Welcome to The Confluence, a blog dedicated to discussing and exploring ways in which geology intersects with your everyday life.
Some background: I am a geologist. What that means: I love rocks, the outdoors, and beer. More specifically, I am a fluvial geomorphologist. What that means: I study how rivers work. If you continue following this blog, you will find that geologists use a lot of jargon. I can’t emphasis this enough. Sometimes, we have jargon for our jargon. But be rest assured, I will always translate to non-geo-jargon.
I have always been interested in the intersection of geology and human life, an interest which led me to design and teach a class for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Arizona State University this past spring. The course was titled, “The Confluence of Rivers and Civilization” and through four weeks of lectures my students and I explored how people have interacted with rivers in ancient and modern times.
As a lover of rivers (both for personal and scientific reasons) who also lives in the Southwestern United States, I am constantly reminded of how society interacts rivers. 40 million people in the southwest get their water form the Colorado River, and yet many people in southwestern metropolises, such as Phoenix and L.A., have no idea what the societal or geologic price of that water is.This is something that became very apparent in my course, which was a-okay because the point of the course was to discuss that very topic. But after the course was finished, I felt like there was more to say.
Geology is not just the study of dinosaurs or old rocks. Geology is the living, breathing story of Earth. As inhabitants of this great planet, we’re part of that story. In fact, due to our ability to alter the earth on grand scales (ex. dams, mines, massive cities) we have become an integral player in Earth’s story. And that’s exactly what this blog aims to explore.
Next blog post coming soon!