Goldschmidt 2016 Yokohama: the field trips (part II)

By Michael

Previous post: Goldschmidt 2016 Yokohama: the conference (part I)

I was fortunate to attend two field trips during my visit to Japan, both before and after the conference itself.

Fuji-Hakone: Spring, forest, cave, and volcanoes around the area

We left Yokohama to the village of Oshino, northeast of Mt Fuji, the location of Oshino Hakkai: the eight springs. This area used to be a lake, lava flows from Mt Fuji covered the lake completely and it dried up. However, groundwater coming from Mt Fuji are still feeding some ponds and springs in the village.

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Goldschmidt 2016 Yokohama: the conference (part I)

By Michael

Goldschmidt is the largest annual geochemistry conference, held this year in Yokohama, Japan. I am not a newcomer to Goldschmidt. I attended Goldschmidt in Montreal, Canada back in 2012. That was when I was a first year M.Sc. student, presenting something I did as a side project during my final year of undergraduate studies (and special thanks to my supervisor at that time, Yaron Katzir, for sending me to Canada for such an unimportant research project).

Attending conferences, like any other academic activity, is an acquired skill. My experience in 2012 can be summed up by this quote:

…Some scientist was talking about something, then another scientist goes “hmmm… interesting…” and nods the head. Really? But I don’t understand a thing! How can this be interesting??

Taken from one of my previous posts: One year over, two (and a half) to go

Continue reading “Goldschmidt 2016 Yokohama: the conference (part I)”

2016 Geoscience Australia Open Day!

The annual Geoscience Australia Open day is coming up so be sure to add it to your calendar! One time when I visited the GA open day there was a dinosaur just casually walking around roaring at people so keep an eye out for that! (Unless it went extinct…which is possible, dinosaurs tend to do that.)

Geoscience Australia Open Day – Sunday 21 August 2016

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10 ways your PhD is like a puzzle

-by Louise Schoneveld

1. You are sold the final product

The Picture you are sold

You are sold the final image before you start your PhD. Lovely isn’t it. You’ll spend up to 4 years of your life sorting this out.

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Black Cake Day

Pat Carr & Bethany Ellis

*In memory of M.J. Jollands (2011-2015)

Cake Friday is an ancient and rich tradition carried out weekly at RSES but every year we come to together to remember the day Cake Friday was forgotten. For the unlearned I present you with an extract of the original constitution, dated at the turn of the 12th year of the 21st century (it is rumored that the only remaining copy of the constitution will soon be put on display in the RSES foyer in place of the William Smith Geology map):

“Whilst the exact origins of cake Friday [sic] remain unknown, recent research has suggested that it was initiated some time in early 2012. What is clear, however, is that it rapidly grew until it became the most widely talked about event of any given week in the RSES, surpassing even ‘surprise chocolate Wednesday’s’ and ‘Friday football’ after a matter of weeks. It appears appears to have been designed as an event which would not discriminate against people based on their race, religion or gender, using the omnipotent power of cake to bring down any stereotypes…”

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Field Trip around SE Australia #OCGontour

Some snapshots of a recent field trip looking at past environments of South East Australia

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Slices of Time: Geoarchaeology Research Group Launch

By Kelsie

On the 26th May 2016 I attended the launch of the Geoarchaeology Research Group (GRG) which is headed by Associate Professor Tim Denham (ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences). The launch consisted of a series of short talks presenting the range of topics the group has been working on as well as some input from geoarchaeological researchers from the University of Wollongong. I am definitely not an expert in geoarchaeology and so I encourage anyone who wants to know more about it to check out the GRG website. I just think that the stuff they do is really cool and interesting. It’s also quite important.

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Just Not Cricket

by Patrick Goodarzi

True to academic stereotypes, it seems whenever sport is mentioned in these pages it is often followed by some combination of the words failure, embarrassment, or disgrace. This occasion is to be no different. Our opponents this time were the fully fledged academics and staff of RSES – ostensibly further down the line of sporting ineptitude. The day was mid April and the game was cricket. In hindsight, a poor choice of sport and one that played directly into the staffs’ hands – a predominantly matured group from Commonwealth nations for whom the idea of standing idly in a field for half a day was an exhilarating prospect. In contrast, our ragamuffin bunch was cobbled together with students from diverse backgrounds, to many of whom cricket was a foreign curiosity. All, however, were delightfully keen. Perhaps they sensed the magnitude of the occasion. Or more likely some cultural fulfilment to be had. Continue reading “Just Not Cricket”

Ocean Acidification – good news for people who love bad news*

By Sarah Andrew

*yes that is a Modest Mouse reference.

