It’s been a great first year for Navigating Nature! I started this blog in January 2015 as a small side project to improve my science communication skills, and the response it has received is tremendous. I am so grateful for all the support and interest from not only my friends and family, but other bloggers and science communicators. It’s hard to blog frequently as a full-time student, but all of your encouragement has helped me keep it up. 

This year, I eased into the blogosphere by fitting my writing to my lifestyle. In other words, I blogged about things that I was doing and places that I was going – partly because it wasn’t much extra work, but luckily I was blessed to have so many great opportunities. Here’s how my year (and my blog) broke down:

  • January-April: Studying on campus at Stanford; wrote posts about general science topics and small local weekend trips
  • May-mid July: Adventures in the Pacific with Stanford at Sea to French Polynesia and Kiribati and an Overseas Seminar in Palau
  • Mid July-mid September: At home for the summer; wrote posts about general science topics and trips to Montana and the Rockies
  • Mid-September-early December: Studying abroad in Madrid; wrote travel posts about Spain and Portugal
  • Mid-December: Attended COP 21 in Paris; wrote daily posts about my experience as well as my take on the Paris Agreement; plus did one last week of European travel and explored Paris, Prague, and Vienna

It’s been super fun for me to keep track of my readership and see where my audience is from, what they like, and how they discover Navigating Nature. Here is an infographic I made with my most interesting stats from 2015:

Navigating Nature- 2015, A Year in Review (1)

Like I said, I couldn’t have hoped for a better first year of Navigating Nature. This blog has given me so much good writing practice and has given me an opportunity to contribute something, if just something small, to the environmental/science communication realm while I’m still in school. There are so many important and fascinating conversations happening out there, and it’s so exciting to see issues like climate change and marine health moving to the forefront of popular journalism.

So what’s coming up in 2016?

Well, I’m a junior in college, and can’t do any more study abroad programs if I want to graduate on time, so I’m heading back to Stanford to finish my degree. That means I’ll be doing less international travel this year, but I’m still hoping to fit in a couple exciting trips. But it also means that the majority of my posts will be focused on science issues and current environmental events, and if I go on a big adventure somewhere I’ll definitely write about that. I have some super interesting topics lined up right away for 2016, and with a new year will come a new look for Navigating Nature, so keep an eye out for the blog makeover.

So THANK YOU for reading my blog amongst your busy lives, for supporting me in my endeavor to communicate science and the environment in an accessible and interesting way, and for giving me great feedback. If you have any comments or suggestions or have a topic you’d like me to write about, please don’t hesitate to contact me at emmahutchinson19@gmail.com. And if you’d like to receive regular updates by email when I post, please click the black “Follow” button at the top right of the page.

Happy New Year, and best wishes for 2016!