July 26 Blog: Exploring the long lost continent of Zealandia: Background & Scientific goals for Expedition 371

IODP Expedition 371: Exploring the Tectonic and Climate History of Zealandia This expedition has an amazing task in front of it as it will try to tackle scientific questions about both the tectonic and climate history of Zealandia as well as try to connect how tectonic changes affected global climate in the past. To fully understand the recent past, it may be nice to first look back at the history of Zealandia through geologic history….

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…

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,…

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…

Identifying sediments and microfossils

Being at sea on such a large vessel is a new experience for me, and each day has been exciting.  The Philippines are beautiful, and the geology is amazing. Our morning began with a dolphin sighting off the port side, where we also saw flying fish! The remainder of the day was spent observing marine sediment cores and making smear slides.  Smear slides are a quick and easy way for sedimentologists to identify sediment styles…