Educators

A Conversation with Jacques Malavieille

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A Conversation with Jacques Malavieille

The mountain-building processes of folding and faulting take many millennia on Earth—and a matter of minutes in the lab. Learn how even small models provide a big-picture view of our dynamic world.

Zircon Chronology: Dating the Oldest Material on Earth

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Zircon Chronology: Dating the Oldest Material on Earth

The mineral zircon serves as a tiny time capsule, recording geologic events—it's especially useful because the oldest discovered grains (4.2 billion to 4.3 billion years old) are not much younger than the Earth itself.

James Hutton: The Founder of Modern Geology

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James Hutton: The Founder of Modern Geology

Until the late 18th century, most people believed the Earth was about 6,000 years old. Hutton changed this belief by proposing that geologic forces operate at the same rate today as in the past.

Inge Lehmann: Discoverer of the Earth's Inner Core

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Inge Lehmann: Discoverer of the Earth's Inner Core

Each one of the thousands of earthquakes that occur every year offers a brief glimpse of what's happening deep inside the Earth. Lehmann used seismic signals to change our knowledge of the Earth's core.

Forecasting Earthquakes Using Paleoseismology

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Forecasting Earthquakes Using Paleoseismology

Don't let the "paleo" in "paleoseismology" fool you. In the world of earthquakes, "ancient" translates to "before the 20th century"—before instruments were used to record earthquakes.

Looking For Life In Antarctica

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Looking For Life In Antarctica

If you want an idea of the conditions on Mars, journey to Antarctica. Take a close look at the work of an astrobiologist studying Antarctica's valleys, the "most Mars-like places on Earth."

Mapping Hot Springs on the Deep Ocean Floor

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Mapping Hot Springs on the Deep Ocean Floor

At the bottom of the ocean, how do scientists find their way around? This marine geologist's work includes helping to create accurate, high-resolution maps of the sea floor.

Mapping Mt. Rainier

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Mapping Mt. Rainier

Beneath the glacier-clad summit of Mt. Rainier lies an active volcano, which has more than once produced enough molten rock to bury an area the size of Tacoma and Seattle combined almost 10 feet under.

Retrieving a Stromatolite from the Sahara Desert

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Retrieving a Stromatolite from the Sahara Desert

Why did museum scientists travel to the Sahara to retrieve a boulder? This stromatolite was built by microbes, the only life that existed on Earth until about a billion years ago.

Studying Tree Rings to Learn About Global Climate

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Studying Tree Rings to Learn About Global Climate

By taking biopsy-like samples from centuries-old Siberian pines, scientists have reconstructed a 300-year record of temperature changes for the Arctic and the Northern Hemisphere.

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Jesup Revisited

In the past century, how much has life changed in the North Pacific? Explore this question with photographs on display in eight regional museums in the Russian far east.

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