For when you just need some more information!

Science News

For news in the popular media, we choose the ABC, the BBC and Science Alert.

Cosmos and Newscientist are popular science magazines aimed at a general audience.

Real climate is a blog, but has up to date commentary (by climate scientist, not journalists) on the very latest in climate related news.

Nova is a site dedicated to the ‘science behind the headlines’ and is brought to us by The Australian Academy of Science. So they must be right, right?

The Scientific American blog will keep you up to date with all the latest science news, as well as serving as a portal to a plethora of sceince-based blogs (try saying that three times quickly).

But if you really want to get your geek on for the latest in scientific breakthroughs, and you prefer your science to have been peer-reviewed then you can’t go past Nature or Science.

Climate Change

Skeptical science – a website that answers every objection you have heard to the science of climate change

CO2 now – provides up-to-date information on the current concentration of CO2

IPCC fourth assessment report – the leading global synthesis on the present state of knowledge on climate change (not sure where to start? Try the summary for policymakers)

Dissertations initiative for the advancement of climate change research (DISCCRS) – An interdisciplinary hub for PhD students (and all people interested in climate change really…). It aims to connect people from different fields who are working on climate change research. If you’re keen, subscribe to their newsletter, which is a weekly summary of climate change news from around the world. It’s a really handy mailing list to be on.

Colorado Climate Change – This site provides some great resources to introduce the concept of climate change and green energy. This site specifically provides information on Colorado, but does also speak about climate generally.

Current Climate

Bureau of Meteorology – what is happening right now with ENSO?

NOAA State of the Climate report – a summary of the current global temperature and precipitation patters

Earth Science Blogs

We would never suggest that you need anyone else but OnCirculation to keep you informed and entertained. However, the Earth is large and with SO much to cover we have created a shortlist of a few of our favourite science blogs.

Highly Allocthonous: This is a great blog run by two early career earth scientists that provides news and commentary on the wider world of Earth sciences.

Real climate: This blog covers and comments the latest in climate news. The CRAZY premise behind this blog is that the authors are actual working climate scientists!!! How ridiculous to insist on commentary from an expert in the field. Surely it won’t take.

Science Blogs: The mother of all science blogs is perhaps not surprisingly The site hosts over 60 bloggers “selected on the basis of their originality, insight, talent, and dedication provide up-to-date coverage of their different scientific fields”. The site covers all scientific disciplines and includes ancillary blogs that deal with careers, information services and education.

Science Blog: Not to be confused with the plural (listed above), Science Blog was created almost ten years ago to “lives, breathe and eat press releases from research organizations around the globe. Most of what you read here are press releases from the outfits named in the stories themselves”.

All geo blogs: Similar to Science blogs this is a central site that links into a variety of geoscience blogs from across the wide world (web).

EAG blog: If geochemistry is your thing then the European Association for Geochemists has the blog for you. It is also one of the more stylish blogs I have seen (in both aesthetics and content). I bet they don’t wear socks and sandals either.

It’s okay to be smart: This is not even an earth science blog, the blogger is a PhD student of biology. However I’m bending the rules on this one because it is just so amusing, and his enthusiasm for science is nothing short of infectious!

NASA’s jet propulsion laboratory: The California Institute of Technology’s home to NASA’s jet propulsion laboratory has an excellent blog on all things space and earth science related…and there is no doubt they have some of the best imagery to boot.

Lounge of the Lab Lemming: This self-professed geochemical soldier of fortune lives somewhere here in Canberra. I should like to meet this erudite gentleman as his blog is topical, educational and as amusing as it is informative.

Science Seekers: Another great portal that “collects science articles from sources around the world, so you can find the latest science news and discussion on any topic.” And you can even find OnCirculation under geosciences and climate science…so it must be good.

PhD Resources

The following is a collection of useful and not so useful links for the PhD student and fully fledged academic alike. As with all our pages we will try to update them regularly to keep them relevant and cutting edge; if one can say ‘cutting edge’ in terms of PhD resources. They are loosely grouped under skills, support and procrastination.


While this relevant to any job, I recently ran the public service gauntlet and found some very useful articles on how to adress selection criteria and indeed interview questions. There are pages produced by the Australian Public Service that deal specifically with Cracking the Code. There is also a couple of great resources that includes the language that the public service HR people like to see (resume-action-keywords), and these are two really thorough lists of all things to do with job applications and job interviews. Our university Careers Centre also has a great link to resources here.


