Category Archives: Science News

Research in action: On the ground during the Nepal earthquake

After 30 years in high-tech marketing and general management, Anne Sanquini began a second career as a PhD student at Stanford studying how to motivate people to take precautionary action to protect their homes and schools against earthquakes. Her work over the past four years led her to Kathmandu Valley in Nepal. She was there during the April 25 earthquake, the very quake she had been preparing for.

Advancing earthquake and tsunami science: Tōhoku four years later

Four years after one of the largest earthquakes in recorded history devastated Japan, Stanford geophysicists Greg Beroza, Eric Dunham, and Paul Segall provide new insights that help clarify why previous assumptions about the fault had been so wrong.  Using new technologies, they explain what happened during the earthquake and tsunami, and discuss ongoing research that helps society better prepare for similar events in the future.

Sensory Earth

Science begins with observation. Millions of years of evolution have given us incredible senses to analyze our planet.  We look, listen, touch, smell, and, in certain non-poisonous situations, taste the world around us and use that data to inform our perceptions of the world. To better understand our planet, geoscientists turn to strange and wonderful methods to improve our sensory perception.  These approaches are creative, often crazy-sounding, and at times seemingly the stuff of imagination. I present four short stories about how Earth scientists see water buried hundreds of feet underground from hundreds of miles above, listen to screaming volcanoes, visualize mathematics in breathtaking beauty, and gaze upon our planet from 750 million miles away.  So perk up your senses and open your imagination… it’s time to explore.

Doodling in Science Class: Using Stick Figure Animations to Explain Complex Science

From my time as an undergrad at the University of California at Berkeley to my time as a graduate student at Stanford University, I doodled in class. When the professor would say something amusing, I would turn it into a cartoon. I’d personify the rock or tectonic process – I’m a geologist after all – and create a character that stuck in my memory. So when I was asked by Stanford’s School of Earth Sciences to communicate complex climate science this summer, naturally I turned to cartoons.