The entire afternoon on Wednesday was filled with talks directly related to the type of problems I look at and the type of modeling I do - a pretty sharp contrast with Tuesday! The morning, however, was fortunately open for such things as practicing my talk one more time for my adviser, and for meeting with SCEC's education and outreach team about "Faults of Calfornia."
The practice run went smoothly. I presented preliminary results of the same work at the SCEC meeting in September (and then I had to do all the models over because we switched finite element codes), and I did a couple of practices of the talk at UCR over the past few weeks. My biggest concern was timing, since my first practice clocked in at 13.5 minutes without questions, but my second practice went at Mach 1, taking only 9 minutes. Yesterday's practice was a clean 12 minutes, and I haven't had any more coffee than usual this morning, so my timing should remain spot-on.
The meeting with SCEC was also productive. Our main goal right now, since the illustrations on "Faults of California" are all done, is to figure out the best way to get it into schools. We don't want to just hand it to teachers without any structure, since that's not the best way to integrate into anyone's lesson plans. We came up with a few ideas; my holiday reading is likely going to involve reading some of the California Education Standards, and it looks like there will be some drives to USC in early 2010.
As some of you reading this surely already know (since I assume at least some of you were there), there was a planned lunch for geobloggers at AGU yesterday afternoon. I'd say there were about 25 of us in all. The first half was more informal conversation - it was nice, as with the Tweetup on Monday, to put faces to names and blogs. (And, in the case of those of you I'd met before, it was great to see you all again!) The second half of the lunch involved everyone getting up and introducing themselves and their blogs, then sharing their particular thoughts on the state of the geoblogosphere. I'll repeat a thought I had at the time: I think it's wonderful that so many of us started blogging because we just plain like discussing our field and research, and that this network of blogs has turned into a real and more formal way to exchange information and dialogue in the sciences.
I had to duck out of the blogger lunch a bit early because I didn't want to miss the set of talks on earthquake source modeling. Occasionally, I have a moment of worry that someone will scoop the particular things I want to research/model - because there can't be that many people modeling fault dynamics, right? - but sessions like this make me realize that I'm being dumb for worrying so much. There's a huge diversity of topics, methods, specific problems, and ways to interpret within the definition of "earthquake source modeling," and even in four hours of talks, there's still tons and tons more that hasn't been covered or done yet. One of the main themes in this session was the idea that multiple faults can be involved in a single earthquake. This has been known at least since the M7.3 Landers earthquake in 1992, which surface ruptured its way through parts of six faults, but many of yesterday's talks discussed the possibility of there being subsidiary faults in quakes not known to have involved more than one fault, or the possible contribution of smaller faults to a quake on a much larger one. With all these discussions, I feel like I've come into looking at the problem of fault geometries and interactions at just the right time, and that makes me all the more excited to keep on modeling things.
My talk is also a complex fault geometry talk, though in this case, I'm looking into geometrical effects on ground motion, rather than just on rupture behavior. It's this morning (Thursday, 17 December) at 11:05 AM in Moscone West room 2005. I hope to see some of you there!