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Coming into Coal: Part 1

Sometimes I am asked how I became a coal geologist. My son has asked me several times; sometimes because he has forgotten, sometimes because he just wants to hear a good story from his Dad. More than seldom I get asked by random people; some curious how a scientist starts out (and stays) being a […]

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Field Work in the Senakin Peninsula: Part III – NEW PAPER

The fruits – as they say – had finally ripened and what fell off the tree? A paper of course*. A nice fat, juicy paper about those lovely Eocene-age volcanics that lie within the Senakin Peninsula. After a couple of decades wondering when someone would publish on the basalts and volcaniclastic sediments in Kalimantan Selatan […]

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Turn around and you’re… TEN? – Whoa!

No, not my son, Micah, but a paper. Well, not quite ten, but it was ten years this month that I was asked, and then accepted, to write a review paper on coalbed methane*.   It took about another two years until it was actually published** but the work began in May 2010. It took […]

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Field Work in the Senakin Peninsula: Part II- Finding Volcanics

The speedboat skipped from wave to wave effortlessly; Tanjung Dewa was on our left and then it was gone. A head of us I could see the Senakin Peninsula, its dark forests tangled with cloud. The chill morning air made me smile. My three colleagues, Mr Mike Friederich, Prof Hendra Amijaya and Dr Ferian Anggara, […]

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NEW PAPER: The plant biostratigraphy of the Cenozoic coal-bearing formations in Primorye, Russian Far East

The Russian Far East has magical connotations. Perhaps no other place on Earth is so well known; yet so little visited. Most Westerners will be (or should be) enthralled by the word Siberia. The furthest part of Siberia is the Far East. Though remote, it nevertheless has had a tremendous amount of geological studies applied […]

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Something Wicked This Way Comes* – in the Lower Cretaceous

No, not a dinosaur. Not an asteroid. But some kind of climatic condition that was none-to-good for organic material. For a very very long time. Over the last year, my colleagues Prof Jian Shen and Prof Marvin Moroeng from China University of Mining and Technology (Xuzhou, China) and University of Johannesburg (South Africa), respectively, and […]

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NEW PAPER: Recognition of peat depositional environments: A review

It is already the most downloaded paper for the International Journal of Coal Geology*. No wonder – a fundamental attribute of any rock is knowing how it gets there. Sure, coal comes from peat, but it is those small changes in peat type that result in large differences in coal type and those differences result […]

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Come to Colombia: Annual Meeting of The Society of Organic Petrology in Bogotá in 2022

The 39th Annual Meeting of The Society for Organic Petrology will be held in Bogotá, Colombia in September 2022. Colombia is known for many things of course – its divine coffee, the incredible hospitality of its people, the range of climates and the beautiful Andes. But what most people don’t know is that under that lovely exterior […]

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Babel (redux balal)

My father worked for the phone company all his life. Actually, that isn’t completely true. In 1943, during World War II, he joined the Marines, got married and managed not to get killed. After the war he returned to his job at the C&P Telephone Co., played around on boats in and around the Potomac […]

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(Not) Freezing in Inner Mongolia

Thirty seconds seems like an incredibly short amount of time. But a lot of things can happen in thirty seconds. I had removed one of my gloves to turn the page in my field notebook to jot down some measurements on the coal we were sampling. It was a bad idea. In that short amount […]

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