Navigating Nature

A globe-trotting activist communicates science and the environment


Emma Hutchinson

Go Outside, Feel Better

The holidays can be a wonderful time of year, but they can also be a source of stress: getting along with family members, buying gifts, shopping and preparing food, and traveling to various locations can be tiring and overwhelming. This year especially, I find my stress levels abnormally high as I contemplate the events going on in the world and the future. Luckily, there’s one small thing that you can do to make yourself feel better, and it doesn’t involve any medication:

Get outside and find some nature.

Continue reading “Go Outside, Feel Better”

Why There’s Still Hope For Our Environment

No, it’s not all doom and gloom.

You see, last night’s election result was a deep disappointment to those of us who believe in acting on climate change, protecting our environment, celebrating our differences, and creating an America where everyone is welcome and accepted. But the truth is, there are a lot of things that Donald Trump can’t change in this country. Continue reading “Why There’s Still Hope For Our Environment”

A Self Critique: My Own Carbon Footprint

So far, this blog has been a jumbled combination of posts on environmental issues and travelogues from my global adventures. My original intention for Navigating Nature was for it to be a platform for effective and meaningful science communication, and as my life has taken its twists and turns, various different types of posts have emerged. Continue reading “A Self Critique: My Own Carbon Footprint”

Making Friends in the Brazilian Amazon

After spending the first week of our Brazilian vacation in Bahia, we headed to the interior of Brazil, deep into the Amazon. We flew at night to Manaus, Brazil’s westernmost large city and home to 2.5 million people, and all we could see on the way there was blackness. Even during the night, it was easy to tell how dense and enormous the Amazon was, despite the huge amount of deforestation that is going on. Continue reading “Making Friends in the Brazilian Amazon”

Bahia’s Beaches and Boulevards

Last month, my family and I went on a two-week vacation to Brazil – not to see the Olympics, but to see my sister Laura, who was studying abroad in the city of Salvador, and to reconnect with a country we love, since we lived in Sao Paolo when I was very young. Continue reading “Bahia’s Beaches and Boulevards”

NYC’s High Line, and the Injustice It Represents

The lush green vines billow in the city breeze, muffled by the quiet roar of stamping feet and tourists’ conversations. The neat slices of sidewalk meld with the garden beds, tracing a line to the half-finished skyscrapers. The elevated walkway peers over the manicured streets, with glitzy shops and storefronts lighting up the avenue.

Twenty years ago, this place was sketchy during the day, and extremely dangerous at night. This is New York City’s Meatpacking District. This is the High Line.

Continue reading “NYC’s High Line, and the Injustice It Represents”

A Scary New Source of Energy

Deep below the crashing waves, the ocean rumbles. Away from the boats, away from the people, away from the species we are familiar with – the ones we eat, the ones we admire on snorkeling trips to coral reefs. Down here, the enormous pressure would blow a human to smithereens in a fraction of a second. Down here, it is dark and vast. But it is not empty – there are creatures we could not even dare to dream of, like 20-foot-long worms and gigantic crabs. There is something else here though, something we are daring to dream of, and something some people want desperately. They are called methane hydrates. Continue reading “A Scary New Source of Energy”

Central Coast Wanderings

Over Memorial Day weekend, my boyfriend Bryant and I decided to explore some new territory and take a road trip through California’s Central Coast. I’d traveled extensively in the Bay Area and had been to LA and San Diego before this trip, but the Central Coast was a big blank spot for me. Continue reading “Central Coast Wanderings”

Where Did Your Pet Fish Come From?

Last spring, I was living on a tall ship that was sailing from Tahiti to Hawaii. On the way, we stopped at Christmas Island, which is part of the nation of Kiribati. While there, we let off two members of our crew so they could fly back to California for other obligations while we continued on our way. Christmas Island is in the middle of nowhere, so they were the only passengers that got onto the plane. Well, the only human passengers. As our friends told us later, they were joined by hundreds of crates of tropical fish. Continue reading “Where Did Your Pet Fish Come From?”

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