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Current Congressional Appropriations for FY2017 Keep Geoscience Funding Relatively Flat

Speaking of Geoscience | 27 May, 2016
By Kasey White, GSA Director for Geoscience Policy
Categories: Public Policy; Science Communication; appropriations; congressional appropriations; federal science funding; house appropriations; nasa; NSF; science funding; senate appropriations; usgs;

Earth Science Week 2016: 8th – 16th October

This year's Earth Science Week is still more than four months away, but we're already making plans! A 9 day long celebration of the geology all around us in the UK and Ireland, Earth Science Week is an opportunity for museums and other outreach...
Categories: Education; Events; Science communication; outreach; earth science week; activities; education; environment; geology; communication; geoscientist; 100geosites;

ASI 2016 update 1: both sides

Arctic Sea Ice Blog | 27 May, 2016
During the melting season I'm writing (bi-)weekly updates on the current situation with regards to Arctic sea ice (ASI). Because of issues with data based on the SSMIS sensor aboard DMSP satellites, I mainly focus on higher-resolution AMSR2 data from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), as reported on the Arctic Data archive System website. I also look at other things like regional sea ice area, compactness, temperature and weather forecasts, anything of particular interest.
Categories: Air temperature; ASI update 2016; Atmospheric pressure; Barentsz/Kara; Beaufort; Chukchi; DMI; Greenland Sea; Ice extent and area; JAXA (ADS-NIPR); Melting momentum; Ocean heat flux; Weather forecast;

Lunar Farside Landing Plans

Phil Stooke describes a research trip to the Regional Planetary Image Facility at the USGS in Flagstaff, where he discovered Jack Schmitt's proposed plans for a farside landing site for Apollo 17....
Categories: None

Look ahead to EAGE 2016

Agile Geoscience | 27 May, 2016
I'm in Vienna for the 78th EAGE Conference and Exhibition, at Wien Messe, starting on Sunday. And, of course, for the Subsurface Hackathon, which I've already mentioned a few times. 
Categories: Event; News;

Friday fold: Castile Formation GIGAmacro

Mountain Beltway | 27 May, 2016
I've posted here before about the extraordinary intra-layer folds in the varved evaporite deposits of West Texas' Permian Basin, but today I can go one better and offer a GIGAmacro look at these lovely folds:
Categories: folds; Friday Fold; new mexico; texas;

Frivolous Friday: Okay, We All Pretty Much Have to Get Married Now

En Tequila Es Verdad | 27 May, 2016
Yes, I am. I am proposing to you all (excepting any creeps reading this - I'm not proposing to you). I want you all to marry me (see previous disclaimer). We don't necessarily have to stay married, if you don't want to - we just need to all have the big lavish wedding together. Why? Because thanks to Zeroth, I just found out geode wedding cakes are a thing. Go feast your eyes on those.
Categories: bit o' fun; science; cake; frivolous fridays; geode; volcano; wedding;

Garra lorestanensis: A new species of Blind Cave Fish from Loven Cave in Lorestan Province, Iran.

Sciency Thoughts | 27 May, 2016
Many cave systems around the world are home to Cave Fish, populations of Fish that have become isolated within subterranean waterways, and both evolved adaptations to living in these systems and lost adaptations to life in sunlit waterways, most obviously manifested in the absence of pigment and eyes. Loven Cave in the Ab-e Sirum or Ab-e Serum Valley in Lorestan Province, Iran, has been known to be an outlet of a limestone cave system beneath the Zagros Mountains since the mid-twentieth century. Two species of unique Cave Fish have been describd from this cave, both blind and pigmentless; a species of Sucker-mouthed Barb, Garra typhlops, and an Asian Stone Loach, Paracobitis smithi.
Categories: Barb; Biodiversity; Boney Fish; Cave Fish; Caves; Cyprinid Fish; Ichthyology; Iran; Lorestan; Taxonomy; Zagros Fold Belt;

Wooster’s Fossils of the Week: Echinoderm holdfasts from the Upper Cambrian of Montana

