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Navigating Nature

A globe-trotting activist communicates science and the environment

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Chile Part 4: One Week North

Even though it’s now been two months since my trip to Chile (sorry for the blogging hiatus – moving to Chicago and starting a new job took over my life), I am still immensely grateful for my six-week adventure there. My last big adventure in Chile was to the Atacama Desert, which is the most arid place in the world (besides the poles), and receives the highest radiation and celestial exposure – which means it is very dry, the sun is extremely strong, and the stars are incredible. Even though I was there during a full moon, I could still see the Milky Way and thousands of stars filling every corner of the night sky. Continue reading “Chile Part 4: One Week North”

Chile Part 3: Two Weeks South

During the second half of July, I headed to Chile’s beautiful southern lake region, about halfway between Santiago and Punta Arenas. An inspiring landscape of volcanoes covered in snow, rushing turquoise rivers, green coastal cliffs, and deep blue lakes, it was my first taste of a very different Chilean landscape. I’ve been learning and talking a lot about how many different ecosystems Chile has along its 4,000-km length, but it was amazing to experience it first hand. In my two weeks south, I explored the outdoors, learned about the history of the region, discovered more about my family heritage, and got a taste of the culture of the south. Continue reading “Chile Part 3: Two Weeks South”

Canyons of the West (And a Few Odds and Ends)

It’s been a few too many weeks since I last actively participated in the blogosphere (as an excuse, I was finishing up final exams at Stanford) but I had a fabulous spring break last week that I want to write about. We had nine days, so my boyfriend Bryant and I hopped in the car and took off for the Southwest from Palo Alto. Our ultimate destination: the national parks of southern Utah and northern Arizona, none of which I had ever visited before. For those of you that know me well, you’ll know that I was thrilled about exploring this uncharted territory. Continue reading “Canyons of the West (And a Few Odds and Ends)”

Sometimes All You Need Is A Walk in Nature

With finals coming up next week, it’s been more and more difficult for me to escape from campus and have some good outdoor adventures. So two weeks ago, I decided to take a “nature walk” through campus to appreciate all the nature we have right here at Stanford. Although it is very far from true wilderness, Stanford does have lots of trees, gardens, groves, and meadows to enjoy. Our campus is very big, but I still chose to walk instead of biking around. This gave me an opportunity to stop and smell the roses in a very literal way, and to have time to notice the small details and really appreciate everything around me. Continue reading “Sometimes All You Need Is A Walk in Nature”

Conglomerate Coastline: The Geology of Big Sur

Two weeks ago, I went down to Big Sur for a camping trip, and stayed in Andrew Molera State Park. Big Sur is a 90-mile section of Highway 1 that stretches from Carmel down to San Simeon. The area features beautiful California coastline, famous views, and numerous state parks and national forests. In Big Sur, the Santa Lucia Mountains rise to 5,000 feet within two miles of the ocean – the most abrupt rise in elevation along the Pacific coast.  Continue reading “Conglomerate Coastline: The Geology of Big Sur”

A Weekend in Yosemite: Where’s the Snow?

Over President’s Day Weekend, I went to Yosemite National Park with ten other students from my dorm. I was there for two nights and one full day, and I had an incredible time. I had never been to Yosemite before, and I finally understood why people rave about it so much. With its iconic mountains and spectacular views, it was a great opportunity for me to disconnect, have a change of pace, and enjoy being in nature. Continue reading “A Weekend in Yosemite: Where’s the Snow?”

Recent Redwood Reflections

I recently went on a hike with my good friend Meghan Shea to the Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space. It was about a 35-minute drive away, and the fresh morning scent of the forest was exactly what I needed to recenter myself. When you’re living in the suburbs, it is so easy to forget about the incredible natural places that are just around the corner. Even though school keeps me insanely busy, one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to make more time for nature. Continue reading “Recent Redwood Reflections”

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