A Geology Tour of Germany

With the opportunity to travel to Germany last year, I couldn't help but include some time for geotourism in my schedule. Thankfully, due to the ever-present nature of geology on the solid earth, there is rarely a location without some feature of interest to explore. I present the following highlights in reverse-chronological order, as a sort of stratigraphic column tour.


Blue Marble in Tableau

Before the awe-inspiring photograph of the Pale Blue Dot, and the more recent image of an evening “star” in the Martian sky, the crew of Apollo 17 captured our home world in The Blue Marble (AS17-148-22727). Possibly the most reproduced photograph in human history, this piece of “viz art” I created using Tableau Public adds... Continue Reading →

Exospheric Effects of Lunar Industrialization

The Moon has an impermanent hold on its tenuous atmosphere. Its relatively weak gravity (1.62 m s-2), one sixth of Earth’s, struggles to hold onto the gas species that do exist in its exosphere environment. Though the Moon readily contributes gasses to its exosphere, external forces strip these away into a streaming tail. Fine dust... Continue Reading →


Lights, Water, Elections

What do watersheds, urban light pollution, and the 2012 presidential election have to do with each other? I don't know, but I made a map. I've combined these three disparate geospatial data layers to produce the image below of the lower 48 states (sorry Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, and other territories/insular areas of the... Continue Reading →


Leave No Trace: Scaled to Planetary Human Civilization

The seven principles of Leave No Trace (LNT) have guided visitors of wilderness areas in responsible ways to practice recreation, permitting the enjoyment of wild lands while preserving the wildness that makes them so unique to us. LNT provides a simple framework to minimize the impacts of recreation on non-human environments. Below is a list... Continue Reading →


Perspectives Of Our Neighborhood

This image of Earth was released today (July 20, 2015), taken by DSCOVR (Deep Space Climate Observatory), the spacecraft formerly known as Triana or GoreSat. (Read the press release here) DSCOVR's primary task is to observe solar wind properties, being positioned at the Sun-Earth L1 Lagrangian point. This new image got me thinking about the... Continue Reading →


Terraforming Earth with Synthetic Biology

In their paper “Synthetic circuit designs for Earth terraformation,” Ricard Sole, Raul Montanez and Salvador Duran-Nebreda posit a novel systems-approach design for synthetic organisms (synths) to be used for reversing human impacts on Earth's climate systems. This work was conducted by the authors at the ICREA Complex Systems Lab at the Pompeu Fabra University in... Continue Reading →


Communing With the Future and Safeguarding the Nuclear Crypt

The most meaningful message we might be able to transmit to future humans is an apology, and well wishes that they have continued to survive and thrive despite our transgressions against them. In the desert wastelands of western North America, a curious observer might sight mysterious formations of lights hanging in the night sky, tracing... Continue Reading →


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