Survival of the ‘Swiftest’

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This post is a take on Darwin’s theory with a millennial world twist.
Time is money.
You can achieve far greater things, be the envy of your colleagues and a potential magnet for employers in this decade if you are, well…wait for it – faster.
Swift workers are able survive complex organizations and have better chances of succeeding in a high octane environment.

I say this because in most large organizations,  computer stations can possibly be programmed to count the number of clicks you make on a particular task. Monthly analyses of results of all that seemingly unimportant data could point out something that’s glaringly important: your inefficiency to do Task A. There is always going to be that person at your workplace or class who has twenty different Windows shortcuts up their sleeve. They’re saving their time AND the company money.

There’s no guessing who’ll be getting ahead of their homework while you’re spending your night in the solitary lab or getting that promotion that you had your eyes on all along.

As a student in college, you must try to constantly learn to push your boundaries and get better at doing things the smart way so that you can find the right balance between work and play.

Time management, multi-tasking and basic computer knowledge are essential skills . Here are four things you absolutely must know before you casually sneak them into your resume/curriculum vitae. Truth be told, there’s no shortcuts here.

1. Learn the tricks and tools of using Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Inside out.

Page indentations, line breaks, footnotes, a bazillion different ways to number your pages, creating sleek weekly performance reports and making a presentation that will steer clear of cringe worthy animations and blow an audience away, are just some of the few things that YOU should learn. There many FREE resources on YouTube that are available for everyone!

2. Try and get in the habit of taking notes electronically. Most university professors in India would frown at the thought of students working on their laptops/tablets in class, but honestly, if push comes to shove, get your student unions to lobby against this notion. There are programs and apps like Evernote and OneNote that are the perfect virtual note-taking companions for students who not only save paper but time. The ability to keep multiple ‘notebooks’ and search for text within notes, add diagrams and links will prove super helpful in the long run. Collaborating and sharing with peers becomes easy! There’s also no worry about trying to decipher your handwriting as you were furiously trying to take down everything your prof was saying.

3. Get organised with study apps like Mindly and task managers like Todoist. No more sticky notes, sharpies( sketch pens) and large sheets of paper with endless mind maps. Have reminders sent to your phones and make use of the ability to share notes – quickly.

4. Try and purchase e-textbooks whenever you can. You can also rent e-textbooks for the course of one semester ! Get used to the digital revolution as early as you can. I am a huge fan of reading traditional, printed books and the perfume of yellowy pages and ink is second to none. However, textbooks can be heavy, hundred paged tomes and you should not have to lug them around campus. Keep room on your bookshelf for other pretty books/journals.

These are my suggestions for making academic/ work life a tad bit swifter. I will be back with more lessons that I have learned and am continuing to learn!

Until next time!
I would love to know your thoughts. Please share in the comments below.


The Ultimate Coursera Checklist for Geology Students – Part II


Online learning and Coursera go hand in hand.
Recruiters are aware that it takes immense motivation to complete an online course and the ones on Coursera are intensive.
Today, I’ve decided to throw some light on  my top five Earth Science courses offered on Coursera.

1. The Dynamic Earth: A Course for Educators – American Museum of Natural History.

This lucid course will help you understand the basic forces of nature that have shaped our planet over time.
If you are a newbie,  you won’t look at rocks the same way again.
In the end you will participate in a stimulating case study on earthquake risk in Bangladesh. Instructors wrap up the course by making you more curious about the subject than you already were.

2. Oil and Gas Industry Operations – Duke University 

If you have ever dreamt of being part of the Oil and Gas industry then you MUST take up this course. It describes the working of the hydrocarbon industry, but in a nutshell.
If you have ever wondered how oil prices affect the economy, how America is turning up the tables with its “Shale Revolution” and are are curious about the future prospects of the industry then this course is the best fit for you.

3. Fundamentals of GIS – University of California, Davis

If you are a budding Geologist then at some point in your career you will have to learn to create maps and eventually learn map building tools like ArcGIS. Earth Science is an integrated science and it demands knowledge of many aspects in general. This one skill will definitely come in handy and trust me, you will never regret it.

