Would you consider yourself a failure if you had a one-year Diploma followed by a two-year Master of Project Management, only to find a job outside of a university environment? Of course not.
In my last post I wrote about my adventures in Paris working at the École Normale Supérieure (ENS) using state-of-the-art laboratory experiments to explore how fluids influence fault rupture. In this contribution I will tell you about the five weeks that I spent in Rome working at the National Institute of Volcanology and Geophysics (INVG) with Professor Giulio Di Toro, Dr Elena Spagnuolo and Dr Francios Passelegue, focusing on the initiation of earthquake slip.
In 2016, I was fortunate enough to be awarded a 34th IGC Early Career Travel Grant and the RSES Mervyn and Katalin Paterson Travel Fellowship. These awards allowed me travel for an extended period this year to attend conferences and undertake state-of-the-art laboratory experiments at the École Normale Supérieure (ENS) in Paris and the National Institute of Volcanology and Geophysics (INVG) in Rome.
In this article I will talk a little about my experiences at the ENS laboratories in Paris. During my stay I was able to use experimental techniques pioneered by the ENS lab to explore differences in fault processes between earthquakes resulting from increases in shear stress (such as classic mainshock-aftershock events) and those driven by changes in pore fluid pressure (e.g. during an injection driven swarm sequence). Working closely with Professor Alexandre Schubnel and PhD student Jérôme Albury, I was able to undertake six experiments during the four weeks of my visit.
On 16 November next month, RSES will be celebrating a significant milestone – the 50th Birthday of our first high temperature high pressure rock deformation apparatus, developed and built in-house by Professor Mervyn Paterson. These apparatus marked a major global advance in the ability to measure and understand the strength, rheology and behaviour of earth materials at pressures and temperatures equivalent to depths of 20km in the crust. Even today, 50 years on, these gas medium apparatus remain relevant, achieving unsurpassed mechanical accuracy at high pressure-temperature conditions.
The following is a list collated by a number of PhD students almost at the end of their program. This is usually the most stressful time and these are the best ways we’ve found to keep sane.
1. Keep your hobbies
2. Go to tea!
3. Remember to exercise
4. Walking and talking
There are many students in the school and the rest of ANU that are going through the same things you are. There are many opportunities to “shut up and write” including; shut up and write nights, shut up and write days, and if you need an extreme kick up the butt, thesis boot camp. You can also start your own writing group/working group to get some productive peer pressure. Remember #sanityinnumbers
6. Achieve some small tasks
7. feng shui your office and home
8. Make plans that you can look forward to
9. Learn to switch off
If you can switch off, it will do your brain wonders
10. Seek help when you need it
If you’re really struggling and don’t know how to make yourself feel better, make sure you seek help. There is a counseling center at the university with same day appointments.
By Tiah Penny
For three weeks of July I go to say “arrivederci” to the Canberra winter, as I travelled to Italy to attend the 14th Urbino Summer School in Palaeoclimateology (USSP). The summer school was taught by some of the leading scientists in the field of palaeoclimate, and attended by over 70 palaeoclimate nerds – I mean HDR students – from around the world. Continue reading “Palaeoclimate in a Medieval city”
Not long after I began my PhD I saw a piece of advice that read ‘be cautious of letting your PhD become the sole thing by which you measure your self worth’. Sounds reasonable, I thought. Only recently, however, have I come to realise its true value.
By Shannon McConachie
When I started my PhD last year, I knew there were three areas I would have the next few years to refine my skills in; research, teaching, and outreach. Research and teaching I knew where to go, but outreach? I hadn’t the faintest clue where to start looking and was, frankly, mildly terrified of the concept.
Then came the email. Inger Mewburn, The Thesis Whisperer, would be running a new course on social media for researchers. After some prodding from my office mate I signed on up and have not regretted it.
This is the last of our photography competition photos here on the blog. If you want to look at more or see what else we get up to at RSES, check out our Instagram!
This week we have some shots from field trips undertaken by PhD, Masters and Undergrad students at RSES! Enjoy.
This week’s photo installment was going to be the People’s Choice winners! But, one of the winners was featured in volume 1 (A foraminifera catching and beginning to eat a copepod by Dr. Oscar Branson), so this installment instead contains the stories of the two other winner of the People’s Choice prizes, and then an writers choice photo! Enjoy.
