Scenic Saturday: Frozen waterfall, end of winter

A post by Anne Jefferson It’s been so cold, the geodog has been a bit shortchanged on long walks this winter. But we might finally be seeing a break in the weather and we took advantage of it for an end-of-day stroll along the Cuyahoga River in Kent. Along the path was groundwater seeping from fractured sandstone – or… a little frozen waterfall. Hopefully, soon, the weather warms enough that these icy wonders cease and all we notice on our strolls is a bit of damp rock here and there along our path.

Icy waterfall, over buff sandstone, with vines in upper portion of picture.

Photo by A. Jefferson, 6 March 2014

Categories: by Anne, geology, ice and glaciers, photos

28-ish days of #sciwrite are over, but we’ve got momentum

A post by Anne JeffersonA post by Chris Rowan
Sciwrite logo, by Chris Rowan We blew past our final check in for the 28-day, February edition of #sciwrite, but that’s because we’ve got some momentum going and didn’t want to say stop. 28. 33. It’s within the margin of error of a month, right?

In the final tally, Anne got her abstracts written, her posters made and presented, and made some figures and progress on the introduction of one paper. On the second paper, she didn’t write as much as planned, plus a new look at the data threw us for a loop. In the added bonus category, she also contributed to a meeting report in review at Eos and had her first MS student at Kent State schedule his defense. But she’s bound and determined to get both papers out ASAP, so she’s going to keep practicing daily writing, and is pretty sure she’ll get one into review by the end of this month. So #sciwrite lives on.

Chris will confess he got a little shown up in the final tally by his co-blogger, but got his grant written and is roughly 60% done with his NZ tectonics paper draft – he now has most of an introduction, methods and results sections, and lots of pretty figures. There is, however, a fair amount still to get done, including some new calculations that are needed to tie everything together in the discussion. However, he has succeeded in injecting new life into an important paper, and he is hopeful that another month of consistent effort will net him a completed draft. And that is a definite win.

Let us know how you’ve all done!

Categories: geology

Final throes of 28 days of #sciwrite

A post by Anne JeffersonA post by Chris Rowan
Sciwrite logo, by Chris Rowan Last week we intrepid #sciwriters seemed to be feeling a bit discouraged by lack of progress, but hopefully this week is looking a bit better. It could be that, come Saturday, we decided to put off writing this check-in post until we had something positive to report, or we could just be that far behind in our to-do lists. In any case, here’s our next-to-last update on February writing progress.

In the hydrology realm, Anne is pleased to report that the two extended abstracts were submitted on Monday the 17th and they look great. Two posters arising from these abstracts have also been created and submitted. The posters are for the virtual workshop on laser spectrometers for field hydrology and biogeochemistry and will be available on Scribd by mid-week. The posters will be presented on Friday live on the internet, capping off what has been an informative and interesting experience in web-enabled science sharing. Anne says:

“Even though these abstracts and posters aren’t publications per se, I’m really happy to have worked so hard on them. One is about an educational grant that I’m leading, and making the poster has caused my team to pull together information about the project that will be useful later. It has also given me ideas for a possible publication this summer. Fortunately, I wouldn’t be the lead author on it. The other poster is work I’m doing with an undergraduate, which has been tremendously rewarding and is turning out to be a neat little dataset that we are excited to keep exploring. A paper will probably come out of this sooner or later too, depending on how ambitious we want to be in additional analyses. Fun stuff!”

All of Anne’s enthusing about the abstracts and posters is not meant to completely hide the very slow progress on the actual papers she was meant to be drafting this month. Those will be coming to the forefront this week and for the #sciwrite epilogue in March and beyond. At least this week Anne managed to sort out some of her figure woes.

Chris can report a week of steady progress:

Since it is the thing with an actual deadline, most of my writing time this week was spent working on an internal grant that will support a substantial rewrite of the Geophysics course I teach, before the next time it is offered. I want to develop some exercises that give my students opportunities to analyse real datasets, and code up a set of animations and interactive visualisation tools that show more intuitively how changes in subsurface structures affect the geophysical signals you see at the surface. I’m still relatively new to grant writing, but I think its coming together nicely – I’ll at least have something to report as finished at the end of February!

As for the New Zealand paper – there was some progress there, too, although I have a couple of niggling data processing issues to sort out before I can wrap up my results section and move onto the discussion in earnest. But just like with the grant, it is coming together, just more slowly.

Chris is currently vacillating between being disappointed that he is not going to finish February with a completed paper draft, and pleased that he’s got a long-shelved project moving in the right direction again. More on that next week.

In the meantime, let us know how you’re getting on. All progress is good progress!

Categories: geology

GeoKid shows us Antarctica

A post by GeoKidMy parents seem to be too busy to blog about our trip to Antarctica, so today I’m sharing two videos I made on our adventure.

In this video, I’m in Ushuaia, Argentina, waiting to head farther south.

In this video, I’m in Antarctica itself talking about penguins, skuas, and zodiac rides and life aboard the ship.

Hope you enjoyed my videos!

Categories: Antarctica, by Geokid

28 days of #sciwrite: Half way there?

A post by Anne JeffersonA post by Chris Rowan
Sciwrite logo, by Chris RowanAs we check in with our heroes half way through their monthlong writing adventure, we ask them whether the half-way mark for the month means they are half-way through their writing goals.

Anne says:

Ha! Ha ha ha hahahahaha… No, I’m not even close to half way through my ambitious goals for the month. I have two extended abstracts due tomorrow. One is submitted, thanks to the hard work of my fearless undergraduate co-author. The other is out with my coauthors for final review before submission. This was the main thing I knew I needed to work on this week, so I’m happy they’ve come together, but now I need to hurry up and get them turned into posters by Monday the 24th. No rest on that front. Unfortunately, I haven’t made as much progress on the papers as I would like. I put some time in on a figure for one paper, but now that I’ve opened it up on a different computer something appears to have gone wrong with the formatting, so it might not be as much progress as I thought I had made, and that wasn’t much. My goal for this week is 3 figures, so fingers crossed that such formatting issues don’t continue to affect me. I’m feeling a bit depressed by the lack of progress on the papers, and I know it’s my own fault. But I’m also still hoping for a breakthrough moment when things come together, either on the time front or in the feeling-like-progress-has-been-made front. I know that those breakthroughs don’t just happen though, so I need to keep slogging away as much as I can. Here’s to a better week this week.

Chris says:

Well kids, the last two weeks have been an object lesson in why you should never put an uncompleted writing project totally on the shelf if you can help it, since I seem to be spending quite a lot of my writing time for my New Zealand paper re-treading old ground: re-re-re-confirming my data is in good shape, restarting half-done analyses that I didn’t properly document, rediscovering wrinkles that I know I sorted out last time but can’t remember how. All this means that a goal I acknowledged two weeks ago was challenging – getting a complete first draft off my desk and to my co-author, is looking even more challenging at the half-way mark.

That said, I am making significant progress – my methods and results sections, complete with nifty figures, are coming together nicely, and my introduction is looking a bit more like a continuous piece of prose than a mess of disconnected sentences. All this is largely due to the sciwrite challenge pushing me to make time to do so.

My challenge this week is to keep making progress on the paper, and get going on the teaching grant I need to get written by the end of the month.

How about you? Were you better at setting reasonable goals than we were? Or have you been better at making enough time to write every day? If so, what tips and tricks can you share?

Categories: geology