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The molecular clock, the circadian clock, and exploring protein surface pockets: the PLOS Comp Biol February Issue

All Models Are Wrong | 5 March, 2015
Here are our highlights from February's PLOS Computational Biology   The Molecular Clock of Neutral Evolution Evolution is driven by genetic mutations. While some mutations affect an organism's ability to survive and reproduce, most are neutral and have no effect. ... Continue reading »
Categories: Evolution; PLoS Computational Biology; research; evolution; genetics; molecular biology; Round Up;

Mary Horner Lyell: “A Monument of Patience”

En Tequila Es Verdad | 5 March, 2015
You never hear of the other Lyell. Sir Charles, you know quite well: he set the infant science of geology firmly on its feet and inspired Charles Darwin. But there's another Lyell who was a geologist, and without her, Charles Lyell would have found his work far more difficult, if not impossible. When he married Mary Horner, he pledged himself to a lifelong scientific partner.
Categories: science; women;

Fire and Forests on San Juan Island

Fire played a large role in shaping the landscape of San Juan Island and likely lots of other areas in western Washington. Tom Schroeder has assembled a site ( to observations and interpretations he has made  on the San Juan Island forests that is very consistent with my own observations and has greatly aided me in understanding the forest ecology of the San Juan Islands.  On a recent venture to San Juan Island I passed through a mix of fire scarred trees with a mix of old growth. Most of this forest was Douglas fir. But with the dry aspects of the site and thin soils areas of open ground still persist.  Sam sniffs the ground near a fire scarred Douglas fir Weather beaten firs on the upper slopes of a bald area
Categories: environment; Fire; flora; history;

Rio Grande forecast improves, but that’s not saying much

Inkstain (John Fleck) | 4 March, 2015
It says something about the drought on New Mexico's Rio Grande in recent years that a forecast of 67 percent of average runoff into Elephant Butte Reservoir is good news.
Categories: New Mexico; water;

Arizona Mining Review episode covers Mining Day at the Capitol

Arizona Geology | 4 March, 2015
The latest episode of our online video magazine, Arizona Mining Review, is now available on our YouTube channel.  This episode was hosted by AZGS Economic Geology Section Chief, Nyal Niemuth, who interviewed some of the legislative land industry lea...
Categories: None

On the importance of fictional role models

Magma Cum Laude | 4 March, 2015
Last week, we learned that Leonard Nimoy died. Though it's sad both because we've lost an amazing person and an icon of science fiction, it got me thinking about why I personally cared so much about the character he created.
Categories: Uncategorized; role models; science fiction;

Space Advocates Descend on Capitol Hill

Planetary Society Weblog | 4 March, 2015
The Space Exploration Alliance wrapped up its most recent 'legislative blitz' last week. Nearly 70 individuals participated in the democratic process, speaking to nearly 168 difference offices in Congress. Nearly half of those individuals were Planet...
Categories: None

InSight will land on Elysium Planitia lava flows

Red Planet Report | 4 March, 2015
This map [made using THEMIS daytime infrared images] shows the single area under continuing evaluation as the InSight mission's Mars landing site, as of a year before the mission's May 2016 launch. The finalist ellipse marked within the northern ...
Categories: Reports; Elysium Planitia; Geodesy and Heat Transport; InSight; Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations; lava flows; NASA;

MARCI weather report: February 23-March 1, 2015

Red Planet Report | 4 March, 2015
Local scale dust storm activity in the northern extratropics continued during the past week on Mars. Dust-lifting was noted along the edge of the north polar hood from Alba Patera to Deuteronilus to Phlegra Montes, as well as further south ... Contin...
Categories: Reports; atmosphere; clouds; dust; Malin Space Science Systems; MARCI; Mars Color Imager; Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter; MRO; MSSS; NASA; storms; weather;

Hello world!

All Models Are Wrong | 4 March, 2015
Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!
Categories: Uncategorized;

Hilarity ensues – Part II

oncirculation | 4 March, 2015
Or: Why you should do fieldwork By Tanja After last weeks post covered "why you should do fieldwork" this weeks post covers "why you should do fieldwork". As promised - a sort of daily account of all the fun and action. Figure 1: A bit of R...
Categories: A day in the life...; Esperance; fieldwork; Kalgoorlie; quokka; Rottnest Island; seismometer; Super Pit; Tanja; Western Australia;

AMACRQ: How do you pronounce “CAP” and “SNWA”?

