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Geology News

Cool Science

Cool Science

August 12, 2010

At the bottom of the Earth — the planet's coldest, driest, windiest place — the sky radiates a lavender-yellow hue in the midnight sun.  Whiter than milk, the blanket of ice seems infinite. Amid the…

USC College Ph.D. candidates Mihaela Ignatova of mathematics (left) and Whitney Behr of earth sciences have earned 2010-11 USC Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) Merit Fellowship awards. Photo credit Pamela J. Johnson.

Closing the Gender Gap

May 7, 2010

Nonlinear partial differential equations (PDEs) are difficult mathematical problems to study. Notice it didn’t say "solve." Ph.D. students researching nonlinear PDEs aren't looking for solutions. They're analyzing the…

Scott Paterson, professor of earth sciences in USC College, shows a student how to use a Brunton compass to measure rocks that have aligned minerals or layering, during a recent trip in Yosemite National Park. Photo courtesy of Scott Paterson.

Rock 'n' Research

May 6, 2010

Hang around the Department of Earth Sciences in USC College in the spring and you might notice posters on the walls asking pointed questions. "Enjoy hiking, climbing, and traveling to exotic spots?" one asks. "Curious about…

True Colors in the Autumn Years

True Colors in the Autumn Years

July 7, 2009

The cadre of USC alumni who had earned their bachelor's degrees at least 50 years earlier met for the first time the morning of June 11, 1949. Clarence W. Pierce, 1898 alumnus and founder of Los Angeles Pierce College,…

The Great Dying Reconsidered

The Great Dying Reconsidered

October 1, 2007

The greatest mass extinction in Earth’s history also may have been one of the slowest, according to a study that casts further doubt on the extinction-by-meteor theory. Creeping environmental stress fueled by volcanic…

The Shake Down

The Shake Down

August 1, 2007

The Los Angeles basin appears to be in a seismic “lull” characterized by relatively smaller and infrequent earthquakes, according to a study in the September issue of Geology. By contrast, the Mojave Desert is in…

Oldest Animal Embryos or Bacteria?

Oldest Animal Embryos or Bacteria?

December 20, 2006

The oldest-known animal eggs and embryos, whose first pictures made the cover of Nature in 1998, were so small they looked like bugs – which, it now appears, they may have been. This week, a study in the same…

Jeffrey Wilson ’76 sits atop mined rock in an under- ground gold mine during a June 2006 expedition in Hunan Province, China. The amount of timber used to shore up the walls and high humidity are indicative of the unstable ground and poor ventilation. Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Wilson.

The Heart (and Soul) of Gold

July 12, 2006

When asked about his profession, Jeffrey Wilson ’76 describes himself medicinally: “What I do is like that of a doctor when he looks in the ears, nose and throat. We both explore.” Explore. This is what…