4.Planet Earth…and You! – University of illinoia at Urbana-Champaign

This course is an impeccable starter for an undergraduate student in Earth Science. The course is taught by one well established geology professor, Stephen Marshak and his book, ‘Essentials of Geology’ is one that I swear by.

5. Origins – Formation of the Universe, Solar System, Earth and Life

If you want to learn more about planetary science then this one would prove to be a great beginning! It’s a well structured course and I strongly recommend it!

What do you think of my recommendations? Please comment below! 

Written by Nimesh Kotadia. Edited by Nikita Nayak.

Gloom to Bloom!


This winter break, let procrastination thaw away into oblivion and get your act together with resources to keep you busy!

1. Planning to prepare for the IELTS? Take a free pre-test with the official organisers online and get a score report of your performance. Limited seats available.

2. Read Darwin’s definitive book ‘ On the Origin of Species’, made available for you to read by the efforts of The Gutenberg Project.

3. Get involved with the Earthwatch Institute. They have offices all over world including India. Download their cool ‘Tree Watch Mobile App’ and participate in their new citizen science venture.

4. Love gardens and gardening but don’t have the time to pick up the shovel? Play Viridi, developed by the Ice Water Games Studio in Seattle. It is a beautiful game where you can grow your own succulents in real time.

5. The collaborative efforts of the Euro Zone to impart education in specialised sciences such as Earth Observation are commendable. The EO College was launched recently as part of these efforts and their new course on introductory concepts of Radar Remote Sensing is amazing!

That’s all for now. Leave a comment to let me know of your opinion!

Keep your eyes peeled on this blog for Nemo’s much anticipated post describing his take on courses offered by Coursera that will be published tomorrow!

A Month of Favourites!


It is my favourite month of the year and I would like to share some awesome things with you in this super short post!

My intent is to give you a list of curated links that would get you thinking ! Here are ten favourite things I would like you to check out and enjoy!

1.Firstly, the image in the beginning of this post is a view of Grantsville, US from space. Like it? Love it? What do you see? Tell me in the comments section below!

2. Infographics are excellent tools to convey complex information in visually appealing ways. Check out this cool infographic about Nanoplastic Pollution.

3. It was fantastic attending the Esri User Conference in Vancouver a couple of weeks ago! If you could not attend for some reason, you can check out the proceedings of the various sessions held during the conference from home!

4. A friend once shared the link to this website with me and I fell in love with it in an instant and you would too. Fluid web-design and compelling content make this THE website I would want to explore during my free time.

5.Next, check out this documentary that could be the subject of a much heated debate.Nonetheless, I would still want you to watch it!

6.Little do people know that William Wordsworth’s sister, Dorothy Wordworth was a great poet in her own right! Read this beautiful poem penned by her and be forever enchanted!

7.Here is something I do not indulge in often; endorse stuff. However, since everyone is fanatic about buying the shiniest, sleekest, costliest smartphones, one might as well buy an eco-friendly phone case to go along with it!  This is retail therapy that Mother Nature will surely approve of!

8. I am going to be grilled for saying this but this award-winning, beautifully designed game from Denmark is only available for iPad users. You have to download it and have a look at it yourself to be truly immersed in it. It is a psychological game that helps you overcome the fears and inhibitions you might have when you want to talk to strangers. You are guided through dense forestry, fog and vacuum like spaces to explore beyond the boundaries of your comfort zone.

9.Did you know that ‘Orienteering is an official sport? Had you ever heard of it before? It is a sport where you use a map and a compass to navigate around a landscape to reach distinct points. You can either orienteer for leisure or as a competitive sport.

10. I am always on the lookout for interesting resources of learning on the internet. Here’s a course on modelling the environment and the economics of energy to predict future trends offered by the University of Basel, Switzerland.

There you go! A sweet little post to peak your interest in what is going on in the world around us and always stay curious!

Feel free to comment and let me know if you liked any of the links that I have shared with you!

