The Science of Sustainability

Andrew Alden

Andrew Alden

Andrew Alden earned his geology degree at the University of New Hampshire and moved back to the Bay Area to work at the U.S. Geological Survey for six years. He has written on geology for About.com since its founding in 1997. In 2007, he started the Oakland Geology blog, which won recognition as "Best of the East Bay" from the East Bay Express in 2010. In writing about geology in the Bay Area and surroundings, he hopes to share some of the useful and pleasurable insights that geologists give us—not just facts about the deep past, but an attitude that might be called the deep present.

Read his previous contributions to QUEST, a project dedicated to exploring the Science of Sustainability.

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Andrew Alden's Latest Posts

Geological Outings Around the Bay: Sunol Regional Wilderness

Geological Outings Around the Bay: Sunol Regional Wilderness

The Franciscan rocks of Sunol Regional Wilderness are star players at the frontier of plate tectonics.

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Hetch Hetchy: Will We Do the Anthropocene Thing?

Hetch Hetchy: Will We Do the Anthropocene Thing?

The Restore Hetch Hetchy proposal is the Bay Area's first serious encounter with Anthropocene engineering.

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All My Children: Making and Donating a Rock Collection

All My Children: Making and Donating a Rock Collection

A set of rock specimens, collected for teaching kids, has become a group of friends. Is this normal?

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Side Trips from Interstate 5: Stony Creek Valley

Side Trips from Interstate 5: Stony Creek Valley

Visit some classic rocks in the little-trafficked country lying just over the hills of the western Sacramento Valley.

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Faulty Civic Awareness with the Hayward Fault

Faulty Civic Awareness with the Hayward Fault

Cities along the Hayward fault would benefit their future reputation by owning up to their tectonic situation.

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Did You See It? Report a Landslide Online

Did You See It? Report a Landslide Online

What Bay Areans did for earthquakes we can now do for landslides: lead the world in reporting these common natural hazards online.

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The Blue Rock of Antioch

The Blue Rock of Antioch

Introducing a distinctive young stone of the Coast Range, the blue rock of the Neroly Sandstone.

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Side Trips from Interstate 5: The Deep San Joaquin Valley

Side Trips from Interstate 5: The Deep San Joaquin Valley

The Central Valley has rocks and oil, but its geology also includes water and fossils. See them in this side trip during your next drive south.

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Black Diamond Regional Mines Preserve Reopens Visitor Center

Black Diamond Regional Mines Preserve Reopens Visitor Center

With the reopening of its underground Greathouse Portal Visitor Center, Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve is ready when you are.

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Geological Outings Around the Bay: Rodeo Beach

Geological Outings Around the Bay: Rodeo Beach

As the weather warms, our fancy turns to thoughts of the beach. One of the most interesting is actually a bar.

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Which Are Gassier, Volcanoes or Humans?

Which Are Gassier, Volcanoes or Humans?

Volcanoes release a lot of gas, including carbon dioxide. Can we blame them for climate change instead of us?

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Side Trips from Interstate 5: Sutter Buttes

Side Trips from Interstate 5: Sutter Buttes

The Sutter Buttes are an oak-studded island of extinct volcanoes in the Sacramento Valley bottomlands. Step off the freeway to see California's nearest thing to Shangri-La.

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The Switching Outlets of Clear Lake

The Switching Outlets of Clear Lake

Why has Clear Lake drained two different ways in recent geologic time? Volcanoes and landslides made it happen.

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Fracking in California: Any Cause For Concern?

Fracking in California: Any Cause For Concern?

California oil producers use hydraulic fracturing to goose more oil out of old wells. The benefit is clear, but the costs are too unclear for comfort.

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Side Trips from Interstate 5: Coalinga Country

Side Trips from Interstate 5: Coalinga Country

No one likes the huge cattle feedlot north of Coalinga. Take this geological side trip and avoid the smell entirely.

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California's (and the World's) Oldest Rocks

California's (and the World's) Oldest Rocks

California has some pretty ancient rocks, but to experience really old rocks you don't need to look far.

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Testing a New Drug for Mountain Sickness

Testing a New Drug for Mountain Sickness

Doctors have reported that common ibuprofen helps prevent altitude sickness. Read what it was like to be part of that research.

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Geological Outings Around the Bay: New Almaden

Geological Outings Around the Bay: New Almaden

The New Almaden area looms large in Gold Rush history. Today it's an open-air museum of California mining practices and quicksilver geology.

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Side Trips from Interstate 5: Panoche and Tumey Hills

Side Trips from Interstate 5: Panoche and Tumey Hills

Interstate 5 doesn't have to be a dreary drive. Take a geological side trip on the way, for instance to the hidden Coast Range treasures due west of Fresno.

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The Half-Life of Disaster Awareness

The Half-Life of Disaster Awareness

Moves to trim the federal budget for its tsunami program arouse concern for deep as well as shallow reasons.

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