The geoblogosphere is a growing and diverse collection of commentary on the world of geoscience: what’s new and fascinating as well as ongoing debate about topics such as how the K-T boundary formed, what geoscientists should know before they graduate, and essential equipment for the field. The blog community is dominated by academics, mostly American, with input from exploration geoscientists as well as bloggers aligned with the production side of the minerals industry. Here are some of the more active sites:
The Accretionary Wedge
If you are just delving into the geoblogosphere for the first time, this is a good place to start. The Accretionary Wedge is a geoscience blog carnival hosted by a different blogger each month that focuses on a theme determined by the host. A recent topic, for instance, was what places and events geologists should see and experience before they die (http://geotripper.blogspot.com/2009/02/accretionary-wedge-16-is-one-life.html). Bloggers have also discussed some fascinating applications of geology in art (painting, literature and music) at http://gmcgeology.blogspot.com/2008/06/accretionary-wedge-10-geology-in-art.html and have waxed poetic about their favourite places for field work (http://theaccretionarywedge.wordpress.com/2008/12/11/the-accretionary-wedge-14-favorite-places-for-field-work).
All of My Faults Are Stress Related
Kim Hannula is a geology professor specializing in structural geology at a public liberal arts college in the U.S. Rockies. Her focus is on teaching methods and curriculum for undergraduate geoscience students. Posts share ideas about course design, delve into geologic history and link to her favourite academic papers and Twitter posts about geology. She also welcomes and receives suggestions on teaching strategies. Hanuala posts every couple of days and generates lively discussion on her blog.
The Geology News Blog
As it title would suggest, this blog claims to have “the latest and greatest news in geology from around the world.” The site is authored by Americans Dave Schumaker, an environmental geologist, Peter Polito, a graduate student of planetary geology and Ron Schott, an assistant professor of geology at Fort Hays State University in Kansas whose primary research interests are hard rock petrology and tectonics. While the blog’s main purpose is to serve as the place to go for geology-related news and images, the trio also provides commentary on everything from climate change to paleontology.
Schott also has his own blog, http://ron.outcrop.org/blog/, where he posts gigapans (high-resolution images stitched together to form a detailed panorama) from the field and highlights the latest developments in Google Earth and other geology-related technologies.
I Think Mining
Jack Caldwell is a civil engineer in California whose career focused on designing tailings dams for mines in North America. He provides news about the mining industry, as well commentary on the politics of mining and major industry events such as the annual PDAC convention in Toronto.
Republic of Mining
This blog may be of interest to mining and economic geologists, especially in Canada. It is designed to raise awareness among the media, the general public and political decision makers about the economic and social benefits of mining. The author, Stan Studol, is a self-described “Inco Brat” born and raised among the nickel mines of Sudbury, Canada. He regularly posts commentary by experts from all walks of the Canadian mining industry.
Looking for Detachment
As a former field geologist, this blog is one of my favourites. The “Silver Fox” is an exploration geologist working in the western U.S. She comments on her days in the field, including what works and what doesn’t in terms of field gear and technology (e.g. using GPS), but you can also get advice on where to find a good beer in say, Anchorage, Alaska or where to find a major gold deposit in two million years time. The Silver Fox is a skilled photographer who blends her text with images of rocks, creatures and other intriguing subjects encountered during the workday.
Garry Hayes teaches geology at Modesto Junior College in California and is the past president of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers, Far Western Section. His write-ups focus mainly on the field trips he leads in the Western U.S. but also include a few light-hearted gems such as “The Fully-equipped Geology Student” (http://geotripper.blogspot.com/2009/03/fully-equipped-geology-student.html), a humorous take on how the typical student field geologist presents.
Chris Rowan is a geologist specializing in paleomagnetism at the University of Edinburgh and travels around the world practicing his craft. His posts are wide-ranging, including comments on academic life, volcanoes and earthquakes, and rugby. He also speculates on controversial theories such as “Peak Coal”, the idea that the world will be reaching the end of its coal reserves within the next half century.
This is far from a comprehensive list of geo-blogs. There are new sites popping up every week. Some are more active than others, some come out of the academic world while others are more industry related, some specialize while others generalize, but all bring the geoscience community together just as we are trying to do here at Earth Explorer. Please send us your favourites!