A "web-log" of all things geologic....

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November 30, 2000

Want to discuss anything I've posted here? Please try out the new "Comment" functions I've added to each of the messages (discussions powered by BlogVoices, a link I came across when checking out Harrumph!). Give it a go! And thanks....
This month's Scientific American has an interesting article on marine reptiles of the Mesozoic. Check out Rulers of the Jurassic Seas.
Here's one for all you coal buffs.....Geology: Strikers set big Ohio coal fire.

November 29, 2000

Ancient South African soils point to early terrestrial life says a group from Penn State. Check out this summary of the latest on this interesting subject.
From the New York Times: Here is an interesting op-ed piece on why the recent climate talks collapsed. Check out Sins of Emission

November 21, 2000

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has predicted that an asteroid, which could unleash a force 100 times greater than the Hiroshima atomic bomb, may strike earth on September 21, 2030. For more info, check out this link.
Looking for some recent articles on Geology? Check out this nice compilation of links from the New York Times, entitled The Natural World: Geology. This is a site worth bookmarking....

November 20, 2000

Ever wonder how soil liquefaction occurs during an earthquake? The physical details aren't actually all that well known and are the focus of an upcoming series of experiments aboard the space shuttle. Check out Sand Blast for more info on this interesting topic.
There are some interesting developments regarding the preparation and certification of teachers to teach science in Kentucky schools. The Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB) of the Kentucky Department of Education has recently been working to change the current requirements for certifcation. On the table is an ammendment of the Kentucky teaching certificate that proposes that teachers of 8-12 grade science have the "equivalent of a major" in one or more of the following - chemistry, physics, earth/space science, or biology. As far as I can tell, the EPSB has given preliminary approval to this amendment - their September Newsletter indicates that the Board voted to approve a "Notice of Intent" (to change the certification) and a public hearing was held on October 23 to receive comment. Supposidly, the regulation is to be presented for final review at the Board’s November 20-21 meeting; however, the November meeting agenda from the EPSB makes no reference to this upcoming presentation.

There are also some interesting developments pertaining to science education in the high schools. Recently, a measure was approved to change the minimum high school graduation requirements in science and other disciplines. Beginning with the Class of 2002, students will have to have 3 science credits in life science, physical science and earth and space science. Changes in the "Program of Study" and the "Core Content for Science Assessment" have also been implemented which require that much more Earth and Space Science be taught in the high schools.

What does this all mean for Geology education in Kentucky? Well, it certainly means that students are going to get a lot more exposure to Earth and Space Science in high school. It also likely means that any pre-service teacher interested in teaching high school Earth Science is going to have to have the equivalent of a Bachelors in Geology plus a wide range of education courses. They will also have to pass several National Certification Exams, including the General Science exam and the Earth/Space Science exam.

From my perspective, I think these developments are a good thing: the more students are exposed to geology in the high schools, the more likely they will want to pursue geology in college and beyond. These developments, however, pose considerable challenges to pre-service teachers who have to take the above mentioned exams (they are not easy), and to in-service teachers who have to expand their Earth Science content coverage just so that graduating students are adequately prepared for their exit exams.

The KDE does provide excellent suggestions on how to incorporate Earth and Space science content into the curriculum (see the current High School Implementation Manual). These suggestions, coupled with content-based professional development opportunities should, in the short term, help teachers face the current challanges. However, what is really need are more teachers trained specifically in Earth and Space Science, teachers who can teach actual Earth and Space Science courses. Such teachers are not currently coming out of the teacher education programs in state, nor are they coming out of the Geology programs, as none of the geology programs in the state currently offer a Bachelors in Earth Science Education. This situation must change soon in order for teachers to be adquately prepared to teach Earth and Space Science in Kentucky's schools.

Questions? Comments? Comment here or e-mail me. I can even grant you full posting privelages if you want to contribute to this site.

November 17, 2000

Here is an interesting effort to establish a time scale for the evolutionary development of galaxies that is similar to the geologic time scale. Check out this link to Galactic Palaeontology.

November 16, 2000

Here are a couple of other headlines of interest (all found on Newsblogger).

Here's some geologic news that you might have lost amongst all of the election fluff. Huge earthquake hits Papua New Guinea. 8 on the Richter scale is pretty darn major!
I'm glad to see others posting on this site! I hope we can grow this thing. I'm using it to learn HTML and to get a little more web-savy. Perhaps others of us can too (not that you need it Ron!).

Bethany had a question about adding links to a message. This requires inserting an HTML tag into your message. The one that allows me to insert a link to House of Onyx is <A HREF="page.html">label text</A> where "page.html" is the URL for the web site and "label text" the text that you want a user to click on to go to a particular site (such as, again, House of Onyx)(note that straight quotes only go around the URL, not the label). If this seems complicated...well, I guess it kind of is, but it allows us to communicate over the web and to exchange messages and ideas via computer (plus a whole host of other technologies). In your next post, try adding a link to some web site that might be of interest to us all. Doing so is what blogs are all about - sharing info found on the web via the web.

