Turning Field Work into Field Play

As anyone who has spent a lot of time working outside knows, field work is long and hard. I’ve been on my fair share of research trips as an observational geologist working in the tropics and learned first-hand that field work is basically made from these ingredients: stressful planning, packing hassles, long flights, inevitable food … Continue reading Turning Field Work into Field Play

Making My Way From Mountains To Mud: Part 1

How did I make my way from mountains to mud? Well, I had just graduated high school and was celebrating my last summer before starting college by taking a cross-country road trip with my older sister. We were both young and poor and adventurous. As such, our days consisted of long hours behind the wheel, … Continue reading Making My Way From Mountains To Mud: Part 1

A Step-by-Step Guide to Academic Puberty: Transitioning from a Graduate Student to a Young Professional

Today, for International Women's Day, I'm throwing my love for mud up on a shelf to talk about a broader and more impactful topic: being a young (female) professional in a STEM field. Yes, it can sometimes make you feel insignificant and powerless, but it can also spark up a fire of determination and sisterhood … Continue reading A Step-by-Step Guide to Academic Puberty: Transitioning from a Graduate Student to a Young Professional

How to Renourish a Beach with a Forgotten Past: Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

A lot of beaches are eroding, basically washing away, because they aren’t getting enough natural sediment to replenish themselves. One reason for this is that we have built hard structures along beaches (like jetties, ports, harbors, and factories) that block sand from being naturally pushed along by waves; sand gets stuck behind these structures and … Continue reading How to Renourish a Beach with a Forgotten Past: Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

Ship Island Restoration: Decisions Before the Storm

Barrier islands are vital buffers between mainlands and the ocean’s harsh wind and waves. “Mississippi barrier islands are the first line of defense between the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi mainland, and are an important habitat for threatened Gulf Sturgeon, endangered and threatened sea turtles species, and threatened shorebirds” (Dalyander et al., 2016). In … Continue reading Ship Island Restoration: Decisions Before the Storm

Coastal Wetlands vs. Climate Change – How We (and Sand) Can Decide the Victor

Coastal wetlands, like this tidal marsh, are not only beautiful, they are also home to diverse ecosystems and act as protective buffers between coastal communities and the sometimes stormy and destructive ocean. Worryingly, sea-level rise and bigger storms threaten to flood and erode these vital environments as climate change worsens. One method that has been … Continue reading Coastal Wetlands vs. Climate Change – How We (and Sand) Can Decide the Victor

A Mud Doctor and Her X-Rays

I joke a lot about training to be a mud doctor because I study muddy sediment in my PhD research. But that comparison isn’t just a play on words. Just like a “real” doctor takes x-rays to diagnose you and bandages you up to keep your innards from falling out, I collect mud samples, bandage … Continue reading A Mud Doctor and Her X-Rays