First post of the new year

First off I want to wish everyone a happy 2011.  I hope this year is better than the last for all who stumble upon this post. For me, last year marked my return to school to study geology. After having completed culinary school and working my way through a few restaurants I decided that I wanted a career with some growth options and retirement benefits. Initially I got into the geology program because of the planetary science minor that could coupled with it. One of the geology instructors, Alex Ruzicka,  headed up the Cascadia Meteorite Lab and also taught astrogeology, so I figured the geology program was the right place to be. As I moved my way through the intro to geology courses, I realized rocks were cool regardless of their place of origin. That amalgamation of minerals and crystals tells a story of where it came from and under what condition it formed. With enough detective work, the formation of the earth and even the Solar System can be pieced together from the detritus that floats through space and litters the ground around us. They’re the ultimate time capsule with their preservation of thousands and million of years of history. That concept alone, to study and understand the beginning of it all, makes geology a worthy passion to pursue.

So, to start off my second undergrad year, I’ll be taking mineralogy, my second chemistry course and calculus one. I also have a side project lined up to classify meteorites and learn how to use the schools fancy new scanning electron microscope. That will look really nice on the resume when paired with my electron microprobe experience. I’m excited for mineralogy because it’ll help me make sense of the minerals I see in some of the meteorites I’ve looked at and it’ll bring home the chemistry aspect of geology. Maybe it’ll even help me understand chemistry better (fingers crossed). Calculus should be fun. I’ve done well in trig and my other math courses so far, so I’m not overly anxious about it. The real monster for me will be chemistry. Last term was a huge struggle trying to figure out combustion equations and the appropriate conversions to get at the right answer. The bright side was that my math was fine, it was figuring out how to apply it that led to some interesting times.

With all that being said, I am going to try to update my blog on a more regular basis. I’m not going to call it a New Years Resolution because I break them so frequently. I’m going to think of it as a “personal enrichment goal” for the new year. Worpress has some ideas for either a daily post or a weekly post and I’m going through those to figure out the best way to tackle my “personal enrichment goal”. I figure that mineralogy and the meteorites will give me some inspiration so, but I just need to be more regular in writing about it.

So, to end my first post of the new year, I’m going to end with a picture I found while romping through the raw images of the Cassini Mission. This one is of Enceladus with Saturn and part of her rings in the background. There’s not much in the way of details, but the link will give you the details behind the image.

Latest Enceladus pic from the folks at JPL

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2 thoughts on “First post of the new year

  1. I’m glad to see the themes you’re going to write about in your posts.

    In my geology classes mineralogy was my favourite issue of geology, and the detective work you talked about is what, in my opinion, makes geology exciting.

    Knowing that we can trace the “life” of a rock by watching its aspects closely is really interesting.

    And meteorites are always worth of study, because they can tell us so much about our origins and about the possibility of extra-terrestrial life.

  2. Sounds like it should be an exciting year! Well, aside from chemistry, but after it stops savaging you, it’ll probably turn out to be pretty awesome, too. 😉 Can’t wait for more posts! Yay, meteorites!

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