What do you get when you send an English major to study rocks in some of the most remote wilderness in the country? In the case of Laura Marris, the answer is a great read, illustrated with beautiful photos.
Marris, an English major who graduated from Yale last spring, might be more at home writing poems than analyzing rock formations, but she wasn't quite ready to give up on her childhood infatuation with volcanoes, earthquakes and tidal waves. After taking Professor David Bercovici's "Natural Disasters" class last semester, and hearing from a former student about his experiences in the Arctic Ocean as part of a scientific expedition, she was ready for her own adventure.
Marris is currently in the middle of Wyoming, assisting geology Professor David Evans' group in collecting rock samples and analyzing the paleomagnetic record of the area to determine exactly where Wyoming was situated about two billion years ago — which would give scientists a better understanding of the Earth's history, including past episodes of major climate change and evolution.
To learn more about the research and follow Marris' journey — which has so far included stunning vistas, a horse ranch, bear spray, off-road driving, and a Tyrannosaurus rex head mounted on the wall of a local café — follow her blog at http://wherewaswyoming.wordpress.com.