Goa, India

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Over the summer I visited India for the first time to present at the International Symposium on Antarctic Earth Sciences. It was my first time in Asia and a totally different cultural experience than I’d ever had before.

India is an incredible place to visit, but I think tends to be one of the more intimidating ones for westerners. It’s expensive to get to from North America, the language is indecipherable compared to western languages, and the cultural differences are numerous…from understanding the caste system to eating with your hands. The trip was well worth it, though, and it ended up being much easier to get by than I’d anticipated. It’s a trip to research in advance, but not one to miss.

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Demolition Derby

Brian came to Austin to visit a few weeks ago! It had been more than a year since he was in Texas, so we didn’t waste much time getting right into the country spirit. This trip, that meant a demolition derby.

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In case you weren’t aware, a demolition derby is an event where people fix up old cars to make them more structurally stable and then slam them into each other until only one is left running. But don’t worry, the drivers wear helmets.

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Voyage to the North Pole

Last week I got the opportunity to go to Spitsbergen, an island in the Svalbard archipelago only a few hundred miles from the North Pole.

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The trip was a pedagogical cruise sponsored by the UT Jackson School of Geosciences and Norwegian oil company, Statoil. In all, about 80 faculty and students in geology, geophysics, and petroleum engineering made the trek along western Spitsbergen to learn about the “economic geology” (as it’s known in this business) in the Arctic.

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(GPS tracking of the trip courtesy of Julio Leva)

Visiting both the Arctic and Antarctic circles in one year might not have explicitly been on my bucket list before, but it’s certainly made this a year to remember.

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