Stay Curious With Coursera- Part I


The world is fast approaching the crabs in a bucket scenario where competition is fierce. We are here to advise you to give you an extra edge to your regular curriculum vitae or resume to demonstrate to potential employers that you are that one truly passionate candidate among all others.
I suggest, you should begin working on building your skills and never stop exploring your options as soon as you begin first year studies in Geology.
There are so many facets to an education in the Earth Sciences that you must be familiar with all its branches to realize your favourite one of them all by the time you graduate.
It is also important to bolster your college studies with courses that you’ve taken online to update your knowledge with new advances in Geology.

Coursera is the sweet fruit of Stanford University’s many efforts and partnerships with fantastic top-ranked educational institutions of the world that brings to you a palette of interesting courses to choose and benefit from!

We shall be talking about the Coursera platform in THREE parts.
In the FIRST part, we shall briefly talk about the platform itself.


The platform is available for your web browser on your desktops and laptops and as an app for your smartphone and tablets.
You may download your video lectures and save them for offline viewing later.

What are the kinds of courses that are available?

There are standalone courses and then there are subject specializations that have many courses.
Specializations are great if you are keen on mastering a particular subject and require commitment to finish.


Enrollment is open all year round for most courses and depends on ‘session availability’.
You will have two options in front of you when enrolling for a course.

The first is a paid option which will make you eligible for an identity verified certificate on course completion.
The second is an unpaid option which gives you access to all of the course content save for the graded tests, exams and projects.
Therefore in order to receive something of value once you’ve studied all the course material,  I recommend using the first option and pay for the course certificate of your choice.
Do not fret if you cannot afford to pay to earn a certificate, you may apply for financial aid which is plain awesome!

Course Content

You will be taught by the very best!
There shall be video lectures, links to e-books, documents for further reading, maps, case studies and interactive media that will help you learn more about the topic of your choosing!
Look forward to key talks by guest lecturers who will be experts/scientists that will share their insight about the subject.


Whatever you have learned will be assessed in different ways. There will be discussion forums that you might be required to participate in actively. There shall be weekly quizzes that will be graded.
There will be a final exam at the end of your course and possibly a final project or essay that will be peer-reviewed and assessed.
Your final grade for any given course would reflect an average score from two or more of these assessment methods.
The passing grades are decided by whichever education institution has offered the course.
Nevertheless, whenever you complete a course, you will be rewarded with a sense of satisfaction and self-accomplishment!


Standalone courses typically cost upward of ₹ 1879 and could cost more if it is a highly technical course.
Specializations comprise three courses or more and you may choose to enroll in each individually or sign up for the specialization in totality. These cost somewhere upward of ₹10,000.
Think of these course fees as an investment that would last you a lifetime.

Financial Aid

The best part of Coursera is that if you cannot afford to take up these courses and wish to earn a certificate to prove your learning, you may apply for financial aid using their short and simple application form.
This has helped many people further their education and skills, including people like me, which is why I strongly recommend the Coursera platform for online learning.

What will you get in the end?

You will be getting up-to-date knowledge in your choice of field from experts around the world that will help you stand apart from the crowd.
You will be a part of a truly global classroom and get to interact with students of different nationalities and backgrounds and will be able to build connections !
This is your chance to challenge yourself and test your drive to master a subject all by yourself!

I believe that this is a great way to be a part of the Digitial India efforts by PM Modi because widespread access to internet means access to education for all!
Explore the Coursera platform for yourself and discover things you’d like to know more about!
You might want to wait to hear out our recommendations before enrolling!
Nemo and I shall take turns in talking about our own favourite courses SPECIFICALLY for Earth Science students in upcoming posts! 🙂

Have questions about exploring Coursera? Like posts like these? Shoot us a message or post a comment below!

It’s good to be back again!

I would like to express my sincerest apologies for this hiatus from blogging that was unprecedentedly long to say the very least.
I have only a few posts to my credit so far but I have been lucky and grateful to have received appreciation from near and far for the content on this blog.
Thank YOU for motivating me to write more ! This is for YOU !
There’s so much we need to talk about and I am super duper excited to share it all !
This week, I shall be telling you about this cool app that you can use to organize your thoughts into documents that are the very definition of minimalism and smart design. Oh, Marie Kondo would be SO proud .
Nemo and I have planned a series of posts about an empowering study platform that can change your life as much as it has changed mine, for the better! 🙂
Also, wait for posts about:
-a life-saving tool that could be indispensable to geologists while on field expeditions in remote locations
-the book that nobody ever thought of writing until NOW
-the upcoming solar eclipse! 🙂
We’ve got interviews lined up too! You’ll get to hear from a third year geology student who had the time of his life at IIT-Roorkee during his summer internship and another recent graduate who’s heading to Canada to study Mining Engineering at one of the best places to study it!
Keep your eyes peeled!
Happy reading!

