Thirsty business

How the tech industry is bracing for a water-scarce future Prineville is a sleepy town nestled in the sagebrush desert between the snowy peaks of Cascade volcanoes and the rumpled hills of the Ochoco Mountains. Stunted juniper and shaggy shrubs dot the flat-topped hills that rise above the community of 9,000 people in central Oregon. … More Thirsty business

Reading the ridges: Are climate and the seafloor connected?

At the bottom of every ocean basin lies a chain of submarine mountains. Blanketed in black, pillowy basalt, they tower more than a thousand meters above the seafloor and snake for thousands of kilometers. But instead of having a central spine, like a terrestrial mountain range, these mid-ocean ridges have a central trough from hundreds … More Reading the ridges: Are climate and the seafloor connected?

Talking ice with Erin Pettit

Glaciologist Erin Pettit likes ice, and has studied everything from the flow of entire glaciers to the physics of individual crystals. She has also shared her passion through Girls on Ice, a program that introduces young women to science and the outdoors. Check out my interview with Pettit over at EARTH Magazine.

The long, bitter debate over Meteor Crater

Long before Arizona’s Meteor Crater got its name, scientists puzzled over its origin. Grove Gilbert, a well-respected figure at the US Geological Survey, thought a steam explosion had hollowed out the vast bowl of desert, while a scientific outsider named Daniel Barringer insisted that an impact had blasted it out. It took more than half … More The long, bitter debate over Meteor Crater

Ham radios pick up space weather

Space weather may sound faraway, but solar activity and its effects on Earth’s magnetic field can impact everything from GPS networks to commercial power grids. To understand when space weather will strike, and why, scientists usually monitor it with expensive instruments. But one researcher–an avid ham radio user–realized that space weather events should also show … More Ham radios pick up space weather

Making the invisible visible

Many scientific subjects elude the human eye, either because they are too big or too small, because they don’t exist anymore or haven’t existed yet. To visualize them, we rely on the talents of science illustrators, who can make the invisible visible. Find out how they do it in my feature for EARTH Magazine.

Trouble in paradise

On May 8, 1902, Mt. PelĂ©e erupted on the island of Martinique, obliterating an entire city and claiming almost 30,000 lives. The eruption also revolutionized geologists’ nascent understanding of volcanoes and the myriad ways they can explode. Read more in my story for EARTH Magazine.