Geoscience fieldwork is very visible to the public, and can have lasting impacts on the environment, so it is important that geoscientists integrate ethical principles into our field practices — and impart them to our students.
After Hurricane Harvey struck Texas in August 2017, the massive flooding in Houston was widely reported. In some Gulf Coast towns, the damage caused by high winds and the storm surge went less noticed. The month after the storm, the authors visited several Gulf Coast communities to survey damage and quantify factors that influenced its distribution, with the hope that their observations might help coastal communities prepare for future hurricanes.
On Jan. 25, 1938, a heavy winter snowstorm struck Wisconsin, blocking the road connecting Blackwell to the nearest hospital 10 kilometers away in Laona. The storm left Blackwell resident Stella Simonis, an expectant mother who was hours away from delivering her child, snowed in with no way to get to the hospital, according to an Associated Press article that ran in several Wisconsin papers the next day.
To tell the difference between a regular earthworm and an Asian jumping worm, pick it up. An earthworm will likely just lay there, perhaps curling gently around a finger, but a jumping worm will thrash around violently until it jumps out of your grasp. Researchers are looking at how this invasive species is altering soil in Wisconsin, where the worms have been found in growing numbers since 2013.
In 2013, Lindsay Hunter found herself at a personal and professional crossroads. She had gone through a divorce, left the paleoanthropology doctoral program at the University of Iowa, where she had received her master’s in 2004, and moved, along with her three dogs and two cats, to live with her parents on a farm outside Austin, Texas.
The positions of landmasses after the breakup of Gondwana during the late Mesozoic and early Paleogene are highly debated, especially the configurations of the Indian and Australian plates around the newly opening Indian Ocean. In a new study, the paleogeographic and genetic distributions of a group of frogs called Natatanurans were used to test the various post-breakup models — and the results bring additional clarity to the post-Gondwana puzzle.