Wondering who’re Nemo and Niks? Check the ‘About’ section to learn more about us! 

7 Magazines An Earth Science Student Must Read!

Earth Science: ” The science of earth and its neighbour in space”. It is a widely embraced term for the field of science related to planet earth.
Here are 7 of my favourite magazines that a serious Earth Science student must pore into without second thoughts and consider subscribing to!

Categories: Geography, Science, History, Nature, Cultures


The iconic yellow rectangular border, photography that draws you into the scene and compelling writing that blows your mind with every word: The National Geographic  Magazine is the official magazine of the National Geographic Society and continues to  enjoy a global and dedicated readership ever since it was published in 1888.

Category: Science


Discover is a science magazine for the layman. It intelligently explores subjects like science, archaeology, ecology and astronomy. Breakthroughs in research, invention and innovation are a central theme in every issue.

Category: Astronomy


A monthly American magazine for global astronomy fans! Grab an issue if you want to read about space exploration, books, amateur telescope magazine and events in the astronomy community. The articles feature detailed dicussions by frequently participating scientists from all over the world.

Category: Mineral science

An authoritative collector’s journal , it cannot be done away with by any serious mineralogy student or expert. It is the official magazine of the Mineralogical Record Inc and is issued six times a year.

Category: Earth Science


Geology Today provides an entertaining and instructive read for all Earth Scientists.The magazine features articles on topics of current interest in the earth sciences,geological happenings, discoveries and geological conferences.A lively correspondence section in the magazine allows readers to air and share their views and to respond to items appearing in the journal.

Category: Science


Published by British Publications, it features all ongoing space missions and the future technology sections has details about the capacity space exploration in the future. It is issued monthly and focuses on everything that’s going on in space!

Category: Geospatial Science


The No.1 GIS Industry resource for news, articles and webinars, the magazine was first published in 1998 and is a for geospatial professionals.

This is Himani Garera’s first post on this blog as a co-author . Nicknamed Mannie, she will be a regular contributor to this blog . She is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Geology at The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda and is an alumnus of Banaras Hindu University.

We hope you look forward to cool, original posts from her ! 🙂

Written by- Himani Garera & Nikita Nayak.


From one Earthling to another


Dear people of the Earth,
Do you know what “Gaea” means?
One definition is: A personification of Mother Earth; an ancient greek goddess Gaea from whom all other human beings (gods) birthed
Another meaning is that the Earth is a self-regulating system. It is regarded as a living organism made up of both living and non-living parts that together, in beautiful harmony, make life possible for every living thing that exists or will exist.
How magical is that? Did you ever think of your planet like that?
Every single atom around you – the earth you walk upon, the air you breathe, the water you consume through every cell in your body and feel alive because of – is in existence only for you.
In this busy life, where we are either constantly lost and scared, or running away from being lost and scared, we forget to appreciate – truly appreciate – what we mortals have been blessed with.
We have forgotten how the  earth feels beneath our bare feet, we keep running so fast we do not notice how sultry and spring-like the air smells, we are so lost that our naked bodies also lose touch with the therapeutic power of water against skin.
We want to diminish pollution, increase afforestation, reduce plastic, etc. but we do not know where to begin.
How can refusing a plastic straw make any difference, you say?
500 million plastic straws are used in the U.S. alone, each year.
How can supporting one eco-friendly company and buying your products from only there make a difference?
Millions of oil, plastic, toxic fumes are generated by mainstream companies that evade/violate federal environmental laws each day.
“Poverty and population cannot be helped nor regulated.”
Each time you support a company that donates it’s proceeds to charitable causes, or plants trees for every product sold, uses recyclable, bio-degradable products, or you sponsor a child somewhere, you save “something”.
And that one thing, one person, makes all the difference.
Don’t think about the big fix.
The truth of life is – if we want a change, we must be the change.
Be more attentive and cautious about each thing you do, speak, buy or use.
That is how we start to heal our already hurting planet.
This Earth Day, let us train ourselves to untrain ourselves. Let’s go back to our innate selves and be more mindful of living.
Notice. Listen. Breathe and truly breathe. Close your eyes and feel. Let’s give our Earth the love it constantly and incessantly gives us.
Fall in love with the entity that holds you, continues to give you life, and I promise you- you will find yourself again. You will finally love yourself as Gaea loves you.
Yours humbly,
Garima Singh.

