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Mammoth Butts Heads With Legislators

The legislature of South Carolina has been fulfilling a girl's persistent quest to enact an official state fossil by giving the honor to the Columbian mammoth. State fossils, like state rocks and state minerals and state flowers, are benign things that give science teachers a hook for lessons that engage local students and celebrate natural heritage. Show More Summary


"Bison and many other animals are leaving Yellowstone in droves, and its (sic)prompting theories that minor earthquakes in the area could soon set off the Yellowstone Super Volcano." Source: click hereHow many things can be wrong in one sentence? I count at least three or four. Show More Summary

And They Became Gods in the Classroom: A Different Use for Monopoly Houses

It's getting well into the semester, and it's starting to wear on the students. A lot of them work at awful jobs which keeps them convinced that they need to do well in school so they can get a career doing something they enjoy. Some of them look a bit tired, as evidenced by the fact that their faces are planted on their desks, snoring. Show More Summary

A Chance to See the Most Advanced Planetarium Star Projector in the Country! Friday, April 4 at Modesto Junior College

For those of you who live in Central California within driving distance of Modesto: If you follow my blog at all, you know that I have been enthusiastically describing the new Science Community Center along with the Great Valley Museum and Planetarium at Modesto Junior College. Show More Summary

Chile Earthquake Completes the Set

Yesterday's magnitude 8.2 earthquake off the coast of northern Chile was significant to scientists because it was widely anticipated and because it filled the largest remaining "seismic gap" in a large swatch of the South American subduction zone. Show More Summary

Kinder Morgan to invest $1 billion in St. Johns CO2-helium field and pipeline

Kinder Morgan is expected to spend about $300 million on a 213-mile pipeline to move carbon dioxide from the St. Johns field in eastern Arizona to oil fields in eastern New Mexico and West Texas to use for enhanced oil recovery, and "about $700 million to drill wells and build field gathering, treatment and compression facilities at the St. Show More Summary

Oh no, it's Jar-Jar Binks! No, It's Far More Special Than That...

Omigod! Somebody caught Jar-Jar Binks! Okay, not really. But what the heck is this thing? Say hello to Saurolophus, our home-grown California dinosaur! It is the last of the new teaching materials that we were able to purchase as part of renewing the teaching of science at Modesto Junior College. Show More Summary

Canal will extend Gulf of California into Arizona

Plans were announced today to dig a 245-mile long canal from the northern Gulf of California into southwestern Arizona to flood the region with sea water creating new economic opportunities and beach-front housing across thousands of square miles of mostly uninhabited desert. Show More Summary

Views of Majuba Hill: Full Moon Setting

A while back, I started collecting photos of Majuba Hill (AKA Majuba Mountain), partly because I pass by daily on the way to and from work, and also because of it's interesting shape and fascinating geology (which I hope to learn more...Show More Summary

E-an Zen, 1928-2014

One of America's unsung senior geologists, E-an Zen, died on 29 March at the age of 85. Born in China, he emigrated to the U.S. and earned a doctorate in 1955 from Harvard. A 30-year career followed at the U.S. Geological Survey, then 23 more years on the faculty of the University of Maryland. Show More Summary

Local stone

I always get a kick from old walls around Oakland that are made of local stones. This one is on Loma Vista Avenue, in the upper Laurel. Click the image to see a 1000-pixel shot of the whole thing. The mix of blue Franciscan rocks, golden Tertiary sandstones and the occasional reddish chert is distinctive, […]

Geotripper is for the Birds: Life persists in the midst of horrific drought

It was on my morning stroll that I realized that Dry Creek was flowing. The creek has its headwaters in the Sierra Nevada foothills, and drains a region about thirty miles long before joining up with the Tuolumne River in downtown Modesto. Show More Summary

L.A. Gets Its Latest Wake-Up Call

If you think of earthquakes like alarm clocks, then lots of people, maybe most of us, respond by rousing briefly and then hitting the snooze bar. California experienced its largest earthquake in years just this month—it was a magnitude 6.8 shaker three weeks ago off the coast of Eureka, in the northernmost part of the state. Show More Summary

The BIG ONE is COMING! Well, yeah, but...

The San Andreas fault in the San Francisco Bay area. The two reservoirs are Crystal Springs and San Andreas, which gave California's most important fault its name. Photo by Geotripper. It seems like there has been a bit of shaking going on in California over the last few weeks. Show More Summary

Is this a teachable moment for dealing with natural hazards?

The ABC Evening News tonight led with a story about the magnitude 5.1 earthquake that hit the Los Angeles basin tonight that was widely felt with modest damage. The next story reported on the continued search for victims in the Oso, Washington landslide. Show More Summary

This Week's Geo-Quiz: Geology -Ologies

You could call geology a single science with a wide purview—that's what I do. But geoscience is also a bundle of many specialties, each with its own "ology" name. That's... Read Full Post

Great earthquakes, water under pressure, high risk

Water trapped in the boundary between both plates has a dominant influence on the earthquake rupture process.

5.1 Magnitude Earthquake in Southern California near La Habra

Source: Lots of my relatives and friends in Southern California are reporting that they are feeling shaken up tonight. The magnitude 5.1 earthquake (revised from 5.3) took place about 2 miles east of La Habra, which may place it on one of the strands of the Puente Hills blind thrust system, according the the U.S. Show More Summary

Crowd of potential buyers examining Augusta Resources (Rosemont Copper)

Augusta Resources, parent of the Rosemont Copper project, revealed today that "Nine interested parties, including a number of significant industry players, have signed confidentiality agreements and have been conducting an extensive review of the materials in Augusta's electronic data room. Show More Summary

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