Mary Lou Jepsen: Could future devices read images from our brains?
Nat Geo's awesome page on the universe
NPR article on proof of the Big Bang theory (credit- Erwin Seybold)
AGUs new open access Earth and Space Science journal !
Photo: National geographic, Deepest visible light photo of the cosmos
I knew I should stop looking up additional info when I ended up here...
Last weekend was the annual River Retreat, hosted by Martin Doyle. Once we had settled into the cabin (near Boone, NC) and had a second pot of coffee brewing, Martin set the ground rules for our discussions and introduced this years' theme: Extremes.
The general goal of the weekend was to talk about big ideas and concepts, but on a individual level it allowed me to think about where my research fit into the bigger picture and elucidated parts that I hadn't thought about as thoroughly. An indirect result was (re)connecting with other students, reminding me of the great source of support and knowledge that they have to offer. To deter getting mired in the details of hydrology, our other 'adult chaperone' was Tim Baird, a social geographer with interests in conservation and sustainability. Tim provided us with a refreshing new perspective, and added to our collaborative desire to discuss extremes with a cross-disciplinary framework in mind.
This year was my first River Retreat, and I have to say that when we got back to town I hardly wanted to interact with the rest of the world. A sunny afternoon walk through the Duke gardens was just what I needed, time to soak in my thoughts and sort the ideas swirling around in my head before they dissipated into thin air. The weekend was a great success and a much needed revitalization to start my semester off just right.
My thought map of the three days of discussion-
Another great year in San Francisco! This year my overall conference experience seemed markedly different, namely because I gave my first oral presentation. Luckily my nervousness subsided enough to tell people the story of how bugs like to live in different places (this is how I explained it to my 4-year-old niece at thanksgiving).
It was great to see old AGU friends and folks from Montana that I hadn't seen since summer. A few new people that I met were Joel Biederman (just completed his PhD at University of Arizona), Scott Peckham (Post-doc at University of Wyoming), and Andrés Varhola (recently completed PhD at University of British Columbia). They have all looked at the mountain pine beetle outbreak in their respective regions with a range of questions and approaches.
A few weeks ago three vans of Nicholas School students ventured to the southern Appalachians to talk about water. Luckily for me I hadn't taken 15 passenger van training yet -thank you Megan, Erin and Anna and, a special thanks to Mark Panny for organizing the trip!
First stop: Cathy's Creek - hiking around a headwater tributary of the French Broad.
As we hiked we talked about a few topics of interest. The first being a discussion on where the stream starts, and how this could be interpreted in regards to policy and regulation. Megan Fork and Erin Seybold talked about carbon cycling in the context of where comes from, how it gets to the stream and what happens in-stream once it gets there. Martin enthralled us with the first of a few readings, perhaps the first being from Walden.
2nd stop: Cathy's Creek water treatment plant. We didn't get a tour since it was Saturday (hopefully next year!), but we did go over some of the basics of drinking water treatment. This treatment plant produces about 1.5 million gallons of drinking water a day.
3rd stop: Oskar Blues Brewery - What a better use of water than to make beer!
While touring the new brewery we (Martin and Mark) estimated that the brewery was using about 120,000 gallons of water/ day to produce ~50,000 barrels ( 1 barrel =~ 2 kegs = ~ 32 gallons) of beer per year.
Day 2: Canoeing down the French Broad River
A beautiful fall day on the river was a great way to get our minds thinking about the work rivers do. The movement of water is dynamic, which influences the type and amount of sediment and nutrients that it carries . At this point in the watershed the river was a light brown, with a considerably higher sediment load (and dissolved organic carbon!) than in Cathy's creek. We looked at bed forms on the bottom of an incoming creek and added some Rhodamine, a red dye that helps visualize eddies and currents in the stream.