Friday, December 16, 2011
After being completely overwhelmed the first 3 days of AGU, I finally got into the convention groove my last two days. I spent a lot of time in the poster halls pouring over research friends, potential colleagues and new acquaintances have done. I spent most of my time wandering between the earth processes and tectonophysics posters.
Sure, I saw some great science at AGU but the most interesting thing about the meeting was overhearing conversations about the process of research. For example, I was looking at a poster of a potential adviser for graduate school, discussing the program at his institution. Out of the blue came 'big name scientist' and began to chat with my potential adviser about his research and, more importantly, how they had new questions to answer. New questions require more money. How were they going to go back to Venezuela? How many grants/proposals, ect did he put in? What could he be competing with? It was interesting overhearing this because I have a very vague sense of the process to get research funded and the more confounding processes inside funding organizations. These are things I imagine I will be part of for years to come with grad school *hopefully* on the horizon.
And now, back to graduate school applications!
Thursday, December 8, 2011
On Tuesday morning I happened to walk into Moscone West when the exhibit hall had been open for about 10 minutes. I followed the flow of people to the NASA booth and experienced a frenzy. Hands everywhere grabbing posters, post cards, comic books, calendars, and bags. This is what I imagined black Friday looking like a few weeks ago. I decided I didn't want to carry around a bunch of swag all day, so I limited my plunder to what fit in my messenger bag and folded posters. This worked out nicely. The exhibit hall has a lot of interesting products, services, organizations and plenty of people to talk to.
I stopped by Little River Research and Design when they were first setting up the Em3 table. I have been really excited to see this product in action and it certainly delivered. The colored grains are actually pieces of plastic that are a specific size by color. They've been blogging too about AGU and it's been an adventurous one for them.
It's great that you spend all morning being totally immersed in the geo-world and when lunch rolls around, you walk outside and you're in San Francisco! I've spent quite a bit of time in the City and it's always such a treat to walk up to Union Square for lunch, wander into Soma for a beer and take the bus back to the Mission district where I'm staying with a friend. Believe me, Mission style burrito have been a staple of my diet this week.
Time to head off to the meeting! Hopefully I don't look as lost as this little guy while I'm wandering around.
Monday, December 5, 2011
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Our first field trip for the class was exploring the Sierra Nevada crest in the Tahoe National Forest and many different rocks representing a Paleozoic volcanic arc that had been squished, uplifted and eroded by glaciers. A volcanic arc is a series of volcanoes that form in a 'chain' due to their position relative to a subduction zone. A modern day example of a volcanic arc is the Cascade Mountain range, or for an island arc example, the Mariana Islands in the S. Pacific.
So, to simplify, the rocks in the Sierra Buttes represent some very chaotic environments (and one quiet one). Are you excited yet?
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Sand and Driftwood just north of Floras Lake State Park. Taken April, 2011
In an effort to explore the state of Oregon, I will be spending plenty of time this summer playing in the Coast Range and Cascades. My first escapade of the full transect was this last Memorial Day 2011, a wonderful 3 day weekend I spent with my mother. Our trip was planned where we'd meet in Eugene then drive over to Bend for the weekend. What ended up happening is I met my mom in Bend after she had some difficulties with her airline in Salt Lake City (don't fly Delta).
Looking South from 101
I enjoy driving in the car on my own, especially in Oregon. The scenery engulfs the roads, as if you're not supposed to be there. As if you are intruding on someone. Driving up 101N, the highway is flanked by tall Douglas fir trees, which grow up to 3ft a year here. Along my drive are several state parks, Forest Service parks and community parks. There's basically some sort of park about every 10 miles. This is in part due to the Oregon Dunes National Recreation area, a 60 mile stretch of exquisite sand dunes that people like to break their faces on with OHV's.
Sand is a dominant feature on the Oregon Coastline. Of the 310 miles of coast, about 140 of them are sand dunes or sand beaches. The sand dominance on the coast is probably due to erosion in the pre-Cascades and post-Cascade landscapes to the east. Point is, there is A LOT of sand on the Oregon Coast and it makes for a very interesting and dynamic natural system.
Paddling some sick gnar gnar Class -2 rapids* through the Dunes. Siltcoos River.
On the Coast, you can tell what season it is not by the weather, but by the prevailing wind direction. When I first moved here, I remember being struck as I walked out of the office on a rainy, cold day to a warm southern wind. It was quite pleasant. It seems like the rain isn’t the big weather draw-back to the coast, it’s the summer wind. A strong northern wind blows and it is chilling. Quick sidenote: The predominant travel direction for bike-tourists along the 101 is north to south because of that wind. If it’s blowing 10-15mph, you want that at your back! So, for our lovely dune fields, grains of sand follow these wind patterns and shift seasonally. Another key seasonal variation are the stormy moths of November through April (more like May this year). Winter storms pound away at the beaches and dunes, taking thousands of cubic meters of sand out to sea. In the summer months, much of this sand is re-deposited onto the beaches. A truly chaotic and dynamic system, even without mentioning the invasive grasses, recreational activities and wetlands that also occur at dunes!
Looking up the Floras Drainage. May, 2011.
I haven’t taken much time to explore the beaches/dunes on the Coast, but in writing this entry, I think I will have to make a trip soon…Next time, the Coast Range!
Thanks for reading!