If you are interested in learning more about HTML and the incorporation of HTML tags into your messages you might visit Webmonkey; in particular check out their HTML Cheatsheet. There is plenty there to get you going. Have fun!!

November 15, 2000

Greetings everyone. I think everyone has gone Blogger crazy, including myself. Thanks for the invite Dr. Siewers.
Hope you are enjoying yourself at GSA Dr. Schott. Feel free to get me a job, assistantship, or whatever.
A reminder to all Geo kids, we will be going to the House of Onyx this Saturday, bring lots of cash (like $400,000) for killer garnets, etc. At some point I may learn to create links. Hopefully this will occur sooner than later because the House of Onyx has a website. Mabey you could post that Dr. Siewers?????...
Here's an interesting bit of news pertaining to climate change. Check out Arctic Evidence of Warming
Greetings from GSA!
Howdy from Reno, NV, the "biggest little city in the world". It's been a great meeting so far. I've been pretty busy scurrying about between talks and interviews (5 yesterday). Things are a little spread out which makes it hard to get from one talk to the next sometimes. Had free dinner on the Micromass (mass spectrometer) folks last night. I'm seeing lots of old friends too. Hope everything's well in BG.
See you on Friday!

Don't believe in plate tectonics? There are other view points/perspectives. Check out this site: Global Expansion Tectonics. Anyone want to provide a critique? If so, e-mail me, or if you'd like to post here please do so (I'll create an account for you). Perhaps one of these days I'll provide my own analysis....
Some of you reading this site might be interested in going to graduate school in geology. If you are looking for names of top schools, check out the U.S. News and World Report web site. They not only rank the top schools; they also rank by subdiscipline. If you need a web site for a particular geology program, try checking out the Geoscience Departments WWW Directory. It has links to all the web pages of Geology Departments in the U.S. and Canada.

November 14, 2000

One more site to look into is Spyonit. This software will tell you when a web site has been changed or updated. You are then notified of the change via e-mail, pager, cell phone, a web page, and other technologies. One potential use for this technology is to track job announcements in the Chronicle or GeoTimes...not that I'm really looking...;-)..., or to track changes in air fares. Apparently, using Farefinder you can get notified when the fare is below what you will pay. Pretty cool, eh?
I just came across a really easy way to set up threaded discussions with groups of students that's independent of commercial groupware (such as CourseInfo). Its called QuickTopic. I found out about it from I see great potential here, particularly if such discussions are linked to a course web site.

While you are at it, you might also check out E-Quill. As they indicate in their promotional info, "(E-Quill) lets you treat Web pages like pieces of paper: add digital ink, highlights, or sticky notes to any Web page, then click to share the marked-up pages with coworkers, clients, or friends... The only drawback that I can see is that it runs only on Windows (95 or later) and that you need to be using Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser. Since I don't routinely use either (Mac guy that I am) I'm kind of out of luck. Oh well...

November 13, 2000

Yet another link to a blog - this one more intellegent and interesting than some of the ones I posted earlier (and have explored more recently). The blog is Peterme. Check it out...
Speaking of maps, check out this one of the election results by county. So how did your home county vote?
I've been looking for a good source of maps for a friend. Here is what I came up with:

Does anyone know of any other good sites for ordering maps? If so, e-mail me. Thanks.

November 12, 2000

Well I'm checking out more blogs out there to see what kinds of things people are doing. Here's one that Ambre might go for: Michael Its pretty sophisticated (much more so than this site) - it makes me realize what one can do with a little web design background. Blogs (weblogs) are certainly good for getting the information out. Check out RobotWisdom for an example of this. Another one worth checking out is Fairview It was mentioned in the New Yorker article I read the other day. I haven't check it too much, but there is clearly a lot there. Have fun!

November 10, 2000

Hi Bethany and Ron. Perhaps you are here because you've accepted my invitation to join GeoBlog. I'm not really sure what were going to do with this site other than post random thoughts. I'm intending it to be geologic - if it's not at first....fine. I figure it'll come around. Make sure you join Blogger. That way you'll be able to post too. Cheers....
Perhaps a few other links would be good too. We should certainly link to the Geology Club. Perhaps we ought to consider having this blog hosted on the GeoClub website (or at least linked).
Wow that was easy! I wonder if I can use BBEdit to easily anchor some links into my blog. For example, I found MegNut to be an excellent starting point. Blogger is also (obviously) a really good place to start too.

This is my first exploration into the world of blogs. I read about them last night in the latest edition of the New Yorker. They are pretty cool. I'm wondering if I can create an online community for my classes with them.