Free Range

Geology is fundamentally, by definition, a field science; I’m not talking about potential fields here. I’m talking about lava fields, glacial ice fields, cow fields you need to cross to get to your outcrop—I’m talking about going outside!. (Written by Penny Patterson, HGS Director)

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From the Editor - May 2016

The Field

I think it’s ironic, in a sad sort of way, that one of the main aspects of the vocation of geoscience that attracted most of us to it in the first place was the opportunity to spend time outdoors in the field: traipsing around the countryside, contemplating and analyzing outcrops from afar and up close, measuring and describing sections, mapping, collecting samples, deploying geophysical instruments, etc.—and at the same time reveling in beautiful landscapes, daytime “sky-scapes,” the wondrous nighttime canopy of a gazillion stars, and experiencing the ineffable, profound peace (or at times violent but beautiful chaos) of the precious part of God’s creation far from the city. Of course, being in the field at times also entails discomfort, frustrations, bug bites and perhaps other negative things. After all, it’s a part of life. But as geoscientists we greatly treasure our field experiences.

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