to moderate earthquakes in northwest Arizona as part of a swarm that began on March 28. There have been 11 events in the past 7 days 9shown in the figure at right), including a magnitude 3.8 quake which is the largest one in the sequence.The list below shows the magnitude, location, and time/date of this past weeks quakes. [Credit, USGS]

Yosemite's Waterfall Riches: When the Junior Varsity Team Outdoes Everyone Else's Varsity

Ribbon Falls (1,612 feet) just west of El Capitan. The colorful red trees aren't fall colors; they're conifers killed by California's extended drought. You wouldn't know it from the fine physique I carry around on my middle, but I once had an exciting career in high school track and field, and also cross-country running. Show More Summary

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