This is Garima Singh’s guest post on this blog. She is a psychology student with a flair for writing and a compassionate heart for all things nature.
She has written this letter, hoping that it would strike a chord with you and that you would become more conscious of your impact on this fragile planet. 

One Earth, One Family!

I tried to do something substantial for Earth Day, which is today, and helped build a network of passionate geology students from colleges and universities across India!
I interviewed each one and it was simply great!
You can read their replies to my questions below.
Presenting, 14 determined geology students from 10 institutions of higher learning !
As prospective geologists, they are finally getting the limelight they deserve! 😀




Interested in: Micropalaeontology and Oceanography.
Memorable Field Trip Location: Shimla and Dharampur. Here,one can see the Dagshile Kasauli Formation and observe indications of the presence of the Main Boundary Fault.
She loves college because, the Igneous Petrology Laboratory has an EPMA instrument which we use for inspection of minerals and rock identification.

Message for Earth Day-
“Our Earth is full of adventures and mysteries, and I am trying to discover them all by studying about them one by one!”



Interested in: Structural Geology and Sedimentology.
Memorable Field Trip Location: Nahan, Himanchal Pradesh. There, one can get a chance to recognise the Nahan Thrust.
He loves college because, he gets to study his favourite subject, Geology!

Message for Earth Day-
“Consider the Earth as your own body. You have to keep it clean and love the way it is. ;)”


Interested in: Engineering Geology.
Memorable Field Trip Location: The Shiwaliks. One can find so many vertebrate fossils there, it’s simply amazing!
He loves college because, his university is situated in the heart of the Himalayas and he gets to admire and study about the Himalayas and its formation. 🙂

Message for Earth Day-
“Earth is not just a planet.It is a heavenly playground and it is us to us to choose to be either its guardians or its destroyers.”




Interested in: Coal Petrology
Memorable Field Trip Location: Ramgiri Gold Field,Gadag,Karnataka.
He loves college because, at NIT-Rourkela, he doesn’t study just ‘geology’,but gets to study it as an amalgamation of different sciences; Earth Science.

Message for Earth Day-
“If the Earth were a piece of art, a geologist would be ‘Picasso’.”


Interested in: Structural Geology.
Memorable Field Trip Location: Almora and nearby areas like Kausani.
She loves college because, the rock garden at her department has the best rock samples from various regions in India.They have a geology museum too that has many expensive minerals, fossils and rock samples.

Message for Earth Day-
“We don’t inherit earth from our ancestors but we borrow it from our children. Therefore,we must protect it and preserve it.”


Interested in: Oceanography.
Memorable Field Trip Location: Undoubtedly, Almora. It’s a great place to study and understand structural geology. Besides, it offers excellent views of the higher Himalayas.”
He loves college because, he believes that his department is home to experts in all major branches of geology.

Message for Earth Day-
“Let’s keep our surroundings clean, conserve electricity, learn as much as we can about the home which we call Earth and love it and leave it a better place for the future generations !”


Interested in: Remote Sensing.
Memorable Field Trip Location: Balasinor Dinosaur Fossil Park.  One can see the fossils of dinosaur teeth, bones and skull. What really wowed him were the fossils of Rajasaurus and a well preserved clutch of dinosaur eggs.
He loves college because, he get a chance to get himself acquainted with GIS software,which will help him get basic knowledge to further his studies in Geographic Information Systems.

Message for Earth Day-
“We, geologists, must join hands to protect the very Earth that we study.”

