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Loma Linda

Guatemalan currency includes the one quetzal, that appears as either a crumpled green note or a round golden coin that flashes in the sun when new. A Q1 coin (approximately 10p) bears on one side the signature of the Accord of Firm and Lasting Peace, signed in Guatemala City on 29th December 1996 after three … Continue reading Loma Linda

A glimpse through the clouds

Perfect day for an eruption!

I recently gave my second-year talk at university, which involved preliminary results from our previous fieldwork campaign to Guatemala in November 2017. In my PowerPoint I embedded a short video on some extraordinary eruptive activity that we observed from Fuego's summit vents. Of course the video didn't work (does it ever?)*, so I decided I'd … Continue reading A glimpse through the clouds

Holding back the wave

At some point in the second year of your PhD, there comes a wave of fear. I learned about this phenomenon in my first months here: while preparing coffee in the Common Room, friends would whisper of mysteries like "The Second-Year Blues", or "The Valley of Shit". Now that I'm in their position, I get … Continue reading Holding back the wave

Return to writing

According to my front page, I last published a post six months ago. Yikes! Keeping up a regular blog was one of my resolutions for last year that fizzled out. That isn't to say that writing has completely slipped my mind. Quite the opposite: there have been many moments in 2017 that I really wanted … Continue reading Return to writing

What is the purpose of outreach?

Last month, I had the opportunity to participate in several outreach events around Bristol. With Cotham School Science Club, I made baking soda volcanoes and played risk with party poppers; I gave an interview on the Love & Science BCfm Radio show (May 15th podcast); I  prepared for Bristol Doctoral College's "Research without Borders" Showcase … Continue reading What is the purpose of outreach?

Notes from the field

The Santa Teresa barranca, before a pyroclastic flow.

The fourth eruption of 2017 of Volcán de Fuego, Guatemala, began in the morning of Thursday 4th May. The national monitoring institute, INSIVUMEH, released several special bulletins providing information as the eruption progressed. The early stages included the development of two lava flows, in the Santa Teresa and Las Lajas river valleys; by 21:30 local … Continue reading Notes from the field

A Snapshot of Guatemala

This is my third blog post in 2017. I know, I know! I began the year with such good intentions: I wanted to publish once a month, and to write consistently from Guatemala. Now it is spring in Bristol, and the blossoms are already falling from the cherry trees. I returned from Guatemala over a … Continue reading A Snapshot of Guatemala

Microadventure: January

"How often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home." - William Faulkner It's still vivid in my mind, although it's one of my more faded travel memories. I was lying beneath a fan in a soft white room, listening to the gentle whop of the blades as they cut through … Continue reading Microadventure: January

A volcanologist is for life, not just for crises

Note - I begin each year with a plan; with a resolve that dissolves by the middle of Jan. My New Year’s Resolution is to have fewer resolutions. My other resolutions are also good. One of them is to write more frequently. I hope you enjoy this new blog and its contents! I recently returned … Continue reading A volcanologist is for life, not just for crises