Category Archives: Practice of Science

Textbook Review

Dear Textbook Companies: If you want me to review the e-version of your textbooks, you need to allow me to download the text and view it on an e-reader, not security-lock it to view via your (slow & buggy) website. … Continue reading

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Reemergence

I spent the last year doing geophysical fieldwork for a small consulting company, constantly on the road between mining camps, exploration camps, and small shacks in the woods that haven’t grown into camps yet. Turns out, glaciers in northern British … Continue reading

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The Montreal Massacre

23 years ago, a gunman targeted female engineers. This year, I worked in an industry geophysics company and in a government science office, both over half women. The situation isn’t perfect — I’ve encountered blatant sexism, as have most of … Continue reading

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Fieldwork: Attitude

It’s been a year since I started regularly working as a field geophysicist. Since then, I’ve clambered up waterfalls with a tail of wire dragging behind me, blown up innocent patches of permafrost, vibrated borehole walls at ultrasonic frequencies, and … Continue reading

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Geophysics in the Tropics

I’m packing up for a field stint in the tropics, trying not to zap zebras while imaging the subsurface. While chatting with colleagues over lunch, she advocated for packing evaporated milk to mix with boiling water when consuming antimalarial medication, … Continue reading

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Why I Wear Pink in the Field

My first crew chief, a man who radiated so much rugged masculinity he was promptly nicknamed “Stallone” or “Rambo” in every camp he worked, flagged all our radios in pink. This differentiated the company crew radios from the survey site’s … Continue reading

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American and oppose the SOPA/PIPA copyright/internet censorship bills? Use this list to find out where your representatives stand, then give them a call to say “thanks” or lobby to change their mind.

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Recreational Geophysics (winter edition)

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When hunting for snowshoes in the equipment room, I discovered snowboards and skis. I am now utterly enchanted by the concept of a downhill geophysical survey. If we blend in some techniques from urban skiing in small town British Columbia, … Continue reading

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“I have no good explanation for why a geophysical company has so many teddy bears.” Explanations proffered on social media include: Fashionable cushions for high amplitude seismic testing. “Padding”-ton bears to supplement shock-foam when packing shipments. Hug-providers for when data-processing … Continue reading

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Opening Access to the Royal Society

Earlier this year, it made headlines when the Royal Society opened its archives of historic, interesting, and sometimes just downright strange articles. The quieter story is the two men who made this happen, as related to me by the ever-informative … Continue reading

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