Inkstain (John Fleck) | 4 March, 2015
The latest edition of Inkstain's infrequent* Ask Me a Colorado River Question feature comes via Paolo Bacigalupi, and it wasn't quite phrased as a question, but I'm hoping to resurrect the feature.
Categories: Colorado River;

HiRISE: Layers in Memnonia Sulci region

Red Planet Report | 4 March, 2015
Layers in Memnonia Sulci region. Beautiful Mars series....
Categories: Reports; Beautiful Mars; High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment; HiRISE; layers; Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter; Memnonia Sulci; MRO; NASA; stratigraphy; University of Arizona; yardangs;

Encountering the Urban Forest

The Nature of Cities | 4 March, 2015
For all the critical scholarship that is written about the harnessing of volunteer labor in caring for urban trees (see, e.g., Perkins 2009), it never squared with my experience of engaging in stewardship. Following attendance at a human geography pa...
Categories: Essay; People & Communities; Communities; Experiencing Nature; Trees; Value of nature;

Opportunity: Route ahead toward the valley

Red Planet Report | 4 March, 2015
Sol 3948, March 3, 2015. An hour after the Pancam shot its multi-band images of Sgt. Charles Floyd outcrop, the Navcam made a three-frame pan looking toward the south. The images show a low hill which stands at the head ... Continue reading '...
Categories: Reports; Cape Tribulation; Endeavour Crater; Marathon Valley; Mars Exploration Rover; MER; NASA; Opportunity; Spirit of St. Louis Crater;

Record Numbers at the Annual All Ivy Sustainability Career Fair

State of the Planet | 4 March, 2015
The Annual All Ivy Environmental and Sustainable Development Career Fair brought in a record number of recruiters and students last Friday, making it the largest and most successful fair in the event's 12-year history....
Categories: Donor and Partner News; Education News; General Earth Institute; sustainability; alumni; Alumni News; MA in Climate and Society; Masters of Science in Sustainability Management; MPA ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND POLICY NEWS; MPA in Environmental Science and Policy; MPA in Environmental Science and Policy News; MS in Sustainability Management News; Sustainability Management; undergraduate major in sustainable development; undergraduate program in sustainable development news; undergraduate special concentration in sustainable development;

New papers on earliest Homo from our Ethiopia collaboration

Active Tectonics | 4 March, 2015
We have two papers coming out in Science on our research in the Afar, Ethiopia which document early Homo (based on a high quality mandible and teeth) at 2.8 Ma--about 400kyr earlier than the last reported example (from Hadar--Kimbel, et al., 1996). Our work over numerous field seasons since 2002 was to build on the very little prior information to produce a structural and stratigraphic and temporal framework into which we could place any fossils of importance. The area is faulted (due to regional extension pulling the Horn of Africa away to the east and Arabia away to the northeast from the rest of Africa) so we have to divide it into separate fault blocks and characterize each individually and then relate them temporally both by the basic logic of geology as well as by numerical and correlative dating of numerous volcanic deposits ("tephra"). The important point is that the sedimentary sequence represents a time period previously undocumented in the region (hence the opportunity of finding and documenting this mandible). Here is the ASU press release.
Categories: Ethiopia; paleoanthropology;

THEMIS: Marth Crater false color

Red Planet Report | 4 March, 2015
THEMIS Image of the Day, March 4, 2015. The THEMIS VIS camera contains 5 filters. The data from different filters can be combined in multiple ways to create a false color image. These false color images may reveal subtle variations ... Continue readi...
Categories: Reports; Arizona State University; ASU; color; dunes; Mars Odyssey; Marth Crater; NASA; sand dunes; THEMIS; Thermal Emission Imaging System;

MS Student Work Inspired by Waste Management

State of the Planet | 4 March, 2015
Current Master of Science in Sustainability Management (MSSM) student Agustina Besada was inspired to work in sustainability because of her interest in waste management. "I always found it interesting how materials generate so much waste during the...
Categories: General Earth Institute; education news; EI Student Profiles; MS in Sustainability Management News; student news;

Thinner and thinner

Arctic Sea Ice Blog | 4 March, 2015
Yesterday the University of Washington published this press release covering an interesting paper by Ron Lindsay and Axel Schweiger, called Arctic sea ice thickness loss determined using subsurface, aircraft, and satellite observations:
Categories: Ice thickness and volume; Science;

Mars Orbiter Mission Methane Sensor for Mars is at work

Planetary Society Weblog | 4 March, 2015
After several months of near-silence, ISRO's Mars Orbiter Mission has released on Facebook the first data product from its Methane Sensor For Mars. Don't get too excited about methane yet: there is no positive or negative detection. The news here is ...
Categories: None

Villarica volcano, Chile, eruption

Geology in Motion | 4 March, 2015
Villarica eruption March 3, 2015.
Categories: None

Real or cast? If only it were that simple!

Dinosours! | 4 March, 2015
Norman Boss assembles  a "Brachyceratops" mount. White bones and portions thereof are sculpted. Image courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution Archives.
Categories: AMNH; anatomy; dinosaurs; fossil mounts; mammals; museums; NHM; reptiles; sauropods; science communication; theropods; amnh; Georges Cuvier; natural history museums; NHM London; paleontology; Tyrannosaurus;

How low can municipal water conservation go?

Inkstain (John Fleck) | 4 March, 2015
From Gary Woodard's work - in Arizona...
Categories: water;

How do we use wood in river management?

The presence of in-stream wood in rivers is a fairly complex and chaotic management issue. It's not neat and tidy and to a degree wood in a channel is unpredictable, both in its effects and its behaviour. Wood moves around ... Continue reading '...
Categories: Geomorphology; Hydrology; River Management; River restoration; fluvial geomorphology; hydrology; large woody debris; river management; river restoration;

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