Cat and I got back from our South Dakota-Nebraska trip on Friday, July 1. It was a tremendous journey in every sense of the phrase. We got a ton of work done, made some lasting connections with the land and the people, and of course, there was the feeling of satisfaction that comes from the knowledge that our work will be useful for the community there.
This is one of the main reasons I love geology. With my background in structural geology I can explore purely scientific questions or I can try to apply my research for helping others. My research on Precambrian shear zones in granitic rocks fall in the first category… I am fascinated by the processes that make solid rocks behave like silly putty under high pressure-temperature and low strain rates deep within the crust and mantle. To non geologists, however, that trend of inquiry seems irrelevant. On the other hand, my current research 0n uranium contamination in drinking water gets everyone’s attention. People can relate to the problem. They care.
Our field work is over for now. We brought back as many samples as we could, and now we get to analyze them and plot the data on GIS. We will see what our data tells us.