Wooster Geologists | 27 May, 2016
The white buttons above are echinoderm holdfasts from the Snowy Range Formation (Upper Cambrian) of Carbon County, southern Montana. They and their hardground substrate were well described back in the day by Brett et al. (1983). We have these specimens as part of Wooster's hardground collection. (The largest collection of carbonate hardgrounds anywhere! A rather esoteric distinction.)
Categories: Uncategorized; Cambrian; Fossil of the Week; fossils; hardgrounds; Montana;

Radar finds ice-age record in Mars polar cap

Red Planet Report | 27 May, 2016
Using radar data collected by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, a Southwest Research Institute-led team found evidence of an ice age recorded in the polar deposits of Mars. Ice ages on Mars are driven by processes similar to those responsible for...
Categories: Reports; climate change; ice age; Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter; MRO; NASA; north polar ice cap; Shallow Radar; SHARAD;

Sols 1353-1354: Clear sailing

The Martian Chronicles | 27 May, 2016
To get a head start on planning for the Memorial Day holiday weekend, two sols are being planned today.  We expect to receive the Sol 1352 data needed for planning the rest of the weekend tomorrow morning.  The Sol 1353 activities cannot be precisely targeted, so Navcam will look for clouds and Mastcam will measure the amount of dust in the atmosphere at various times that sol.  In addition, ChemCam will perform a routine calibration activity.  Once again it was an easy day for me as MAHLI/MARDI uplink lead, with only the usual MARDI twilight image to plan.
Categories: Curiosity; Field Work; ChemCam; featured; mars; Mastcam;

Tropical Storm For Memorial Day? Maybe

A tropical storm making landfall on the U.S. coast on Memorial Day weekend is almost unheard of, and I think it may have never happened before. It might this year though, and the record warm oceans are playing a role. An area of disturbed weather per...
Categories: Uncategorized; featured; tropical cyclone;

ESA: Mars triptych

Red Planet Report | 26 May, 2016
This triptych brings together three excellent images of Mars acquired this month by two cameras in space and one in Australia. The image at left was taken on 22 May by amateur astrophotographer Dylan O'Donnell from his home-built backyard observato...
Categories: Reports; Dylan O'Donnell; ESA; European Space Agency; HST; Hubble Space Telescope;

A Satellite Scientist Visits the Ice

Notes from the field | 26 May, 2016
By Walt Meier Whenever I tell people that I'm a polar scientist or that I study sea ice, inevitably one of the first questions I'm asked is, "so, have you been to the ice?" I've always had to answer no. I'm a remote sensing scientist who...
Categories: A Satellite Scientist Visits the Ice, Alaska 2016; Alaska; Arctic; cryosphere; NASA; polar science; sea ice;

Curiosity: The way west

Red Planet Report | 26 May, 2016
Sol 1352, May 26, 2016. Three Navcam frames composited look ahead toward Fracture Town, the rover's probable course to the west and southwest. (Click image to enlarge.) Sol 1352 raw images (from all cameras), and Curiosity's latest location....
Categories: Reports; Aeolis Mons; Curiosity; Fracture Town; Gale Crater; Mars Science Laboratory; Mount Sharp; MSL; Murray Formation; NASA; Naukluft Plateau; Stimson Formation;

Three bright planets: Portraits from the Pyrenees

It's a great time to go outdoors and look at planets. I have three glorious planetary portraits to share today, sent to me by amateur astronomer Jean-Luc Dauvergne....
Categories: None

Why Institutional Investors Support Transparency

State of the Planet | 26 May, 2016
The increasing technical risks of global natural resource development have been well- documented. What is less understood but no less important are the growing political, regulatory and reputational risks involved in meeting the world's growing res...
Categories: Sustainability;

NAAMES-II Expedition: May 26, 2016

Notes from the field | 26 May, 2016
The Dark Side of Optics at Sea & The Development of Boat Brain
Categories: NAAMES (North Atlantic Aerosols and Marine Ecosystems Study);

Dozens of cars swallowed by sinkhole in Florence, Italy.

