RFG 2018 Conference

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Critical Minerals

By Lindsay Davis, GSA Science Policy Fellow

The legislative and executive branches are taking steps to decrease what President Trump calls a “strategic vulnerability” brought about by U.S. dependence on imports for certain non-fuel mineral commodities. These commodities, known as “critical minerals”, are vital to the U.S. economy, national defense, and other technology, and exist in limited quantities around the globe. According to a report published by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) on December 19, there are currently 23 critical minerals upon which the U.S. relies to support the military and technology development, many of which are imported either partially or exclusively from other countries, meaning their supply could be disrupted.

Cover of the report released by the USGS in 2017 on critical minerals. Credit: USGS.

S-type granitoid

S-type granitoid . A granitic rock produced by magma derived from partial fusion of metasedimentary or supracrustal origin. The term, proposed by Chappell and White in 1974, is thoroughly discussed by Clarke (1992).

More good news to start 2018: 2017 was the safest year on record for air travel.

Continuing the good-news theme of recent LOTRW posts, the flight safety story lit up yesterday’s internet. This report, from Fortune’s website, gives the flavor:  Airlines recorded zero accident deaths in commercial passenger jets last year, according to a Dutch consulting firm and an aviation safety group that tracks crashes, making 2017 the safest year on record for commercial air travel.

Dutch aviation consulting firm To70 and the Aviation Safety Network both reported Monday there were no commercial passenger jet fatalities in 2017. “2017 was the safest year for aviation ever,” said Adrian Young of To70.

To70 estimated that the fatal accident rate for large commercial passenger flights is 0.06 per million flights, or one fatal accident for every 16 million flights.

The Aviation Safety Network also reported there were no commercial passenger jet deaths in 2017, but 10 fatal airliner accidents resulting in 44 fatalities onboard and 35 persons on the ground, including cargo planes and commercial passenger turbo prop aircraft.

AAG Snapshot: Service to Geography through the AAG

Have you ever considered being more involved in the American Association of Geographers? Are you looking to enhance your resume or CV with service experience? Consider volunteering for one of the many positions available for members of the AAG and help support the ongoing efforts of the Association in serving and representing our large community […]

Visiting Geographical Scientist Program Accepting Applications for 2018-19

The Visiting Geographical Scientist program (VGSP) is accepting applications for the 2018-19 academic year. VGSP sponsors visits by prominent geographers to small departments or institutions that do not have the resources to bring in well-known speakers. The purpose of this program is to stimulate interest in geography, targeted for students, faculty members, and administrative officers. Participating institutions […]

Some “good news” from the AMS – on diversity and inclusion – to start off 2018.

If the world could stand a bit less in the way of scolding, per the topic of recent LOTRW posts, then it won’t do to leave a vacuum. What’s needed is a spotlight shining on the positive out there. In that spirit, here’s some good news from the American Meteorological Society – with respect to diversity and inclusion.

Some background: It turns out good news comes in many different levels. Let’s start with two – and maybe touch on a third.

Good news – Level 1.

My Christmas presents this year included a gift I’ve also gotten in some years past: a small box of chocolates – chocolate-covered cherries to be precise. My absolute favorites! There were only twelve in the box. Some years I’ve limited myself to one per day, in an effort to extend the experience. But this year I binged; the chocolate-covered cherries were consumed several days ago.

(Oh, Bill, that’s so wonderful. We’re all so very happy for you, Bill.)

January 17, 2018 Paleontological Society of Washington meting announcement

The Paleontological Society of Washington

7:00 pm, Wednesday, January 17

National Museum of Natural History, Constitution Ave. entrance

Dawn and Early Morning of the Reptiles: New Discoveries, New Mysteries.

Adam Pritchard

Peter Buck Postdoctoral Fellow, National Museum of Natural History

Smithsonian Institution

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