Good writing, including scientific writing, is a pleasure to read. It differs from other forms of writing we may be more familiar with, and  for most of us it requires a good deal of practice. And some helpful advice along the way. I am fortunate that my husband is an academic and writes beautifully. But you can’t borrow him, he’s all mine, try some of these links instead:

The University of Arizona has produces a comprehensive booklet on scientific writing that can be downloaded here, while Monash University in Melbourne has a great learning centre with links specifically to scientific writing. Dr Steve Easterbrook from the University of Toronto has a quick guide to structuring your writing within the context of a thesis.

And once you’ve written your document, you can always get a another scientist to copy edit your work. The copy editing service at Enago differs from most in that the editors also have degrees, masters and PhDs in a range of sciences. Check out the blog for helpful tips on publishing in the sciences.

Can’t remember what you learned in first year? Me neither! Dr Christian Shorey from the Colorado School of Mines has an incredibly thorough coverage of the basics of Earth and environmental systems science in 60+ podcasts that you can listen to at your leisure. Alternately search for his name in iTunes U.


The sites listed here focus on overcoming some of the challenges associated with any PhD, not just the gauntlet run by the apprentice Earth scientist.

The Thesis Whisperer is a well established blog and truly excellent resource for students. Dr Inger Mewburn and her contributors do an excellent job of soothsaying with humour and providing some excellent tips on getting through a PhD to boot.

Beyond the PhD is loaded with audio, video and writing on a plethora of topics related to getting in, getting through and getting out and into something better….that sounds harsh. I don’t mean that you necessarily want out, but perhaps something different after 4 years.


Sometimes we just need to take a break and enjoy the vista of an organic farm. Or perhaps a humourous look at this thing they call a PhD, or Piled Higher and Deeper. Or if you just want to see the best of what YouTube has to offer then Devour is the place to go. OR some of the xkcd comics are just priceless. If you search for ‘science’ that’s work, right?


Credit for following page must be given to the good folk at the ANU’s Careers Centre who gave me a list of links of which I have chosen the most relevant for the Earth scientist.

This page is dedicated to sites that will aid in the acquisition of employment both regionally and internationally. For personal development and support/distraction for graduate students we will be constantly updating the Resources page.

It’s arguably the preeminant journal so we shall put Nature’s employment section first on the list, if you are aiming high, go for Nature Jobs.


For a directory of Australian universities, click here.

UniJobs is Australia’s university job website enabling all Australian universities to post jobs on a centralized board.

Academic careers includes all levels of academia including support staff and administration at community colleges, universities, research institutes and schools around Australia.


Academic360 is a one-stop shop of internet resources for job hunting in academia, including faculty, staff and administrative positions.

For positions in Europe this UK site lists jobs in science, research and academia in universities, colleges research institutes in the commercial and public sectors.

Find a postdoc is (surprisingly) dedicated to advertising postdoc positions and opportunities in Europe, whereas phdjobs list employment both inside academia and beyond the golden gates…to industry.

Phds and universityjobs are US sites with resources and employment opportunities for graduates in science and engineering.

Career is used by over 350 university employers in 22 countries for postdoctoral/early career position in both the UK and elsewhere.

Dissertations initiative for the advancement of climate change research (DISCCRS) – These guys put out a weekly newsletter full of the latest in climate change research news stories. This newsletter is also filled with post-doc positions in climate change available around the world.

MetJobs is a mailing list which lists a whole variety of academic positions from around the world in the fields of meteorology, climatology and oceanography.


Employment opportunities include details of the graduate programs on offer and application procedures.

For the Geosciences Australia homepage or directly to employment opportunities here.

The CSIRO has offices based around the nation and centralised HR that coordinates all hiring. Go to the homepage for CSIRO or directly to employment opportunities here.

The Australian Antarctic Division’s homepage will direct you to employment opportunities both here in Australia and in our territory on the icy continent.

Visit the Chief Scientist’s Office homepage or go to the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education and then link to employment opportunities and recruitment procedures here.

The Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency can be found here, aswell as a direct link to employment here.


The two institutions that spring to mind are the U.S Geological Society or USGS, that has an employment page here. Or the institute we would all give our eye teeth to work at, the British Antarctice Survey which list employment opportunities here.