Rock On

February 16, 2009 at 2:41 pm Leave a comment

Richard Alley is well-known as an expert on glaciers (in fact, he was one of the authors of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report in 2007). He’s less well-known as a singer, but that may change now that the videos for GEOSC 10, “Geology of the National Parks,” have hit the Web.

In some of the videos, Alley decks himself out like Johnny Cash to educate students about geologic processes (“Subduction scrapes off mud ’round a burning ring of fire, / takes water down, / drives the volcanoes higher”). The Beatles get the same treatment in a couple of songs.

richard_alley_pixThe campy videos manage to get some fundamental geosciences concepts across, and Alley’s droll screen presence is a hoot. (One comment overheard in our office: “I wonder why he doesn’t use a capo? Or maybe singing so low is part of the shtick.”)

GEOSC 10 aims to help students—and members of the public—learn about geologic processes as illustrated at sites of the U.S. National Park system.

Chas Brua, contributing editor

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