Interested in: Remote Sensing.
Memorable Field Trip Location: Jaisalmer. One can find and abundance of fossils and a few dinosaur footprints.
He loves college because, the field trips are so much fun and these field visits are the subject of envy for other departments at his college.

Message for Earth Day-
“Since Earth day is all about sustainable development, we as geologists understand the situation of our earth’s resources, be it fossil fuels or groundwater and we can do our part in preventing their exploitation from an ‘Environmental-Geological’ perspective.”



Interested in: Earth Structures and Dynamics.
Memorable Field Trip Location:Heran river bed, Rangpur. I got to observe three different compositions of volcanic dykes that are found cutting each other.
She loves college because, her department is one of the leading centres for geological research in western India. Moreover, there are numerous geological wonders for one to visit in the state of Gujarat.

Message for Earth Day-
“Earth is a never ending mystery, revealing its secrets in the most  beautiful and wonderful of ways. Solve it, learn it and Respect it.”


Interested in: Exploration Geology and Mining Geology.
Memorable Field Trip Location: Recently, I got a chance to visit Narukot, near Champaner, Gujarat, India. We were taught structural and litho-contact mapping, which was quite interesting to learn.
He loves college because, his department excels in research in Quaternary Geology and Neotectonics.

Message for Earth Day-
“The more you get to explore the Earth, the more you start loving it.”



Interested in: Geotechnical and Petroleum Geology.
Memorable Field Trip Location: Bhutinda Falls, near Dhanbad. Here , one can witness the active fluvial system for hydrocarbon preservation.
He loves college because, the name of his college is a legacy in itself! 🙂

Message for Earth Day-
“Learn, Grow, Evolve”



Interested in: Geophysics.
Memorable Field Trip Location:Karnataka, Ghokak. I got the opportunity to observe intercalated shale, 3 dykes of hornblende and amphibolite at a single place.
He loves college because, he really enjoys practical assignments in the department laboratory. 🙂

Message for Earth Day-
“The Earth and all its beings are one large family, lets keep it that way!”



Interested in: Hydrogeology.
Memorable Field Trip Location: Madan Haveli, Jabalpur. One can see the famous balancing rock there!
He loves college because, there are dinosaur egg fossils in the department laboratory and it also boasts of the National Center of Experimental Mineralogy and Petrology.

Message for Earth Day-
“Geologists don’t need a laboratory, the entire Earth is our laboratory.”



Interested in: Petrology
Memorable Field Trip Location: Malvan and Kankavali in Maharashtra and Goa. The locations show such a contrasting variation in geology from 3.2by old pre-cambrian rocks to Kaldgis to Deccan traps as well as sedimentary rocks. The metamorphic terrain is amazing and observing everything has added to my knowledge, be it small scale structures or large scale structures.
He loves college because, the professors at his university are encourage research based thinking along with analytical skill development.There is availability of sophisticated instruments and support from teachers makes it one of the best universities to study geology in India.

Message for Earth Day-
My message for Earth Day 2017 is that the planet has formed over billions of years and shows contrasting and striking difference in geology and various type of resources. Our aim as geologists should be to make effective use of resources available with proper care of environment and most important of all preservation of our heritage, geological structures for the coming generations.

I cannot express how elated I am to have finally written this post! I am so grateful to EVERYONE who sent in their responses,trusting me with their answers!
We’ve built a beautiful geology family and have celebrated Earth Day truly. 🙂
Thank you for being a part of this!

If you like this post,and the efforts that went into writing it, please leave a comment below! I’d love to read them!
Happy Earth Day everyone! 😀 ❤

This post is meant to be short

Today, I would like to share just a single 3 minute long video.
The song was composed by Ludovico Einaudi for a Greenpeace campaign to spread awareness about Climate Change.
I do not intend to write much because I want you to watch the video for yourself, listen to the music, take it all in and ponder. Deeply.
P.S. It is critical that you write a comment for this post and share what you thought and felt while watching the video.

“Elegy for the Arctic”- Ludovico Einaudi

Ludovico Einaudi performing “Elegy for the Arctic”, live.

Ludovico Einaudi is an Italian pianist and genius musical composer whose soul-stirring music touches the very heartstrings .