Recent years

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In recent years, the number of ways to feel the elephant has importantly increased. While the science has assimilated such instruments as the scanning transmission electron microscope, the inductively coupled plasma spectrophotometer, and the 39Ar/40Ar laser microprobe-not to mention devices like Vibroseis that thump the earth to reflect deep structures through data reported by seismic waves-the percentage of geologists has steadily diminished who go out in the summer and deal with rock, and the number of people has commensurately risen who work the year around in fluorescent light with their noses on printouts. This is the age of the analog geologist, who, like a watch with a pair of hands, now requires a defining word. For David Love, the defining word is “field.” Whereas all geologists were once like him, they zakelijke energie vergelijken are no longer, and his division of the science is field geology. He is the quintessential field geologist-the person with the rock hammer and the Brunton compass to whom weather is just one more garment to wear with his thousand-mile socks, the geologist who carries his two-hundred
gigabyte hard disk between his ears. There are young people following in his steps, people who still go out to scuff their boots and fray their jeans, but they have become greatly outnumbered by their contemporaries who feed facts and fragments of the earth into laboratory machines-activity that field people describe as black-box geology. Inevitably, some touches of tension have appeared between these worlds: ‘Who is the new structural geologist?” “Dorkney.” “Is he a field-oriented person?” “He’s a geophysicist, but he’s a good guy.” “That would be difficult.” Black-box geologists-also referred to as office geologists and laboratory geologists-have been known to say that field work is an escape mechanism by which their colleagues avoid serious scholarship. Their remarks may rarely be that overt, but the continuing relevance of field geology is not-to say the least-universally acknowledged. Some laboratory geologists, on the other hand, are nothing less than zakelijke energie eloquent in expressing their symbiosis with people of wide experience out in the terrain. “I spend most of my time working on computers and waving my arms,” the geophysicist Robert Phinney once said to me, adding that he required the help of someone’s field knowledge as a check, and without it would be in difficulty.

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