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Archive By Author - Rudi Kiefer

Earth Sense: Mulching vegetation better than burning

Our student volunteers were working hard last week, dragging huge piles of privet cuttings and other shrubs down the slope toward the power chipper. More helpers were bringing plant debris out of the bamboo forest, that unique environment at the end of the Brenau campus where bamboo, planted in the 1930s, has grown into huge trees.

May 05, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists

Earth Sense: Underlying factors of sinkholes rare in Hall County

Driving through Hall County, you probably don't expect a huge hole to suddenly open up and swallow your car. But Florida residents are familiar with this scary phenomenon. It also happened in Chicago 10 days ago when the pavement buckled and three automobiles went down 10 feet into a gaping sinkhole.

April 28, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists

Earth Sense: Best defense against twister is information

The all-American storm is in season again. No other country in the world has common outbreaks of tornadoes the way the United States does.

April 21, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists

Earth Sense: Healthy food leads to better living

Living healthy begins with eating healthy food. Last week's "Farm To Table" workshop at Georgia Southern University demonstrated excellent ways in which chemicals-free fruits and vegetables can be produced in urban settings.

April 14, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists

Earth Sense: Jet stream could bring more droughts

The sea ice in the Arctic is dwindling. NASA just posted images of a gigantic crack in the frozen cover.

April 07, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists

Earth Sense: Cold spring here has been worse elsewhere

Spring season had a benign start in North Georgia with just a cold snap. Other parts of the world weren't as lucky.

March 31, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists

Earth Sense: Nothing man can do to head off quakes

Earthquakes keep hitting inhabited areas on the planet, and they have nothing to do with human activities and carbon emissions, not even with the offshore oil drilling that my grandmother used to blame for all the destruction caused by quakes.

March 24, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists

Earth Sense: 2 women impact earth science studies

March is Women's History Month. It was 100 years ago this month that women marched in Washington, D.C., demanding equal voting rights. The suffragists' struggle resulted in the 19th Amendment, making the left out half of the population a full part of the political process.

March 17, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists

Earth Sense: 2 tips for finding your way when lost

Outdoor season is starting just about now. When one hikes in the woods of North Georgia, it often becomes difficult to keep track of the direction. If you don't have a compass, but brought a watch with hands and a dial, you can locate south with it.

March 10, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists

Earth Sense: Living on the coast can be rocky

Retiring to the coast, or living and working there, is a dream that many people have. If your dream is to sit on the deck and watch the evening sun settling over the ocean, though, you need to move to the West Coast. At a Georgia beach, watching the sun over the water requires getting up at sunrise.\

March 03, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists

Earth Sense: Proper insulation can save money

If you're serious about conserving resources, one of the best things you can do is adding insulation to your home. It reduces the power bill on days when the air conditioning is running, as well as the heat bill, regardless whether the house is heated by natural gas or electricity or both.

February 24, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists

Earth Sense: Pacific not so peaceful under the surface

When Ferdinand Magellan's ships emerged from the wild waters of Cape Horn in 1520, the newly discovered ocean seemed so peaceful that he named it Pacific Ocean. In modern times, we know that the Pacific is far from being a quiet place. Under its waters, the solid layer that separates us from the molten interior is so thin that if the globe were the size of a basketball, its hard crust would be no thicker than a sheet of paper.

February 17, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists

Winter storms follow their own patterns

Compared to the loss of life and property that occurred in Bartow County, the Gainesville area didn't get hit too hard during the Jan. 30 storm.

February 10, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists

Earth Sense: Tropic moisture zone affects weather

In the research about global climatic change, one weather system is of particular interest: The ITCZ. Its name may look like the license plate of one of those new European nations, but it stands for Intertropical Convergence Zone.

February 03, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists

Earth Sense: Air pressure an indicator of weather changes

It was good to see the sun again after an entire week of rain during the middle of January. A low-pressure system had established itself over North Georgia, and the front that brought it refused to move out for several days.

January 27, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists

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Articles By Author - Rudi Kiefer

Earth Sense: Check house foundation to prevent dangerous slides

The March 22 mudslide in Oso, Wash., raises the question whether something like this could happen here. It's not likely, because we don't have the deep soil that led to the Western disaster.

April 19, 2014 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists

Earth Sense: This is the best time to plan a European vacation

Late spring and early summer are some of the best times to visit Europe, especially the Upper Rhine Valley.

April 12, 2014 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists

Earth Sense: Earthquakes, mudslides can happen anywhere so prepare

The magnitude 5.1 earthquake that occurred around midnight on March 29 east of Los Angeles was a reminder of the unstable geologic conditions in Western states. Its epicenter was in a densely populated residential area of La Habra, Calif., just a quarter-mile from Sonora High School.

April 06, 2014 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


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