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A Micro-Bloom

I pulled off for a pit stop at Bob Scott Summit and started seeing little tiny wildflowers everywhere. I looked around, hoping to see a superbloom, like so many were reporting this year, but the flowers were either somewhat far between, or—where covering the ground—were itsy bitsy. Show More Summary

Pine Valley and Carlin Canyon Squiggles

What is this?!!1?1!? It all started when I was trying to find out what rock formations and rock types I was seeing while making the long trip to work and back out near Elko. Looking around, I found this geologic map (Smith and Ketner,...Show More Summary

Liveblogging the Deluge: The Other Shoe Drops! hasn't rained in weeks. Why am I still talking about "liveblogging the deluge"? This is the case of the other shoe dropping. For months we have had storm after storm, adding up to a record year of precipitation in Northern California, and nearly a record in the central state. Show More Summary

Stonehurst Creek

Stonehurst Creek isn’t really a creek, just a stormwater channel. But there it is on the watershed map, with a name and everything. Of the 13 named tributaries that feed San Leandro Creek, it’s the last one before the Bay. And it’s got potential. I only discovered Stonehurst Creek because one day last June I […]

AZGS Stakeholders: Arizona Geological Survey state-allocated funding of $941,000 reinstated

6 May 2017Dear Supporters and Colleagues: On 5 May, 2017, Gov. Ducey signed the FY 2018 budget bill passed the previous day by the Senate and the House. This bill includes funding of $941,000 for AZGS, so as of 1 July we will once again receive state-allocated funds to perform our duties as detailed in state statute. Show More Summary

The Hawai'i That Was: A Geological and Anthropological Exploration of the Islands

Since last summer I've been working on a blog series based on the geology, natural history, and anthropology of the Hawaiian Islands, loosely based on our field studies class last summer. There are a lot of stories told by these isolated islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Show More Summary

The Hawai'i That Was: The Final Refuge

Kaua'i broke, if not in half, then certainly something close to it. The entire summit of the Kaua'i volcano slipped downward along a fault four million years ago, causing streams to change their direction and causing the erosion of the spectacular gorge of Waimea Canyon. Show More Summary

Mountain View Cemetery: The Bay area’s best landscape

Although I’m tempted just to let the photos in this post stand on their own, let me make a case that Mountain View Cemetery offers the best landscape in the Bay area. First there’s the cemetery itself. The managers have been putting a lot of effort into improving the ground — see the excellent new […]

Gov. Ducey signs bill transferring the former AZ Mining & Mineral Museum to Univ. of Arizona

Polly Rosenbaum Bldg. Phoenix From May 2011 through Aug. 2016, assets of the AMMM were managed by the Arizona Historical Society. The collection’s ~ 22,000 mineral specimens will remain in storage at the Historical Society’s Heritage Center in Tempe until the University of Arizona is ready to receive them. Show More Summary

The Hawai'i That Was: Waimea Canyon, the View You "Have" to Earn...

You may be utterly surprised by this, but I was kind of a strange kid. I loved the outdoors of course, and was absolutely fascinated by geography, and when I learned about topographic maps in the scouts, I had found my calling. I liked...Show More Summary

The Shocking Truth About Aftershocks

After an earthquake, some aftershocks go on for an astonishingly long time. -- Read more on

Redux: George Lucas Had It Wrong. A Day of Fierce Pride at Modesto Junior College

It's funny how the same thoughts can move through one's head during an event, even when the events are separated by years. My mind wandered just a little bit during our graduation ceremony tonight, because that can happen while 700-800 names are read off and people march across a stage. Show More Summary

The Alpha and Omega of the Wildflower Season at the Red Hills ACEC

With some careful selective editing one can make it look like the superbloom is continuing in the Red Hills Area of Critical Environmental Concern, but alas the bloom is beginning to fade. We drove up there today and I was standing in this field of Monkeyflowers when a car pulled up, looking for the Red Hills. Show More Summary

AZGS @ National Earthquake Program Managers Annual Meeting in Oklahoma City - 25-27 Apr. 2017

NEHRP Logo Each year, earthquake experts from ~ 30 U.S. States meet for three days to commiserate – and brainstorm - on the challenges of mitigating the impacts from earthquakes on people and property. FEMA (Fed. Emergency Management Agency) hosts the meeting as a part of the National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program (NEHRP). Show More Summary

The Inside Scoop on the Chilean Earthquake Swarm

According to locals, Valparaiso's 6.9 isn't worthy of being called an earthquake. -- Read more on

From the Road: Some Nice Gneiss

Every time I drive Highway 6 between Idaho Springs and Golden, Colorado—and I almost always take that route when heading east, rather than the section of I-70 between Idaho Springs and the hogbacks—I try to get a few photos of the great gneiss forming the canyon walls. Show More Summary

Why Science Matters: March For Science 2017

A bank robber can make a lot of arguments about why he or she should be allowed to rob a bank. "The money in the bank is just sitting there, it's not aiding the economy by being circulated", or "By taking this money and spending it, I'll be creating jobs", or "But I'll give some of the money to charities". Show More Summary

We'll Pretend I Saw the Superbloom the Same Way I Hiked the Pacific Crest Trail Today

I showed up late and at the wrong address for the party. There have been so many reports of the "superbloom" of wildflowers around Southern California this winter and spring that I was anxious to do some traveling and see the sights....Show More Summary

What I marched for

Saturday was Earth Day, an occasion that usually leaves me lukewarm at best. But this year it was also the day of the worldwide March for Science. A few news stories have quoted environmentalists who resented that the march happened on “their” day. But from my viewpoint, that’s the best day of the year for […]

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