Postcards from The Field

Hi Everyone Im In Louisiana With Biologist And

Hi everyone,

I’m in Louisiana with biologist and artist Brandon Ballengée researching a book on art, culture, and climate change.  Brandon is collaborating with Prosanta Chakrabarty (Associate Professor/Curator of Ichthyology, LSU) on an interdisciplinary art and science project called Crude Life.  In its current form, the project consists of old trunks and chests containing dyed specimens and posters listing the species that have been adversely affected by, or simply gone missing since, the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.  

In this photo, we’re at A Studio in the Woods (Tulane University) for “Loss & Found,” an event that is part of the Annual Wetlands Art Tour sponsored by Antenna::Signals.  The portable museum is aesthetically bewitching and draws people to it.  Brandon talks with them about the aftermath of the oil spill, the 14 species of endemic Gulf fishes that have not been seen since the spill, and opens up dialogue about the ecology of Louisiana, its fossil fuel economy, and the fate of biodiversity in the Gulf.

Thomas S. Davis, Associate Professor of English, The Ohio State University

Greetings From Paradise Tiera Is Taking Notes On

Greetings from Paradise.  Tiera is taking notes on samples collected for grain-size analysis and XRF/XRD analysis on top of the fluted cliffs of the Na Pali  coast of Kauai, in a quest to understand how weathering of the basalts renders them erodible.  Friends claim we are just using geology as an excuse to go hiking in Hawaii, but we deny it.

Jerry Osborn and Tiera Naber, Geoscience Dept, University of Calgary, Alberta.

Dear All The Sun May Be Setting Over The S

Dear all,

The sun may be setting over the S Pacific, but the science will go on all night long! Our fantastic crew have just finished glider recovery and now on with our overnight CTD and sediment trap stations as we study the world’s largest Oxygen Minimum Zone.

best regards from RV Meteor,


Dear Science Enthusiasts Im Over Here In

Dear science enthusiasts,

I’m over here in Switzerland on a collaborative visit doing some mountain science with the Hydrology group in the Institute of Geography at University of Bern. Yesterday we took advantage of a significant rain-on-snow event above 2000 m to run a qualitative evaluation of water percolation though a saturated snowpack.

We hiked in and applied food-grade coloring to the surface a slightly inclined 2x2 m plot near some instrumental stations to visualize lateral vs. vertical water flow in the snowpack. It had been raining all night, but had mostly stopped when we began the test. While there were some preferential flow paths across ice lensing, the entire column except for the uphill portion indicated downhill percolation from the surface after less than 3 hours. That’s a lot of water moving inside the snow, if you look at entire slopes!


Scotty Strachan

Dept of Geography, University of Nevada, Reno USA

Greetings All Heres A Double Rainbow During A

Greetings, all!Here’s a double rainbow during a frontal shower near the Lincoln, NE airport, captured during the NASA-funded Project ACT-America (Atmospheric Carbon and Transport-America) Campaign in Summer 2016.

- Sandip Pal

Dear Agu Hello From Southern Utah Here Paul

Dear AGU, Hello from southern Utah!  Here Paul and I are setting up a seismometer on the massive Owachomo Bridge in Natural Bridges National Monument (with NPS permission).  We measure the ambient vibration of this and about 10 other arches in southern Utah to determine their resonant frequencies, and track these over time as a means of probing for changes in structural health.  Here we’re doing a routine check up - about 1 hour of ambient motion is all we need to see if there has been any change since our last measurement. Wish you were here, Jeff Moore & Paul Geimer, University of Utah Behind the camera: Jacob Kirkegaard

web: twitter: @UtahGeohaz

Dear Science Enthusiasts Im Burning Up Here At

Dear science enthusiasts, 

I’m burning up here at the Syracuse Lava Project, a collaboration between artist Bob Wysocki and geologist Jeff Karson at Syracuse University. These fearless (and a little crazy) men work together to melt, mix and pour homemade lava for both artistic and scientific projects. Bob and Jeff were nice enough to host me and an AGU colleague for three days of pouring and filming lava. The lava - at over 1,000 degrees C - generated so much heat that we had to stop filming twice because the camera overheated. No one got burned (luckily!) and we got to see something few people (let alone scientists) ever get to see - real-life lava flows.  In this image, you can see Bob clad in his leather protection gear, operating the furnace. For this pour, we made the lava extra hot and poured it over wet sand. You can see that as the lava flows over the sand, it has vaporized the water in the sand and that water vapor causes the lava to bubble up. Next, we’ll be getting the lava even hotter and attempting to create a lava lake.  Wish you were here,  Lauren Lipuma AGU public information specialist 
Greetings From The Rv Tangaroa Offshore The

Greetings from the R/V Tangaroa, offshore the South Island of New Zealand.   At the moment we are deploying a Controlled-Source Electromagnetic instrument offshore the Canterbury Plains, which will allow us to measure sub-seafloor resistivity. Once the data are integrated with new multi-channel seismic reflection data that we plan to acquire next week, we will be able to characterize the distribution and geometry of one of the shallowest offshore freshwater aquifers in the world.   We are 12 days out on a 24 day research cruise. In the following weeks we plan to ground-truth our geophysical data by acquiring seafloor pore-water and water column samples where the groundwater is seeping into the sea to determine its origin and age.

You can follow our cruise on:   The cruise is supported by a European Research Council grant (MARCAN) and NIWA.

Don Quixote Lakes Of La Mancha 400 Years Later

Don Quixote Lakes of La Mancha: 400 Years Later

Dear everyone,

We are on a field trip with University of Granada’s master students in the Water Science Program at the Lagunas de Ruidera (Lakes of Ruidera) in La Mancha, central Spain. Here, fifteen interconnected groundwater aquifer-fed karstic lakes form an unique cascading landscape separated by travertine calcium carbonate dams of biological origin. Over 400 years ago, Miguel de Cervantes wrote his iconic novel “Don Quijote de La Mancha”, with the adventures and mis-adventures therein taking place in and around this enchanting region along today’s Ruta de Don Quixote. Now, under threat from multiple anthropogenic (e.g., groundwater extraction, summer tourism) and climate change (e.g., warming, droughts) stressors, these Ruidera (“roaring”) lakes with their series of waterfalls are becoming silent. More information on these lakes continuum, is available at the Lakes of Ruidera Natural Park website

Juan Manuel Medina-Sánchez, Manuel Villar-Argaiz, Guillermo Herrera, Presentación Carrillo, Departamento de Ecología and Instituto del Agua, Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain. and,

Bopaiah Biddanda, Annis Water Resources Institute, Grand Valley State University, Muskegon, Michigan, USA.