A landscape of ice

« So much water, so much water….” is a famous quote by our former president Mac Mahon (French president from 1873 to 1879). He would have said these words in front of dramatic flooding in the city of Toulouse. If this quote was applied to Antarctica today, I would like to switch it to “So much ice, so much ice….” Antarctica is the biggest freshwater reservoir on the planet, mainly in the form of ice. About98%...…

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Setting out on expedition 374 to the Ross Sea!

Hi everyone, my name’s Rosa Hughes-Currie and I’m a science teacher in Auckland, New Zealand. I’m aboard the JOIDES Resolution to learn more about the science aboard the ship, tell you about it, and to live my dream of sailing into Antarctic waters! Our departure from Christchurch was exciting for everyone, but especially for me as we’re leaving from my home town. Lyttleton harbour is a giant ancient volcanic crater, which is a great start...…

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Man and the sea

Photgraphy by Justin P. Dodd Free man, you’ll love the ocean endlessly! It is your mirror, you observe your soul In how its billows endlessly unroll Your spirit’s bitter depths are there to see. You plunge in joy to your reflection’s core, With eyes and heart seizing it all along; Your heart sometimes neglects its proper song Distracted by the ocean’s savage roar. The two of you are subtle, shadowy: Man, none has sounded your...…

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Breast Cancer Awareness coin designs

I’m excited to share that, on March 15, the U.S. Mint will release a new commemorative coin that I designed. The theme of the coin is Breast Cancer Awareness, and surcharges will go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The design for this coin was selected through a national competition, open to all U.S. residents and citizens. There will be a clad, a silver, and a gold coin available, all with the same obverse and…

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The Skye dinosaur footprint vandal: Lessons for assault on U.S. National Monuments

One year after a bizarre act of local fossil vandalism on Scotland’s Dinosaur Isle let us consider the value of footprints in the sand and the implications for U.S. Government cuts to national monuments of global paleontological importance. Police Alert! On December 28, 2016, Police Scotland were searching for a tall male in his late 40s to early 50s thought to be driving a white camper van. A crime had been committed on the Isle…

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Scientist Post: Francesca Sangiorgi

Francesca Sangiorgi is a scientist sailing on expedition 374. She works as an assistant professor at Utrecht University. She will will be posting brief updates throughout the cruise, which will be shared here. More on her work: Dr. Sangiorgi’s main interests include eutrophication trends, natural variability vs anthropogenic changes in coastal areas, Neogene climate in the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans, Late Quaternary paleoceanography of the Mediterranean Sea including episodes of widespread anoxia (sapropels). Dr. Sangiorgi focuses on...…

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Scientist Post: Brian Romans

Brian Romans is a scientist sailing aboard Expedition 374. He will blogging on his home institution’s – Virginia Tech – website here, and we will re-post his updates. Below are his first two posts, from October 19 and January 7. You can also follow Dr. Romans on Twitter and Instagram.   Getting ready to set sail Originally posted January 7, 2018 on the Virginia Tech Sedimentary Systems Research blog.  I’ve been in Lyttelton, New Zealand (port town...…

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Episode 85: Ichthyosaurs

Ichthyosaurs are large marine reptiles that existed for most of the Mesozoic Era. The most familiar forms superficially represent dolphins, but some earlier ichthyosaurs were more eel like. They could attain huge proportions, with some genera reaching up to 21m long. They were active predators feeding on belemnite, fishes and even other marine reptiles! In this episode, we talk to Dr Ben Moon and Fiann Smithwick, researchers at the University of Bristol, UK. Both have…

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Episode 84: Neoproterozoic Acritarchs

Geology, as a subject, has for the most part assumed that there were no fossils to be found earlier than the Cambrian period. In the current day, we’re better-informed and are able to find good records of life before the Cambrian Explosion. Despite this, the structure of the Palaeocast website, with different pages for each period of the Phanerozoic Eon, shows we’re still biased against anything earlier than the Cambrian. We are guilty of lumping…

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Best Science Books 2017: Wired Top Tech Books

As you all have no doubt noticed over the years, I love highlighting the best science books every year via the various end of year lists that newspapers, web sites, etc. publish. I've done it so far in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. And here we are in 2017! As in previous years, my definition of "science books" is pretty inclusive, including books on technology, engineering, nature, the environment, science…

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