Earth Sciences: The World is at Your Feet

To finish out their semester, I facilitated a presentation at Monticello Middle School's Science Cafe in Monticello, IL in December 2019. Science Cafe is an excellent program that allows students to bring their lunch into one of the science classrooms to hear a presentation from a practicing science about what they do and why it matters to the students.

Aguacate: Water and Avocados in San Diego

Water-resource related issues—especially the cost of water—are the most important issues facing avocado growers, but socioeconomic drivers and environmental drivers are as well, including land resources, drought conditions, tax laws, zoning ordinances, and commodity markets. San Diego County has more farms than any other county in the United States, with over 5,700 operations, but is losing over 8% of its farmland every year, much of that land considered “prime.” This land is among the most productive farmland in the United States in terms of crop production value, and is some of the last remaining land in agriculture in southern California.

Creeping Hazards: Towards a Framework for Transformability and Resilience

Geohazards have generally been understood and defined as events that take place on short human timescales, from milliseconds to a several months. However, both human- and naturally-induced events can develop and occur over the course of several years or longer. “Creeping hazards”—a term used as early as 1979 and referenced, though sparingly, in subsequent works—are a subset of events that exhibit the characteristics of geohazards (i.e., in terms of vulnerability, risk, and exposure). Distinct, but related to, “slow-onset” disasters, creeping hazards reflect permanent changes to a system. For example, although drought is often included as an example of such a hazard, drought is better understood as a slow-onset disaster. Better examples of a creeping hazard as defined here include aquifer depletion (and associated land subsidence), desertification, land degradation, certain hazards associated with climate change, and soil creep.