Earlier this month, I was lucky enough to attend the 4th International Symposium on the Ocean in a High CO2 World (AKA Ocean Acidification Conference) in Hobart, where over 300 scientists from around the world came together to discuss the implications of changing ocean chemistry and where our research needs to go next. A recurring theme in this conference was the realisation that scientists need to make a huge leap with experimental design (a bit more about this later) in order to start truly understanding the complicated aspects of such a dynamic environment.

Continue reading “Ocean Acidification – good news for people who love bad news*”

5 ways to get your thesis to write itself

-by Louise Schoneveld

There are many ways to get your thesis to write itself. Technology now-a-days is so advanced there is no need for you to be spending time editing and organizing your thesis, get the computer to do it for you. These tips are mainly for those who use microsoft word.

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A Flying Visit to the Berkeley Synchrotron

By Rachel

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to get to go over to California for a few days all in the name of science.  We stayed up in the hills behind Berkeley, a short walk away from the instrument we were using.  The view from our hotel room was pretty amazing with views across San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Pacific Ocean.

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One year over, two (and a half) to go

-By Michael

I arrived in Canberra a little bit more than a year ago, in February 2015.

I had to wait a bit to actually start doing academic related stuff, because thanks to someone at the Bangkok airport I had the most terrible flu I ever had and I couldn’t do much for about a week.


Once we got this obstacle out of the way, I started to go to RSES, seeing the place, and meeting people. I had no supervisor: my supervisor to be, Daniela Rubatto, was moving to Europe.

Continue reading “One year over, two (and a half) to go”

Gaming for science!

By Kelsie

I spent all this week writing my thesis…ok so I spent some time writing my thesis and the rest of the time was spent playing video games or as I like to think of it, “research”! Hear me out!

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Scientists reviewing media: a way forward for climate science communication?

By Jess

Could there be anything more frustrating to a climate scientist than an educated, seemingly reasonable person declare they don’t believe in climate change?

To me it feels a bit like this:cartoon

The science is now overwhelmingly clear on climate change; it is happening and humans are responsible. Yet, in 2013 60% of Australians thought that ‘there are too many conflicting opinions for the public to be sure about climate change’ (The Climate Institute, 2013).

It seems like we are back to the good old science communication problem.

Continue reading “Scientists reviewing media: a way forward for climate science communication?”

How to write a scientific journal article

-by Louise Schoneveld

Last week I snuck into the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science’s scientific paper writing workshop, held here at the ANU. I thought I would share a few of the nuggets of wisdom I learnt during my 3 days at the workshop. I am not a climate scientist but was lucky enough to score a place in this workshop.

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PhDinner – A Fancy Occasion

By Pat

Last Friday, the 1st of April, nearly 60 PhD students, postdocs and their guests descended on the suitably named Old Canberra Inn for a night of eating, drinking and informal awards. The dinner was instigated and organised by RSES student Paddy (not Pat) and partially funded from student efforts at the AUGEN conference. Its purpose: 1) community building and 2) a night where stories are born (e.g. “that time N was kicked out of Mooseheads” or “that sychronised chair dance by Laura and Kate”). Continue reading “PhDinner – A Fancy Occasion”

Why I love experimental petrology

By Michael A

I make rocks. They do sometimes look like galaxies, molecular clouds and stars (see above), but they are most definitely rocks.

Someone thought it’s a good idea to pay me a generous scholarship just so I can make rocks, as if there are not enough rocks around already.

Continue reading “Why I love experimental petrology”

Outside my research comfort zone

By Kelsie

A few weeks ago I attended a conference that was a little out of my research comfort zone. The title of the conference was ‘Gender, science and wonder’ and it was run by the Department of Gender, Media and Cultural Studies. I decided to attend for two reasons: 1) a friend of mine was giving a talk, and 2) there would be free food. Plus the conference was only for two days and was just a short walk away. Little did I know how valuable this experience would be.

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