A reflective prelude blog before I leave on this amazing adventure

Waiting in JFK for the flight………. The flying portion of this journey will take me half around the Earth, into the southern hemisphere, past New Zealand and to ancient continent of Australia. The entire journey will consist of about 20 hours of flight time in total, with a stop over at LAX and then a 15-hour flight to Sydney, Australia. The first leg of the journey will take me to the non-exotic place of LAX,…

Thinking about Rocks

Everything I’ve ever known about rocks comes from exploring a creek bed in southern Kentucky with my Grandma. My parents would drop myself and my brother off every summer without fail for a week or two at Grandma’s. She lived in a small town and her neighbors were dairy farmers. Usually we’d take a day trip out to the creek with a trunk full of a packed cooler, towels, and old plastic buckets (the kind…

Lift Off!!!!!!!

By Matthew Campbell Day 15 on the 2017 School of Rock Expedition began with a discussion on understanding Global Climate Change, and its relationship to human activities and processes happening today. Our group was exposed to new learning activities and modules designed by the educators at the Museum of Paleontology, University of California, Berkley Campus.  These activities provided hands on approach comparing the differences between ‘cause’ and ‘effect’ in relationship to changing climate, providing a…

July 24: Background on the International Ocean Discovery Program

The expedition (i.e., IODP Expedition 371) I will be on is part of the Integrated Ocean Discovery Program (IODP). It is an amazing program and I would like to share a bit of its history as it is the most successful international science program (perhaps outside the International Space Station) and for me being on an IODP expedition is the closest I will ever get to being on USS Enterprise with Captain Kirk and Spock!!…

May All Scientists Have Good Mothers!

May All Scientists Have Good Mothers!

I know, it may seem a bit odd to start a blog entry on an advanced oceangoing research vessel by saying something that may seem so left of center – but hear me out. And if you have not the best relationship with your natal person – please substitute an appropriate corollary. At School of Rock (SOR) we start every day with a go-around where we share some aspect of our professional craft; a bit…

Pekar’s first blog: Introduction

Greetings I am a geology professor in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Queens College and research past climate and oceanographic changes during times (16- 45 million years ago) when CO2 was as high as what is predicted for the 21st century (500-1000 ppm). With CO2 is rising rapidly today due to anthropogenic fossil fuel use and changes in land use (e.g., cutting down forest, etc.), Humanity has started an uncontrolled experiment that is…

Rockers rocking through the West Pacific – #thefloatingclassroom

Rockers rocking through the West Pacific – #thefloatingclassroom

Spectacular, sparkling sunrises and colourful, radiating sunsets, cracking thunderstorms accompanied by vibrant, fork and sheet lightning, swelling waves which abate to mirrored incandescent, coloured Pacific blue waters, prevailing winds which swirl around the ship providing a much needed cooling effect to relieve the day’s humidity, volcanic island arcs defined by violently erupted stratovolcanoes and their lava domes and nightly bioluminescent glows episodic revealing themselves in the smashing bow waves of the ship. This is just…

CORE ON DECK!

CORE ON DECK!

Another day aboard the JR. For the first time I am seeing people working at sea and eating more than becoming seasick. The ship is incredibly stable and the meals have been fantastic, the galley staff is amazing! In the morning we continued the mini-course on Oceanography and today the subject was climatic changes based on records in biogenic sediments called foraminiferas. Faced with a robust compilation of data previously collected by the IODP (DSDP,…

The day the dinosaurs died or at least the non-avian ones.

The day the dinosaurs died or at least the non-avian ones.

Good science is conservative. Good scientists, by nature, are good skeptics. Scientists can argue for decades over a working hypothesis before consensus is ever reached. We can spend our entire careers disagreeing and trying to counter other arguments regarding a particular scientific concept. Due to this natural skepticism, a humongous body of evidence is required to dismantle any pre-existing idea. One example of this skeptical scientific process involves telling the story of what might have…

Food, glorious FOOD!

Food, glorious FOOD!

A transit on a drill ship at sea is not ordinarily where you would expect to be fine dining, but so far on the JOIDES Resolution, the culinary delights keep coming! Around the clock, the School of Rockers and rest of the crew are treated to a huge variety of menu items, specifically designed to nourish and satisfy all tastes and appetites. Each day’s dinner menu includes three different entrees, often featuring a variety of…