# How are we doing as a community and a site?

We have been in beta now for a little over 430 days and we've been slowly but steadily growing. I am curious about how we collectively feel about this site and if we are happy with the direction it is going. We cover a wide spectrum of disciplines so it is hard for any one of us to gauge this overall.

Here are my questions to you:

• What is your discipline and level of knowledge (e.g. novice, curious, expert, etc)?
• What level of engagement are you seeing in your discipline?
• What level of questions are you generally seeing in your discipline?
• Are you happy with the level of questions being asked, or would you prefer more expert level or more beginner level questions?

Feel free to add anything else you feel like. And to all of you, thanks for helping and continuing to help this site grow.

Thanks for initiating this conversation. Here are my answers:

What is your discipline and level of knowledge (e.g. novice, curious, expert, etc)?

My discipline is oceanography. More specifically the coastal ocean with a fair amount of modeling in my background. I have always looked for interdisciplinary problems and currently I am involved with sediment transport and physical-biological interaction research. Calling myself an expert is always dangerous, but I have been doing research in this disciplines for a number of years.

What level of engagement are you seeing in your discipline?

There are a couple of experts in oceanography that provide some very useful and insightful responses. Interest from the general community might not be as high as I would like, but I assume that is because we all think our discipline is the coolest.

What level of questions are you generally seeing in your discipline?

The level tends to be medium-high. There are some basic questions that are usually well addressed and the difficult research questions tend to remain unanswered.

Are you happy with the level of questions being asked, or would you prefer more expert level or more beginner level questions?

Currently, I think there is a healthy balance between the basic and expert questions. We would benefit from some more expert opinions as some of the sub-disciplines are quite complex. Overall, I am quite happy with the direction of the site.

• loved your comment " Calling myself an expert is dangerous". – gansub Jun 27 '15 at 8:02

What is your discipline and level of knowledge?

I'm a geophysicist, and I'm entering my 4th year of graduate school (2 years masters 1 year PhD). My exact field is computational geodynamics studying mantle convection problems.

What level of engagement are you seeing in your discipline?

I think there is a reasonable engagement in geophysics: there are two people who have the bronze badge for this subject which is more than any other tag on the website. There are a lot of earthquake, volcanoes and general seismology questions which makes sense because these are the most popular subjects in the field. While a lot of tectonics questions are also asked, they can be often answered from a geophysics perspective. So even though direct geodynamics questions aren't often asked, the opportunity to engage in this field unexpectedly has been high.

What level of questions are you generally seeing in your discipline?

All levels. I personally think geophysics is among the healthiest subjects on the site (along with atmospheric sciences).

Are you happy with the level of questions being asked, or would you prefer more expert level or more beginner level questions?

I think we have a good balance.

What is your discipline and level of knowledge (e.g. novice, curious, expert, etc)?

I am a micropaleontologist and as such my domain of expertise are, of course, paleontology but also to some extent stratigraphy, paleoclimatology, paleoceanography and paleogeography (i. e. most "paleo-" sciences).

What level of engagement are you seeing in your discipline?
What level of questions are you generally seeing in your discipline?
Are you happy with the level of questions being asked, or would you prefer more expert level or more beginner level questions?

Well there is not that much going on in my corner of the site to be honest. A couple questions a month touching the subject, at most. But the questions are generally good. Sometimes a bit on the naive side for sure but generally interesting and, more importantly, answerable. We rarely get academia-level questions though, most questions seems to be motivated more by curiosity than by anything else. So, yes, in a perfect world I'd prefer seeing a little more research-focussed questions in the various "paleo-" disciplines than there is currently, though having a higher incidence of beginner-level questions in these disciplines is unavoidable considering how little most people actually know about them.
It seems to me that, overall, the site is getting more and more questions from people looking for help in their actual work/research and I really like the fact that our site is heading that way. Unfortunately, this trend as yet to reach my disciplines.

• second your thoughts. Even in my area nothing much going on. – gansub Jun 27 '15 at 8:07
• Just as a side note; Part of the issue with palaeontological questions on this SE is that it has been made clear that they have to have a broader Earth Science scope, else they are likely to be judged off topic or removed to biology SE. – Siv Jul 14 '15 at 19:52
What is your discipline and level of knowledge (e.g. novice, curious, expert, etc)?


PhD student doing experimental petrology, economic geology, geochemistry and related fields. I guess that makes me an expert, relative to the level of questions asked on this site.

What level of engagement are you seeing in your discipline?


There are some petrology and mineralogy related questions, but not too much.

What level of questions are you generally seeing in your discipline?


Anything. From undergrad-level basic stuff on the rock cycle to advanced stuff that even today scientists are struggling with.

