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Bethany Ellis

#GetSoMe

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.

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Glacial shaping of the Tasmanian landscape

By Anna Makushkina

Geologists were fascinated by the enigmatic origin of the lakes in Tasmania throughout the 19th century. The glacial origin of these lakes was first recognized by Officer in 1895. Nowadays everyone accepts the occurrence of several glaciations and its leading role in shaping the Tasmanian topography including the formation of multiple lakes and moraine deposits, which have been dated from Quaternary to Neoproterozoic in age (Hoffman, Li, 2009).

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Tasmanian Dolerite

By Perinne Tyler

Approximately 1/3 of Tasmania’s surface geology consists of dolerite; an area of approximately 30 000 km2. Exposures of this rock form many of the hills and mountains of Tasmania, including some of Tasmania’s most well-known landmarks. During the field trip, we unsurprisingly observed a large amount of dolerite, most notably at Mount Wellington, Cradle Mountain, Cataract Gorge and the Tasman Peninsula.

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Geology of Tasmania

Every two years a group of PhD students disappear into the geological wilderness for the RSES Student Field Trip. In 2014, students spent two weeks camping in the Australian outback investigating the regional geology of Central Australia. After many discussions and presentations about exotic and tropical locations, the student cohort settled on a geological road trip around Tasmania. Here is a  quick overview of the geological history of Tasmania and some of the cool sites we managed to visit.

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Part 2: The Measurements

This week’s blog post is coming from Jennifer Wurtzel, who is currently on a boat analyzing sediment cores from the ocean floor in the Western Pacific Warm Pool!
In my last post, I wrote about how we get our samples for moisture and density (MAD) measurements.  In this post, I’ll discuss the measurements themselves.  We measure three things for MAD: wet mass, dry mass, and dry volume.  From these three measurements, we calculate a number of other properties, including porosity, grain density, porewater, and about 10 more. This may sound straightforward, but measuring mass on a boat is not as simple as on land because the boat is rolling!

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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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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.

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The life of an Argo Float

By Bethany

Back in June of 2013, I sailed across the Great Australian Bight (the area of ocean below Australia) on the RV Southern Surveyor. One cold and windy night, myself and several other scientists scrambled out onto the deck with an expensive, large, yellow, plastic float. We threw released it over the side of the boat and watched it as it disappeared into the night.

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COP21: The Outcomes

Last week the leaders of almost 200 nations came together in Paris for the 21st UNFCCC Conference of Parties. On Saturday, 12 December 2015 these leaders reached an agreement that will signal the end of the use of fossil fuels, with the aim of rapidly replacing coal, oil and gas with clean energy sources worldwide.

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COP21: Australia’s Position

Climate change is a global problem that requires all nations to come together to be a part of the solution. Australia equates to 5.15% of the world’s landmasses and 1.3% of greenhouse gas emissions, the 13th largest emitter in the world per capita out of 195 nations.

Countries by carbon dioxide emissions in thousands of tonnes per annum, via the burning of fossil fuels.
Countries by carbon dioxide emissions in thousands of tonnes per annum, via the burning of fossil fuels.

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COP21: Understanding Emissions and Targets

The 196 parties of the UNFCCC are coming together next week with the aim of stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will likely keep global warming below 2˚C.  Check out my last blog post on COP21 for more information.

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COP21: Paris Climate Talks

Next week one of the world’s biggest and most important diplomatic events will take place. But what is the UNFCCC COP21 and why should we care?

Understanding the Acronyms

UNFCCC stands for United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, this refers to the selection of leaders from 195 nations and the European Union who have come together with the aim of reducing the impact of human actions upon the Earth’s climate system.

The Conference of Parties (COP) is the leading body of the international convention. COP21 is the 21st annual gathering for the UNFCCC leaders and is to be held in Paris, 30 November – 11 December 2015. Continue reading “COP21: Paris Climate Talks”

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