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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Day of Podcasts

My latest adventure wasn’t too exotic. It was a trip to visit Brian which includes a roughly 12 hour drive on either end. On the way back I finally got smart — okay, I borrowed Brian’s smarts — and downloaded the Podcast Addict app which allowed me to pre-download podcasts to entertain me on the solo trip. This was a very exciting development for someone like me who dislikes driving, traffic, and all things roadworks-related.

In honor of the brilliant drive that resulted, here are the highlights from my Day of Podcasts.  Below are 5 intellectual-yet-funny podcasts I discovered for this trip, mostly skewed toward science and technology because I’m biased that way. At the end of the post are two bonus shout-outs to my all-time favorite podcasts which I didn’t listen to on this drive only because I was already caught up.

If you have a drive, a boring job, or any other downtime I highly recommend checking for podcasts you might be interested in. You can subscribe via app, itunes, or catch some on the radio itself. There are a lot of great ones out there which help me learn new things and — often — laugh out loud. And best of all, these are all free to listen. Continue reading

East Antarctic Science

Dragons might not actually be real, but there’s still a lot of impressive (and real this time!) new research coming out. I mentioned weather thwarted the work I was scheduled to do in Antarctica this past season. It’s not all that unexpected when it comes to operating in Antarctica, but luckily our group typically manages to beat the odds in order to collect a lot of data.

Although this season was a downer, the science continues back in Texas. About two weeks ago, a member of our team got some pretty substantial press about a recently published paper which I’ll try to describe here. Our work this past season was expected to contribute more observations to allow for a future extension of this study (in addition to lots more information for other science).

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Science roundup

It occurred to me that non-scientists often don’t hear about some of the newest discoveries until months after the work is completed, perhaps when the media starts picking up on it. Even for scientists, finding the important work outside one’s field can be challenging.

So I thought I would share a new study that’s been circulating among the scientists I know. It’s multi-disciplinary research that demonstrates the power of comparing historical climate records against cultural literature to learn about paleoecology.

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