Science blogging is a brave new world that grows at a prodigious rate. For me it is a wonderfully exciting, yet mildly distracting world. The Geoblogosphere offers much for those interested in taking the pulse of planet Earth. Two W&M Geology alums are among the brightest stars in that sphere.
Jessica Ball (’07) and her Magma Cum Laude blog educate and inform us on active volcanoes and their associated hazards. Jessica worked with me to understand the age and eruptive style of volcanic rocks on the Fish Lake Plateau in Utah during her undergrad days. Nowadays she is a Ph.D. candidate and a National Science Foundation graduate fellow at the State University of New York at Buffalo working to understand and model volcanic hazards. Her primary field site is in Guatemala. Jessica’s blog has a delightful edge. Troll through the archived posts and see for yourself.
Callan Bentley (’96) is a professor at Northern Virginia Community College who commonly does double duty as the structural geologist at George Mason University. Callan’s original blog, the NOVA Geoblog, was so successful that a new platform was needed and the Mountain Beltway blog was born. Last March, on a Geological Society of America field trip I was leading, Callan was “live blogging” from the back of the van. What kind of a guy would do that? A fine fellow would do that- Callan has been named a 2010 Fine Outreach For Science Fellow– soon he’ll be set loose with his very own GigaPan robot!
The American Geophysical Union (AGU), one of the leading professional organizations in the earth sciences, thought so highly of the Magma Cum Laude and Mountain Beltway blogs that Jessica and Callan were recruited to a new blog network sponsored by AGU. Two of the seven science bloggers in AGU’s network are William & Mary geology alums- nice work. Geology is a human endeavor and Jessica and Callan blog’s do an exceptional job of injecting personality into science. Check it out for yourself, it will be time well spent.