Sciency Thoughts | 26 May, 2016
Dozens of cars have been swallowed by a giant sinkhole that opened up on the Lungarno Torrigiani beside the Arno River in Florence on Wednesday 25 May 2016. The whole measured 182 m in length, but only about 7 m across, and opened slightly before 6.15 am local time, swallowing a row of parked cars but not causing any injuries.
Categories: Erosion; Europe; Florence; Geohazards; Italy; Sinkhole;

THEMIS: Boreum Cavus

Red Planet Report | 26 May, 2016
THEMIS Image of the Day, May 26, 2016. This VIS image shows part of Boreum Cavus, at the interior end of Chasma Boreale. The layered polar ice is easily identified in the upper part of the image. Boreum Cavus is ... Continue reading '...
Categories: Reports; Arizona State University; ASU; Boreum Cavus; Chasma Boreale; Mars Odyssey; NASA; north polar ice cap; THEMIS; Themis Image of the Day; Thermal Emission Imaging System;

Sense of Place

The Nature of Cities | 26 May, 2016
Different people perceive the same city or neighborhood in different ways. While one person may appreciate ecological and social aspects of a neighborhood, another may experience environmental and racialized injustice. A place may also conjure contra...
Categories: Essay; Urban Environmental Education Review; Communities; Culture; Education/Knowledge/Learning; Experiencing Nature; History; Justice; Sustainability; Value;

Space station module expansion called off after BEAM doesn't budge

NASA and Bigelow Aerospace weren't able to get the space station's newest module up and running this morning. Another attempt could come as early as Friday....
Categories: None

Breaking news: Cave structures made by Neanderthals

Earth-Pages | 26 May, 2016
Neanderthals were well equipped and undoubtedly wore clothing, made shelters, hunted, used fire and famously lived in caves. Deliberate burial of their dead, in some cases arguably with remains of flowers, indicates some form of ritual and belief system. Those in Spain wore necklaces and pendants of bivalve shells, some of which retain evidence of having been painted. Excavators there even found a paint container and painting tools made of small bones from a horse's foot. The container and tools retain traces of the common iron colorants goethite, jarosite and hematite. One large, perforated scallop shell, perhaps used as a pectoral pendant, shows that its white interior was painted to match its reddish exterior. Given the evidence for adornment by earlier hominins, to find that Neanderthals created art should not be surprising. In May 2016 it emerged that about 177 thousand years ago and earlier, they had broken stalagmites off the cave roof to create curious semi-circular structures in Bruniquel Cave near Montauban in southern France (Jaubert, J. and 19 others, 2016. Early Neanderthal constructions deep in Bruniquel Cave in southwestern France. Nature, v. 533,  online publication, doi:10.1038/nature18291). Each of the structures contains incontrovertible evidence that fires were made within them. Rather than being near the well-lit cave entrance the structures are more than 300 m deep within the cave system surrounded by spectacular stalagmites and stalactites that are still in place. Were the structures younger than 42 ka they would probably have been attributed to the earliest anatomically modern Europeans and to some ritual function. Instead they were made during the climatic decline to the last but one glacial maximum.
Categories: Anthropology and Geoarchaeology; Cave structures; Neanderthal;

Tropical/Subtropical Depression Likely off SE US Coast; Tornadoes Still Raking Kansas

Showers and thunderstorms have increased and grown more organized in association with an area of low pressure that has formed between the Bahamas and Bermuda (Invest 91L.) This low appears increasingly likely to develop into a tropical or subtropical depression as it moves west-northwest or northwest towards the Southeast U.S. coast over the next few days. Should it become a named storm, it would be called Bonnie.
Categories: None

Guest Post: The Pocket-Sized Crystal Palace Dinosaurs

Every reader of this blog must surely be familiar with the Crystal Palace dinosaurs. These were the life-size dinosaur models made around 1854 by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins in collaboration with Richard Owen and placed in a naturalistic, outdoor setting in Crystal Palace Park. They were the very first dinosaur models ever made. The story of these magnificent and ground-breaking models has been told extensively elsewhere, but I'd like to share with you slightly lesser known versions of these famous sculptures.
Categories: crystal palace; dinosaur history; guest post; paleoart; sculpture;

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