Geology


Today is Mandela Day. It is a worldwide event to celebrate the life of Nelson Mandela, a once-political prisoner in South Africa who went on to become the president of that nation and help it cast aside its system of racial oppression called apartheid. Mandela passed away in 2013 but […]

In Madison, honoring Nelson Mandela


UPDATE: May 24, 2018 Since May 17, when this blog story was posted, the fissures that opened up in the Kilauea volcano’s Eastern Rift Zone have begun spewing rivers – yes, rivers of lava – out of the ground and towards the Pacific Ocean. According to the United States Geological […]

What’s next for the Kilauea volcano?


Today (yesterday, as you read this) we departed Johannesburg, headed toward Madison by way of Atlanta. As I type this sentence, we are 7,371 miles away, six miles above the Earth, soon to be over ocean. Our South African journey culminated as it began, in the Cradle of Humankind, in pursuit of […]

Gifts and serendipity







When you’re doing field research at the end of the earth, you count on the unexpected. Essential tools like drills fail when a replacement is 100 miles away. People get sick, blunder or descend into bickering. But if you are working in the Andes Mountains, one thing you would not […]

Tales from the volcano: When will it erupt?