Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Avatar

Charly Stamper

Charly completed a PhD in experimental petrology. She used to make pretend volcanoes; now she works in renewable energy. Charly tweets at @C_Stamper.

The year ahead – twenty fift-green?

The year ahead – twenty fift-green?

Firstly, happy New Year from all those at BaR!

The start of January always seems to herald a surfeit of navel-gazing blog posts. Therefore, I thought I would attempt to broaden my horizons and consider whether, with only five years to go to meet the 20-20-20 EU climate targets, will 2015 be the greenest year yet?
[Read More]

Christmas cracker jokes 2014

cracker

Sorcha
Q:Why didn’t the geologist want his Christmas dinner?
A: He lost his apatite.

Elspeth
Q: Who did Santa bring along to perform at the Earth Sciences Christmas party?
A: Elf-is Presley!

Charly
Q: What is Father Christmas’s favourite element?
A: Holmium (Ho Ho Ho!)

KT
Q: What happened to Rudolph when he accidentally ate clay?
A: He got illite.

James
Q: Why are advent calendars like the dinosaurs?
A: Because their days were numbered!

Mel
Q: Why aren’t there any single geologists at Christmas parties?
A: They will date anything!

Merry Christmas from Team BaR! See you in 2014.

P.S If you thought these were bad, have a look at last year’s!

Science Snap (#35): Twinning

Science Snap (#35): Twinning

Twinning is a phenomenon in mineralogy whereby a single crystal of a mineral has two or more parts in which the crystal lattice is differently orientated.

The shared surface between two twins is called the composition or twin plane, and the orientation to either other is determined by symmetry through rotation or reflection; this relationship is described by a twin law.

Schematic showing the change in crystal structure across a twin plane. Credit: Imperial College London

Schematic showing the change in crystal structure across a twin plane. Atoms are shared by the two twins at regular intervals. Credit: Imperial College London

[Read More]

PhD reflections: KT

PhD reflections: KT

Between a Rock and a Hard Place began as an Earth Science PhD blog in February 2013, as a place to ramble on about PhD life and general science topics. Almost two years later, some of the contributors have finished, others have submitted, and the rest are nearing the end. Over the next few weeks, the BaR contributors will be sharing some reflections on their PhD experiences. Taken from an original post on the Bristol Doctoral College blog.

Next in the series, KT Cooper.

PhD highlight:

OOne of the best parts about being a geologist is the travel. As an undergraduate you get the opportunity to visit some amazing places on fieldwork and for me this has spilled over to my PhD studies. A significant part of my project has been based on North Andros in the Bahamas, and although I have been protesting for a long time that fieldwork isn’t a holiday, it is still a breath-taking location to work. One of my favourite things has been sharing the experience with field assistants and watching their reactions as we reach the island for the first time; the people may be different but the reaction is the same – awe. Field assistants are also great at keeping you relatively sane when you have been sampling (in the rain) all day and filtering most of the night.

KT demonstrating the fieldwork essentials: penknife, string, gaffer tape and a bored looking field assistant! Photo credit: Didi Ooi

KT demonstrating the fieldwork essentials: penknife, string, gaffer tape and a bored looking field assistant! Photo credit: Didi Ooi

Top tip:

Say yes (to most things). I view the PhD as a training ground for a career, either in or out of academia, and that saying yes can help give you experiences and skills, which can be invaluable further down the line. But be careful not to overstretch yourself too much because you still need time to finish the PhD!