Are you happy with the level of questions being asked, or would you prefer more expert level or more beginner level questions?


We do have all levels, and I'm quite happy with it. It's not a question of more expert or beginner level questions, it's a matter of more questions of all kinds.

I just joined the site a few days ago. I am structural geology student. (Level of knowledge - probably intermediate.) I am specifically working on stress analysis and inversion.

There is not much going on here in this area and I would love to see more number of questions. The level of questions that I've come across so far are basic but good (as in they are inquisitive).

I'm fairly new to this sub-site, but I am providing my experience anyway since every account helps.

What is your discipline and level of knowledge (e.g. novice, curious, expert, etc)?

I consider myself somewhat competent in mineralogy and an active learner in crystallography. I have a general interest for most of the site, and I enjoy most of the questions, although I would rate myself a novice in earth sciences as a whole.

What level of engagement are you seeing in your discipline?

I only discovered this site recently, so I'm not sure if it counts, but there are very few questions on minerals and I can probably count them on my hands and toes. Since this community is sort of small for Stack Exchange, I think it's a fair amount, actually (there are few who enjoy mineralogy like I do).

What level of questions are you generally seeing in your discipline?

Are you happy with the level of questions being asked, or would you prefer more expert level or more beginner level questions?

Some of the mineral questions are basic, such as "please identify this rock", while the more complicated examples tend to be more chemistry-related (and thus better-suited in chemistry SE).

I wish there were more intermediate to expert-level questions, with which I could become more involved and share my knowledge. At the same time, it's about the same levels that I expected.

• I don't agree that the chemistry-related questions belong in chemistry SE. A lot of the chemistry questions here are related to high pressure geochemistry. No offense to any chemists, but they usually do not know much about anything higher than 1 atm. Sometimes when I see a geochemistry question over there, I feel that our site missed a good question. – Gimelist Aug 6 '15 at 8:03
• Thanks for the guidance, Michael. I could tell that there was some gray area in determining where chemistry questions would fall under, and I figured from some suggestions that if the question could be answered through chemistry, then it should be on chemistry SE. But as long as the community doesn't mind, I don't see a problem with questions bordering it. – person27 Aug 7 '15 at 2:22

What is your discipline and level of knowledge (e.g. novice, curious, expert, etc)?

I'm a Ph.D. candidate in Geophysics, but all my work and graduate research have concentrated in Glaciology, a field I could be considered expert. However, there are many areas in Glaciology on which I'm not an expert at all. I did my undergrad in astronomy and I consider myself curious in many science fields.

What level of engagement are you seeing in your discipline?

Not much, most question are related to the popular topic of climate change, but in my three months on the site there have been very few questions related to glaciers or cryosphere.

What level of questions are you generally seeing in your discipline?

Basic questions by curious people.

Are you happy with the level of questions being asked, or would you prefer more expert level or more beginner level questions?

I think more questions on all levels are needed. The expert ones are the most fun to read, but basic ones are very important as well.

We could do it better but we need more experts and students.

• What is your discipline and level of knowledge (e.g. novice, curious, expert, etc)?

I am graduated in geology and I have followed an oceanography master being at Bordeaux at Erasmus exchange programm. I passed ten years at university and my asperger disorder is always focused in Science, I remember a lot of things about geology (a selective and deep memory). I have been programming for four years but I am novice at those questions. I have focused my attention more in geochemisty than geophysics, and I feel pretty fine with mineralogy and petrology, but I can answer too some of the questions related with plate tectonics, geomorphology etc if they are not very technical. I use to search quickly correct information at papers but the trouble is I can only consultate abstracts or free papers.

• What level of engagement are you seeing in your discipline?

I see some good geologists answering, but I would like to see more and more students posting questions. As a feedback to the site I would say the policy is nice for code but a bit hard for exchanges. I think students get discouraged to post anything, moving to anohter site. Working geologists also may find they should expend a lot of his time to adaptate to the policy. phds as Camilo can use more of his time because they are young, they know how the net and the site works well and they may use the profile to put it in his cv. But I definitively think stack should review the police for science based exchanges. About oceanography I don't seee many questions and I would also like to see more users active.

• What level of questions are you generally seeing in your discipline?

I think 1/3 of the questions are geology related. I am fine with it, that goes well and tags contain main geology branches.

• Are you happy with the level of questions being asked, or would you prefer more expert level or more beginner level questions?

Maybe because it is the kind of questions I can answer, but basic geology subjects. This would be usefull for students as stackoverflow was usefull to me as novice programmer. I plan myself to make some of them in some time and by the way stack encourages self-answered questions (note it those who want the site being more complet/usefull).