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Category archives for Geology

Holding the Cosmos in Our Hands

“The seed comes from the tree, the tree comes from the seed. It’s like the chicken and the egg. If people want to understand it, they will break the seed apart — they will actually kill it — to see the cells, the chromosomes and the genetics. There is another way to look at this. I plant a seed and a miracle happens — something new is born out of this carbohydrate and protein, a new life is born. This is a miracle, you see? The miracle of life.”

Invasion of the Aliens: Body Snatching Worms, Cold Winters May Rout Lakes’ Enemies

Public enemy number one, it might be called: Eurasian watermilfoil. It’s not on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list, but maybe it should be, say scientists who study lakes. The invasive weed’s crime? It crowds out native underwater plants, fouls boat propellers and smothers swimming areas in freshwater lakes across the northern U.S. The invader’s…

The Legendary Gem Mines of Mogok Myanmar (Burma): Is Responsible Sourcing Possible Beyond Sanctions?

Almost five years ago, I invited two eminent gemologists to post their perspectives on linking environmental conservation and gemstone mining through an innovative mechanism of supply chain tracing. In this post, Dr. Laurent Cartier, one of the authors of the earlier article, shares perspectives on how the colored gemstone sector in post-sanctions Myanmar / Burma…

At the Jersey Shore, Signs of a Comet, and a Climate Crisis

In a new study, scientists say they have found evidence along the New Jersey coast that an extraterrestrial object hit the earth at the same time a mysterious release of carbon dioxide suddenly warmed the planet, some 55.6 million years ago. The warm period, known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), is often cited as…

Diving Deep Below Arctic Ice to Bring Back Our Ocean’s Skeletons: #bestjobever

Polar expeditions to explore the ocean are not for the faint of heart. Above the water’s surface, you better be on alert for polar bears. Below, you better be game for diving 60 feet under sea ice into freezing temperatures. Watch National Geographic grantee Branwen Williams lead a team to the Canadian Arctic to do both in an effort to better understand how our oceans and the climate are changing over time.

Best Job Ever: Exploring Super-Remote Caves in Greenland

Geologist Gina Moseley started caving for sport when she was 13 years old, and now she’s in it for science. Moseley is constructing the first cave-based record of past climate change for Greenland.

So You Want to Create Maps Using Drones?

The latest in the Drones and Small Unmanned Aerial Systems Special Series, in which Kike profiles interesting information, research and thoughts on using drones, UAVs and remotely piloted vehicles for journalism and photography.     The combination of light (photo), drawings (gram) and measurements (metry) are known as photogrammetry. Until recently, photogrammetry was a very specific niche within the…

Exploring Toxic Ice Caves in an Active Volcano

National Geographic grantee Eduardo Cartaya and his team descend into a volcano’s toxic ice caves on a mission to protect climbers and learn about microbial life in this eerie, otherworldly environment.

Extreme Cave Diving with a Purpose

Follow Kenny Broad, an environmental anthropologist and National Geographic Expeditions Council grantee, as he explores a narrow underwater cave in the Bahamas.

The Stunning Ways Driftwood Builds Landscapes

Rivers and lakes were constructing with lumber long, long before people (or beavers) ever had the idea.

The Geyser in Geysir (Iceland)

It was a cold and blustery October day! Our tour bus had stopped at a desolate site where a group of visitors had lined up, cameras at the ready, all anxiously waiting. Then suddenly it happened! Perhaps by now you’ve guessed what these people were waiting for. Right after I took this photo, I rushed…

How to Put an 18-Foot Sea Monster Into the Limelight

The fossil called “Gamla,” star of the National Geographic Channel documentary, “Death of a Sea Monster,” has been in a museum basement since 2009. Now for the first time, it’s being put on display.

The Hazards of Growing Up on Treasure Island: One of the Most Beautiful Places on Earth

Some residents who live on Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay are concerned about exposure to toxins, because many areas on the island have been marked as radioactive. While officials at the California Environmental Protection Agency have not currently identified unsafe levels of contamination in homes on the island, young people who live there still worry about potential health risks.

Hope for Curaçao’s Corals and the Future of Journalism

When New York Times Dot Earth reporter Andrew Revkin got in touch with me seeking a documentary topic for the environmental journalism course he co-teaches at Pace University, he walked right into my trap. I rarely pass up an opportunity to twist someone’s arm to share optimistic stories of ocean conservation (#OceanOptimism!). Curaçao has some…

Want To Prepare For The Next Big Quake? Ask A Teen

Not all of teens have an amazingly well-equipped emergency kit, but according to some experts they’re are more prepared than you’d think.