Navigating Nature

A globe-trotting activist communicates science and the environment


coral reefs

If You Like Piña Colada(s) and Getting Caught in the Rain…

Then Puerto Rico is the place to be! Bryant and I traveled there last week for spring break, and while we only drank one piña colada and got caught in the rain just once, it was a fantastic trip. We were there for six days and experienced a wide variety of settings in such a short amount of time, experiencing the urban history of San Juan, examining the Caribbean reef ecosystem up close while scuba diving, beach-hopping in remote Vieques, and hiking through the dense jungle of El Yunque. Continue reading “If You Like Piña Colada(s) and Getting Caught in the Rain…”

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?”

Palau Part III: The Traveler’s Dilemma

My Palau adventure has sadly come to an end, but I had an amazing last week in this beautiful place. I was in Palau for a 3-week research seminar on coral reefs, and if you missed my first two posts about this trip you can read them here and here. We were hosted at the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC), Palau’s top research institution, which also runs the Palau Aquarium. It was great to meet PICRC’s CEO Yimnang Golbuu and interact with many of the researchers there. The seminar was taught by two Stanford faculty members, Rob Dunbar and Stephen Monismith, and a faculty member at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Bob Richmond. Continue reading “Palau Part III: The Traveler’s Dilemma”

Plunging Into a Palauan Paradise

Greetings from Palau! After Stanford at Sea, I spent one week in Kauai with my family, and now I am onto my next adventure: a 3-week field seminar in the beautiful island nation of Palau. Palau is located at 7˚ N, to the east of the Philippines and Indonesia:

Map of Palau in relation to Oceania

Palau is the definition of a tropical paradise: hundreds of gumdrop-shaped islands completely covered with lush green jungle, clear warm water that looks to be a million different colors at once, and intricately mesmerizing coral reef communities. One of the really special things about Palau is that it contains a huge variety of different ecosystems. In one country, there are volcanic islands, limestone islands, and coral atolls, as well as four different kinds of reefs. Continue reading “Plunging Into a Palauan Paradise”

Stanford at Sea: Reflections on the Open Ocean

A week ago, I stepped off the Robert C. Seamans for the last time. This beautiful ship, which had been my home for the last five weeks, had carried me safely from Tahiti to Hawaii, along a stretch of open ocean traversed by few others, and dotted with islands that most people haven’t even heard of, much less would visit in their lifetimes. I was on this voyage through a program called Stanford at Sea, which sent 21 students on a journey to explore and research the ocean. Continue reading “Stanford at Sea: Reflections on the Open Ocean”

My Upcoming Ocean Adventure

In one week, I will be starting one of the most exciting adventures of my life. For the past four weeks, I have been studying at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station (which you can learn more about by reading one of my past posts here) in a program called Stanford at Sea. The program is associated with SEA, Sea Education Association, and it teaches students about the ocean in a very practical, hands-on, and immersive way. We have one more week of the shore component, in which we have been taking classes and preparing for the sea component, which will start during the first week of May. Next weekend, I will be flying to Tahiti and boarding our ship, SSV Robert C. Seamans, in the capital city of Papeete. Continue reading “My Upcoming Ocean Adventure”

Ocean Acidification: A “Hidden” Impact of Climate Change

The impacts of fossil fuels and greenhouse gases on our atmosphere and global temperature are widely publicized. And while these changes are crucial to understanding the science and translating it into policy, there are other impacts of climate change that are not talked about nearly enough. The one that I’d like to focus on in this post occurs in our oceans. Through a process called ocean acidification, the release of greenhouse gases, namely carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere is affecting the chemistry of our oceans. Continue reading “Ocean Acidification: A “Hidden” Impact of Climate Change”

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