People’s Choice Award for ‘Where We Go’
– Dr Jonathan Pownall (ARC DECRA Fellow in Structure Tectonics)
In November last year, I travelled to Arthur’s Pass National Park on New Zealand’s South Island. Walking from Arthur’s Pass Village—New Zealand’s highest settlement—I climbed for a few hours up Avalanche Peak, just above the snow line, where I was greeted by a number of Keas, the world’s only ‘Alpine’ parrots. I took a few photos, surprised by how close I was able to approach (I had only a wide-angle lens). And by how enthusiastically they were trying to destroy my rucksack, which I left on a nearby rock. I’d like to say that some level of skill was behind this photograph, but the truth is that it was just a lucky shot. A spilt second before I took the photo of the Kea on the right, it was scared by another Kea landing to the photo’s left, and burst into flight. The result: an amazing glimpse at the Keas’ fiery-orange outstretched wings amid the spectacular snow-capped Southern Alps.
This week we are sharing a bunch of interesting photos of places and samples from around Australia and the world. Enjoy.
Can You Do This? Mulga, Central Australia
– Associate Professor Hrvoje Tkalčić (Seismology and Mathematical Geophysics)
This camel photo was taken when Armando Arcidiaco (our technical officer) and myself were in the field to retrieve 6 ANU seismic instruments that we installed to monitor the aftershock activity from a large (magnitude 6.1) earthquake that shook central Australia on May 21, 2016. The shot was taken while Armando was driving and I was in a good position to observe the beautiful landscape and nature of Mulga National Park, about 100 km southwest of Uluru. There was a wild excitement in the animals due to an unusually large amount of water (a consequence of La Nina) and thriving vegetation in usually desolate areas.
This week we bring you the Highly Commended images from our inaugural Photography Competition. Well the first three images are, and the last image is an ‘authors pick’! Enjoy.
What We Study
Chert – Jeremy Mole (Undergrad Earth and Marine Science Student)
I took this photo at an outcrop on Melville Point, NSW during the EMSC1008 south coast field trip run by Dr. Andrew Berry in September 2016. It is a picture of a series of cherts, which are fine grained organic sedimentary rocks formed by a process called diagenesis, where siliceous skeletons of marine plankton are dissolved, and the silica re-precipitated from the resulting solution. The chert can be of many colours such as brown, grey, yellow, red and white as seen in the photo. Also featuring in the photo are some well-defined fold structures.
Although it was a cloudy, rainy, wet day, the colours were still so vibrant that I took a couple of photos. Nothing fancy, just low aperture
As part of our annual Student Conference, this year we held our first ever RSES Photography Competition! Over the coming months we are going to be sharing with you some of these photos, and the stories and science behind them.
This week we start on a high with the winning images from our three categories; Where We Go, Who We Are and What We Study, as well as the overall winner. Enjoy!
Where We Go
Milky Way + Tent – Dr. Jonathan Pownall (ARC DECRA Fellow)
The photo was taken in August 2014 during a trip to Ladakh in the Indian Himalaya with Dr. Marnie Forster. We were undertaking geological mapping and structural analysis of shear zones related to the exhumation of UHP coesite-bearing eclogites. One night, camping by Tso Kar lake (4500 m), I opened my tent, and the sky was amazingly clear, and the Milky Way looked pretty special. The lamp was still on in the kitchen tent… so I balanced my camera on a rock and took a long exposure photo.
By Ali and Jess
Five reasons YOU should March for Science TOMORROW:
- You believe that government decisions should be guided by facts and evidence. March for Informed Public Policy!
- To say no to restrictions being placed on scientists communicating their research, as we are currently seeing in the U.S. Show your support for Open Communication of Knowledge!
- For Stable Science Investment, for security in our future jobs!
- For a science informed future and a well-informed community. We need kids to learn and love science, they are the future! We need Universal STEM Literacy!
- Finally, science is our tool to solve some of the world’s most challenging problems; it is worth marching for!
The Research School of Earth Sciences has a long history of pitching the staff against the students in a biannual sporting competition. The staff have dominated in the last few student vs staff sporting competitions, especially cricket, where many of the student team had never bowled a ball or held a bat before. Read more about last year’s cricket match here.
This year strategy overtook tradition and the students challenged the staff to the inaugural student vs staff lawn bowls tournament. There was more participation than ever before with even a few of our youngest coming along to support their parents.
The weather was a sunny 29 degrees as we all made our way down to the RUC. The tension was thick and strategies were forming as the instructor explained the rules of lawn bowls.
This is the first post in a series where students will have the chance to write about their favourite tech tools to get the job done. This includes software, hardware, mobile apps, etc.
I am an experimental petrologist, high temperature geochemist and a general geologist. This is what I use.
Compiled by Patrick, Patrick and Louise.
The fourth and potentially final installation of our longest running series.
Buried in a grave
Sea of torrid rock and heat
Spawns a seed so deep
— Jess, experimental petrology
Flash rock plummets scorched earth
Oasis of questions
— Liane, isotope geochemistry