Wednesday, February 21, 2018

not the baby anymore

I am pleased to announce that I have finally reached an important career milestone: I no longer automatically look like the youngest person in the room! I have officially graduated to looking like a "young professional" instead of a college (or God help me, high school) student.

I didn't want to jinx it, but the last few times I've gone out to dinner with a field crew, I have been in the not-carded group. And I've just recently been in some high-level meetings that included someone else with a "baby face" who looked quite a bit younger than me.

Of course, my apparent age is still way off from my actual age and I'm still dismissed as insignificant even when I'm the technical lead, but I'll take what I can get.

Monday, February 12, 2018

old-time academic burn

Sometimes my work leads me in interesting directions. Working in East Coast Big City means that I occasionally deal with contamination that is centuries old. And because geology doesn't necessarily change that much in a few centuries, occasionally I end up digging into papers and manuscripts that are more than 100 years old.

One particular thesis had some pretty sharp opinions on previous work. I've redacted it because it's subject is too close to my current work, but you'll get the gist:

"[Previous investigators' work] I am unable to accept, on the palpable errors in their field investigations. I do not believe that [this correlation] is to be accepted. I dissent from the conclusions of these papers, because the structure of this region has been worked out along untenable lines. Professor X makes the assertion that the cleavage and bedding practically coincide, and my own observations disprove this statement. Professor Y, who has been able to recognize these two structures, has evidently not made any use of the information."

I shall endeavor to work "has evidently not made any use of this information" into my next set of review comments.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Why we care

I came across an old article that I'd received ages ago (before blogging was a thing) and I think it's still relevant today as a reminder of why environmental regulations are so critical.

The Philly Inquirer did a a great series on the aftermath of a fire at an old chemical warehouse, called "beyond the flames", and lo and behold, I was able to find it online without having to go through a paywall. Link below:

I've been lucky that by the time I got involved in environmental cleanups, the most blatant contamination had been addressed, and we had procedures to stay safe. But many first responders back in the day weren't so lucky.