Iceberg A68a – January 13, 2021

Iceberg A68a – January 13, 2021

Though most of my work is currently focused in the Arctic – with emphasis on Alaska – this time last year I was preparing to go to Antarctica with Aurora Expeditions. I have been thinking back to wonderful memories of an amazing land and oceanscape full of vibrant...
Vitamin D – January 6, 2021

Vitamin D – January 6, 2021

In 2020, our lives changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to science, multiple vaccines are out and showing good results (e.g., https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2034577). As it may be a while before the general population gets access, what can we do...
Geodes – December 30, 2020

Geodes – December 30, 2020

It’s the last Science Wednesday of 2020 – wishing all our readers a very Happy New Year! Last week, my nieces received some geodes for Christmas and they are the inspiration for this week’s post! It’s been fun breaking the rocks open (safely!) together and...
Santa’s Reindeer – December 23, 2020

Santa’s Reindeer – December 23, 2020

Did you know that reindeer and caribou are the only deer where both the male and female have antlers? Antlers grow each year from bony stubs on deer heads and are made of bone but covered by a furry skin called “velvet.” This skin is heavily concentrated in blood...
The Unicorn of the Sea – December 16, 2020

The Unicorn of the Sea – December 16, 2020

The Unicorn of the Sea – December 16, 2020   As the holidays approach, we’re focusing on the cold places of the planet – while harsh, these places are home to many incredible and resilient species. One that stands out for its uniqueness is the “unicorn of...
Reaching a New Height – December 9, 2020

Reaching a New Height – December 9, 2020

Reaching a New Height – December 9, 2020    Mt. Everest captures imaginations. Mountaineers come to scale the peak while trekkers come to marvel at the mountain from base camp (note: you can’t actually see much of Everest from the base camp but if you hike...
An Ancient World – December 2, 2020

An Ancient World – December 2, 2020

An Ancient World – December 2, 2020   A few weeks ago, we climbed Texas’ highpoint: Guadalupe Peak (8750 ft./2667 m). This is a very interesting state highpoint in that it is made up of the remains of creatures that inhabited an inland sea and built a reef...
The Carlsbad Caverns – November 24, 2020

The Carlsbad Caverns – November 24, 2020

The Carlsbad Caverns – November 24, 2020   A majority of the world’s limestone caves are created through carbonic acid in surface water flowing down through cracks in limestone rock, eroding and enlarging passageways. Carbonic acid is formed by rain and...
Trinitite – November 18, 2020

Trinitite – November 18, 2020

Trinitite – November 18, 2020   Sharing a photo of a rather unusual “rock” seen at the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History in Albuquerque, New Mexico. On July 16, 1945, the world’s first atomic device (“Gadget”) was tested at the Trinity Site,...
Permian Reef – November 11, 2020

Permian Reef – November 11, 2020

Permian Reef – November 11, 2020   Tomorrow we are headed to climb Texas’ high point: Guadalupe Peak at 8,751 feet/2,667 meters, located near the New Mexico border. This is a really unique area, as the top of Texas actually used to be underwater hundreds of...
Black Mesa – November 4, 2020

Black Mesa – November 4, 2020

Black Mesa – November 4, 2020   It’s Science Wednesday! Yesterday we did a sunset trail run on Black Mesa, Oklahoma’s highest point at 4,973 ft. Black Mesa is actually a 3-5 million year old basaltic lava flow, originating from a vent that...
Water on the Moon – October 28, 2020

Water on the Moon – October 28, 2020

Water on the Moon – October 28, 2020   In some more exciting space news, a team of scientists found evidence for widespread presence of water molecules on the Moon! This is exciting as lunar exploration continues – and lunar bases may soon become a reality....
Asteroid Bennu – October 21, 2020

Asteroid Bennu – October 21, 2020

Asteroid Bennu – October 21, 2020   It’s an exciting time in the realm of space exploration! Yesterday, NASA made history as its spacecraft, the OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer) performed a...
Kilimanjaro – October 14, 2020

Kilimanjaro – October 14, 2020

Kilimanjaro – October 14, 2020   On Sunday afternoon, a fire suddenly erupted on the slopes of Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa, with high winds contributing to its rapid growth and spread. Investigators recently discovered that it was started accidentally...
Historic Hurricane Delta – October 7, 2020

Historic Hurricane Delta – October 7, 2020

Historic Hurricane Delta – October 7, 2020   The 2020 hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean has been a very active one, seeing 25 named storms (the average for a season is 12). And it’s still not over, as the season doesn’t officially end until November...
Fire: The Climate Connection – September 30, 2020

Fire: The Climate Connection – September 30, 2020

Fire: The Climate Connection – September 30, 2020   As we’ve gathered more data and evidence these last few years on the global impacts of climate change, a new field has emerged: extreme-event attribution, which investigates if and to what extent climate...
Conglomerates! – September 23, 2020

Conglomerates! – September 23, 2020

Conglomerates! – September 23, 2020   Yesterday Ricardo and I climbed Challenger Point (14,081 ft.), a 12.5 mile round-trip hike with 5400 vertical feet of gain. As a geologist, I always love to look at the rocks that we’re climbing and this peak was no...
Carbon Sequestration – September 16, 2020

Carbon Sequestration – September 16, 2020

Carbon Sequestration – September 16, 2020   Today we talk about carbon sequestration, the long-term natural or artificial storage of carbon dioxide or other forms of carbon from the atmosphere. There is a series of checks and balances that happen on the...
Wild Weather – September 9, 2020

Wild Weather – September 9, 2020

Wild Weather – September 9, 2020   It’s Science Wednesday! Here in Colorado, we went from record-setting heat near 100 degrees Fahrenheit with raging wildfires over the Labor Day weekend to freezing temperatures and snow showers Tuesday/Wednesday. What...
Fall Colors – September 2, 2020

Fall Colors – September 2, 2020

Fall Colors – September 2, 2020   It’s September and, in 3 weeks (on the 22nd), it officially will be fall here in the Northern Hemisphere. As the days shorten and temperatures get cooler, trees will begin preparing for the winter ahead, preserving their...