One of my earliest memories as a freshman at UCLA took place in the front row of a cavernous, wood-paneled lecture hall equipped with a black-topped resin demonstration table. The class was Introductory Geology, and the professor a bearded, pony-tailed free spirit giddy with the anticipation of Continue reading
“This sprawling epic is as lively as a natural history museum diorama.” (Stephanie Zacharek, review of “10,000 BC”)
Perceiving means to become conscious of, to realize, to understand, to grasp. Natural history museums strive to enable the public to perceive, commonly in re-creations of past worlds. Who hasn’t gazed over a diorama of the Carboniferous Period, for example, Continue reading
Stratigraphy is the science of rock strata; in geological terms, this translates to the science of time. But what IS time? Difficult to define, for certain, but most of us can agree that it marks the passage of events. We experience the passage of Continue reading
In preparation for Erle Ellis’ visit to OU’s campus in April, I’ve spent some time considering topics I hope we can address during his visit. Continue reading
In an earlier post, I emphasized the strong link between the origins of agriculture and the positions of loess (loosely “dust”) regions—arguing in essence that, from dust arises life. If loess bestows habitation and habitability, then loess paved the way for Continue reading
Life on Earth has always altered its environment.1 “Deep” time records major shifts in atmospheric composition, for example, as life evolved photosynthesis, leading to a massive transfer of CO2 from the atmosphere to the biosphere. Given this, is the large-scale injection into the atmosphere of anthropogenically released carbon a completely natural consequence of biotic activity?
Atmospheric levels of CO2 have always changed, attributable in part to life — and well before the influence of humans. On geologic time scales such fluctuation results from Continue reading